The Tabata method was devised a long time ago by a Japanese researcher by the name of Tabata. Today, it's followed by a number of high level sportsmen. So what's the secret of its technique? Alternate 20 seconds of high intensity exercise with 10 seconds recovery time, repeated 8 times, totaling 4 minutes. The reward: weight loss and a muscular body in just 20 minutes.


The training scheme:

4 blocks of 8 sets x 20 seconds of intensive exercise and 10 seconds of passive recovery. Allow yourself 1-2 minutes of passive recovery between each block.


To apply this muscle-building method, follow the advice of Florent, our Domyos coach. To make your workout more effective, you'll need the following equipment.

  • a skipping rope
  • a Gain Ball
  • a kettlebell

If you don't have all these accessories, you can still follow this muscle-building programme without any equipment.


Before starting

Complete this full muscle-building training programme, 3 times a week, allowing a rest day between each session. During each 20 minute burst, you need to be as dynamic as possible. You need to perform a maximum number of repetitions.


The correct warm-up:

  • 1 minute of gentle skipping
  • 30 seconds of knee lifts
  • Core: 30 seconds of front and side strengthening exercises


1st block: skipping rope

  • Objective: improving cardio performance and burning calories.


  • How to perform the exercise: skip at a high speed. To increase the level, add knee lifts or do double unders (2 turns of rope) for each jump.


  • Safety advice: remain on your toes; don't land on your heels.


  • Repetitions: 8 repetitions of 20 seconds with 10 seconds recovery time.


2nd block: Core strengthening exercises using the Gain Ball


  • Objective: strengthens the core and helps develop solid abdominal muscles.


  • How to perform the exercise: get into a plank position with your forearms on the Gain Ball.
    • Option 1 (easy level): hold this plank position, balancing on the Gain Ball, but with your knees resting on the ground.
    • Option 2 (intermediate level): hold this plank position, balancing on the Gain Ball, but with your legs hip-distance apart for added stability.
    • Option 3 (advanced level): keeping your feet hip-distance apart, hold this plank position, balancing on the Gain Ball. To increase the level of difficulty: lift up one leg, in line with the back, return to the ground and swap legs. Alternate right leg and left leg, every 5 seconds.


  • Breathing: breathe slowly and deeply.


  • Safety advice: keep your back as flat as possible; don't let it dip.


  • Repetitions: 8 repetitions of 20 seconds with 10 seconds recovery time.


Variation for those who don't have a Gain Ball:

  • perform the same exercise using a gym ball.
  • without equipment: hold the plank position for 20 minutes.


3rd block: kettlebell swing


  • Objective: muscle strengthening for the entire body and the posterior chain muscles (thighs, buttocks, back and shoulders).


  • How to perform the exercise: crouch down with your arms extended towards the ground; grip the Kettlebell in both hands. Contract your abs and glutes and push your pelvis forward to help you drive the Kettlebell vertically upwards, above your head.


  • Breathing: exhale as you raise the Kettlebell above your head and inhale as you bring it down to the ground.


  • Repetitions: perform the maximum number of repetitions over a 20 second period with 10 seconds recovery time between each set.


4th block: Burpee with GainBall


  • Objective: improving lung capacity and physical condition, and strengthening deep muscles through Gain Ball stability exercises.


  • How to perform the exercise: start by standing up with your feet hip-width apart. Quickly assume the plank position, then bring both your feet behind your hands at the same time, and without pausing, jump up, extending your legs and stretching your arms above your head.


  • Breathing: exhale when you lower yourself into the plank position and inhale when you push yourself up; exhale as you jump and inhale as you return to the starting position.


  • Safety advice: remember to tense your abdominals throughout the exercise and don't dip your back.


Variation for those who don't have a Gain Ball:

  • Perform the same exercise without equipment.
  • For a more effective exercise, add a push-up when you're in the plank position.


Cool down

Stretch out on your back, with arms by your side. Suck in your navel to stretch out your lower back on the mat, exhaling through the mouth for 10 seconds (deep, natural and smooth exhalation for 10 seconds), then inhale through the nose for 5-6 seconds and open up the rib cage. Repeat for 2 minutes.


Abdominal breathing helps lower your breathing and heart rate. It also helps engage the transverse abdominus, the muscle located deep in the abdominal wall. This will help you obtain a flat stomach and also help prevent recurrent low back pain.

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