12-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout Series: Lower Body (Legs & Glutes)

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My triceps were FEELING IT after yesterday’s workout–anyone else?? Day 2 of this 12-minute tabata series is focused on lower body so that sore arms can rest. That being said … today’s routine is far from restful. I was gasping for air like a fish out of water during the last superset. Proof that you can get an effective workout with limited time!

12-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout Series: Lower Body (Legs & Glutes)


This workout is made up of three tabata supersets. For each tabata superset, set an interval timer for 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. During the work intervals, you’ll alternate between the two exercises. In other words: 20 seconds Exercise 1 / 10 seconds rest / 20 seconds Exercise 2 / 10 seconds rest and so on. Rest as needed between tabata supersets, but try to limit it to 60 seconds if possible.

12-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout for Legs & Butt -- this workout is broken up into three 4-minute tabata supersets

Tabata Superset 1

Low Surrenders | Start in a squat position with feet hip’s distance apart, elbows bent and hands behind your head. Your hands will stay up like this the entire time. Step your right foot back behind you, planting the ball of the foot on the floor lowering down until the right knee rests on the ground. Both knees should be at opposing 90-degree angles. Step your left foot back to meet the right so that you’re kneeling on the ground. Step your right foot forward, and then step the left foot to meet it so that you’re in the same low squat position you started in. Make sure to alternate your lead foot each time. It sounds confusing but you’re essentially just going from a squat to kneeling back to squat.

Squat Jumps | Feet about shoulder-width apart, squat down, sending your hips and butt back and down (not the knees forward!). Bring your hands in front of you as you sink down. From there, explosively jump straight up, swinging your arms back behind you as you do. Land softly and sink right back into a squat, hands swinging forward.

Tabata Superset 2

Lunge Hops | Start in a split-stance lunge position: both knees bent to 90 degrees, one foot flat in front; one foot in back, ball of the foot planted on the ground. Keeping the same foot in front/back, you hop a few inches into the air and land softly back into your starting position. Your legs are never fully straightening during this; it’s a small upward hop, pushing off the balls of the feet. Alternate your lead foot each round (so twice total on the R, twice on the L). If you need to modify, just hold a low lunge and pulse.

Jump Lunge | Start in a split-stance lunge: right foot in front, ball of left foot planted on the floor behind you. Both knees should be bent to 90 degrees, front knee aligned over ankle, back knee hovering just a couple inches off the floor. From here, push off your feet to jump up in the air, switching feet in mid-air and landing back in a lunge with left foot forward and right foot planted behind. Continue, alternating feet with each jump. If you need to modify: do alternating back lunges (step instead of jump).

Tabata Superset 3

Sumo Squat Leg Lifts | This is a wide-stance squat with alternating side leg lifts. Feet wider than hip-distance apart, squat down low. Shift your weight into the right side and, staying as low as you can (it’s natural for the right to straighten a little, but don’t come out of the bent knee all the way), lift the left leg straight up and out to the side. Lower it, bringing your weight back to center in that deep squat. Repeat to the other side.

Squat Jacks | Start in a low squat position with feet wide, weight in your heels, low abs engaged, hips back. Staying low in a squat, jump your feet in close together and then jump your feet out wide again to the starting position. Every time you jump the feet out wide, tap the floor with your fingertips, alternating the hand each time. Continue jacking your feet in and out, staying low in the squat.

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WEARING | Lululemon tank (scored for 50% off on ThredUp!) // Booty By Brabants leggings // Nike sneakers

Enjoy! Sorry this post went up so late. Joe and I are apartment hunting and the rental market is so ridiculously cutthroat that when we find a place we like I seriously have to drop everything I’m doing, disrupt my whole day and run to go see it. On the bright side though, I’m grateful that I have a job that allows me the flexibility to do that! Hopefully the hunt will be over soon…

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MORE FROM THIS WORKOUT SERIES 

12-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout Series: Upper Body (Chest, Arms, Core)

12-Minute Tabata Workout: 3 tabata supersets focusing on upper body - no equipment needed!

Today’s is upper-body focused, but you’ll get a good dose of core and cardio work as well.

12-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout Series: Upper Body (Chest, Arms, Core)


This workout is made up of three tabata supersets. For each tabata superset, set an interval timer for 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. During the work intervals, you’ll alternate between the two exercises. In other words: 20 seconds Exercise 1 / 10 seconds rest / 20 seconds Exercise 2 / 10 seconds rest and so on. Rest as needed between tabata supersets, but try to limit it to 60 seconds if possible. 12-Minute Tabata Workout: 3 tabata supersets focusing on upper body - no equipment needed!

Tabata Superset 1

Chest-to-Floor Burpees | Squat down, bringing your hands to the floor. As you do, hop your feet back out in a plank position, simultaneously lowering your chest to the floor with control (like a push up all the way down). Press yourself back up to straight arms, jumping your feet forward back to squat and then jumping straight up overhead.

Low Push Up Hold | For this, I want your hands close into the sides of your body (tricep push up). To get into the hold with proper alignment, start in a plank position with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders. From here, roll forward slightly onto your toes so that your hands are now a little further back, aligned with your ribs (this will allow you to bend elbows to 90 degrees). Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower down to a low push up position and hold there with your body hovering off the ground, abs held in tight.

