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A Do-Anywhere 20-Minute Tabata Workout

Are you looking to kickstart your fitness routine but struggling to find the time? Look no further than the invigorating world of Tabata training. Tabata-style workouts offer a high-intensity, time-efficient solution to achieving your fitness goals. In just 20 minutes, this full-body Tabata workout promises to elevate your heart rate, boost your metabolism, and leave you feeling energized and accomplished.

Get ready to sweat, burn fat, and unleash your inner athlete with this dynamic Tabata workout regimen.

Do Tabata Workouts Really Work?

Yes, Tabata workouts are highly effective for achieving weight loss and improving overall fitness levels through high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Backed by scientific research and embraced by fitness enthusiasts worldwide, Tabata training consists of short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief rest periods, typically lasting only four minutes per round. 

Despite their brevity, Tabata-style workouts have been shown to elevate heart rate, increase calorie burn both during and after exercise, and enhance cardiovascular endurance. This combination of intense effort and strategic rest periods not only maximizes calorie expenditure during the workout but also promotes the afterburn effect, where the body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate post-exercise. 

Additionally, Tabata workouts can improve muscle tone, boost metabolism, and enhance overall athletic performance.

How Long Should a Tabata Workout Be?

The ideal duration of a Tabata-style workout hinges on the principle of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which emphasizes short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief recovery periods. Traditionally, a Tabata exercise lasts for just four minutes, comprising eight rounds of 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. This condensed format allows participants to push their limits in a short amount of time, making it an efficient option for those with busy schedules.

Is a 20-Minute Full-Body Tabata Enough?

Absolutely, a 20-minute full-body Tabata session can be a highly efficient option for individuals looking to save time while still achieving weight loss and overall fitness goals through high-intensity intervals. Tabata-style training, characterized by short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief rest periods, is renowned for its effectiveness in burning calories and boosting metabolism.

Furthermore, the high-intensity intervals within Tabata-style workouts not only promote fat loss during the workout but also trigger the afterburn effect, leading to continued calorie burn post-workout,

How Many Calories Do You Burn in a 20-Minute Tabata Workout?

The number of calories burned in a 20-minute Tabata session can vary depending on factors such as intensity, individual weight, and the specific exercises performed. On average, a person weighing around 155 pounds may burn approximately 240-400 calories during a Tabata session.

20-Minute Full-Body Tabata Workout

Before diving into this high-intensity workout, it’s important that you warm up your muscles first. After your warm-up, do each move for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat for a total of eight rounds and once you finish, rest for one minute, then continue to the next move.

Now that we have the instructions out of the way, let’s get into this full-body workout!


To do push-ups, position your body in the proper form: start in a plank position with your palms flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself to the ground, keeping your elbows close to your torso. Push yourself back up and repeat for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds after and repeat eight rounds.

High Knees

Start your Tabata workout by doing high knees. To do this, begin by standing and then run in place, driving knees towards the chest. Use your arms and try to go as fast as you can. Complete as many reps as possible in 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat eight times, then rest for one minute, and continue to the next move.


Start with your feet hip-distance apart. Next, jump to the right, landing on the right foot and bringing your left leg behind you. Jump back to the left, landing on your left foot and bringing your right foot behind the body. Complete as many reps in 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat eight times.

Mountain Climbers

Start in a plank position. Next, drive your knees toward your chest, one at a time, as quickly as you can, making that one rep. Complete as many mountain climbers as possible in 20 seconds, then wrap it up with 10 seconds of rest. Repeat eight times.

Squat Jump

Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward, and your weight in your heels. Lower down into a squat and drive through the heels to reverse movement and jump as high as possible. Land softly back into the squat position. 

Plank Toe-Taps

Start in a high plank with your palms flat, hand shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you with your feet together, and your core and glutes engaged. Balancing on your left hand and right foot, tap your right hand to your left foot then return to the starting position.

Next, balance on your right hand and left foot and tap your left hand to your right foot. Return to the starting position. Do as many reps as you can in 20 seconds and then follow it with 10 seconds of rest. Repeat eight times.


To do this exercise, start in a plank position. Next, jump your feet toward your hands and drop your butt below your knees, lifting your torso up and raising your hands to chest level. Jump your feet back to a plank position. Do that as many times as you can in 20 seconds and follow it with 10 seconds of rest.


Begin in a standing position then squat down and plant your palm flat on the mat. Immediately jump your feet back into a plank position then perform a push-up. Next, jump your feet toward your hands and push down through the heels to rise up and jump into the air, bringing your hands over your head. Land softly back on the mat to complete one rep. Do as many reps in 20 seconds, and then rest 10 seconds. Repeat eight times.

Final Note

This 20-minute Tabata-style workout offers a convenient and effective solution for those seeking to prioritize their fitness goals amidst busy schedules. With its emphasis on high-intensity intervals and minimal time investment, this regimen presents a versatile option for individuals looking to torch calories, build strength, and improve cardiovascular health. 

When doing exercises such as Tabata, always remember to warm up first so that your muscles can adjust to the needs of the workout. After a good warm-up, you’re free to dive into your 20-minute workout! Stay safe always!

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.