Modify by holding the push up from your knees. Just make sure your hips are still lowered so that your butt isn’t sticking up into the air. Think of lowering from your knees rather than your hips to achieve this.

I’m going to call myself out a little on these as it’s a good demo of what not to do with form. Notice the difference in shoulder height between the first five seconds of the hold and the last five seconds: low-push-up-hold

As my arms fatigue, I’m compensating by sinking into my shoulders. Don’t do this. If you notice your shoulders start to dip down (usually accompanied by your bum sticking up into the air), just modify the hold with proper form from your knees. 🙂

Tabata Superset 2

Triceps Dips | Use a chair, coffee table or bench for these. Start with your hands gripping the edge of a chair (bench, etc.) and your legs outstretched with your heels on the ground. Keeping your bum and back close to the edge of the chair, bend your elbows to 90 degrees as you lower your body towards the ground. Make sure your elbows don’t bow out in a diamond shape as you lower. From the bottom, press through your hands to straighten your arms back to the starting position. Imagine there’s a heavy weight sitting in your lap as you do these—don’t trust up through the hips and legs to rise up; use your arms! You’ll do three like this and on the fourth, lower down and hold at the bottom for about three seconds before starting back at the top. Beginners: To make these easier, bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the ground.

Alternating Crab Kicks with Triceps Pulse | Start in a crab position: feet on ground, knees bent, hands on ground underneath your shoulders, body facing upwards. Lift one foot into the air, straightening that leg. This is your starting position. From here, you’re going to alternate kicking one leg into the air and then the next, switching feet in midair so that there’s never more than one foot on the ground at a time. Your whole body will be working during these but focus on the softening of the elbows (like a triceps dip pulse) as you prep for the jump kick. Push through the hands, thrusting the pelvis upward as you straighten the arms and switch feet midair before landing.

Tabata Superset 3

Shoulder Tap Push Ups | Start in a plank position. I’m doing these with my hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart because my triceps were fried after tabata set 2! 🙂 Keeping your hips level to the floor, tap your left shoulder with your right hand then the right shoulder with your left hand. Do a push up. To modify, perform from your knees.

Marching Plank | You’re essentially just moving from low plank to high plank, up and down. Starting in a forearm plank position, press up into a high plank, one hand at a time. Reverse the movement when you’re in a high plank, lowering onto one forearm at a time. Important form notes:

  • Hands under shoulders, not in front. As you do these, think about keeping your shoulders stacked directly over whatever joint is on the floor (wrist in high plank, elbow in forearm plank). As you fatigue, the tendency is to have your hands far in front of your shoulders so that it’s easier to get back down to your forearms—don’t do this!
  • Hold your hips level. Instead of shifting your body weight and rocking the hips to the forearm side as you move up and down, stabilize through the core and hold the hips level. To do this, the arms need to work harder, elbows bending deeper (like when you do a push up).
  • Alternate your lead hand. Your body will want your dominate side to lead on this (from forearm plank: right hand presses up, left hand comes up, right forearm lowers down, left forearm comes down). Switch it up next time through so that your left side then leads the way.

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WEARING | leggings c/o Tully Lou // tank c/o Fabletics //  bra c/o PRISM Sport (use code ACTPERRY to get 30% off)

Enjoy! Phew this one was tough for me. My upper body is definitely weaker than my low body and core so this was a challenge!

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Summer Vacation Workout Series: Quick Bodyweight Tabatas You Can Do Anywhere

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I’m doing something a little different on the blog this coming week! I know for most people, summer means vacation. Maybe you take an annual family trip to the beach for an entire week or two, or perhaps its several long weekend trips to a summer rental or various weddings (I know that drill!). Either way, I think we all relax a bit when it comes to maintaining a normal routine during the summer months, and with that workouts can become increasingly sporadic–especially if you’re frequently away from your gym or favorite fitness studios.

Personally I don’t stress it too much because, yes, I’m spending less time working out, BUT I’m being way more active. I walk everywhere instead of taking the T, I swim and play beach games on the weekends–the warm weather just naturally increases the amount of movement I do each day. Don’t get me wrong, I still workout regularly, but that might mean a 10-minute bodyweight routine before heading to the beach instead of an hour-long group fitness class.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to share five quick workouts you can take with you on summer vacation. Five because if it’s a week-long getaway, you should have two days to just relax and focus on nothing more than applying sunscreen–am I right or AMIRIGHT. 😉

Summer Vacation Workout Series

What do these workouts look like? Here are the details:

  • 12-minutes long. Because you’re on vacation! Set aside just 12 minutes and then get on with the day.
  • High intensity interval training. Because it’s a quick workout, we’re ramping up the intensity. You’ll have quick bursts of max effort followed by even quicker periods of rest for the most efficient use of the 12 minutes.
  • Three tabata supersets. A tabata is four minutes structured like this: 20 seconds work / 10 seconds rest, 8 times. We’ll do three of those for each workout. Each tabata will be comprised of two exercises that you’ll alternate between during the four minutes.
  • No equipment needed. You can do these workouts anywhere because they’re all made up of bodyweight exercises. You don’t even need an interval timer because I’ll have them in video form (with beeps!) with which you can follow along.
  • Targeted. I’ll be posting an upper body workout, a lower body workout, a core workout and two full-body workouts. You can do them in that suggested order throughout the week or pick and choose.

First workout of the series coming your way tomorrow! Enjoy what’s left of your weekend!

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