The 16-Minute Zero-Equipment Workout I'm Short on Time

Updated 05/31/18
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As a person who genuinely enjoys working out, I'm happy to spend an entire evening at a steamy hot yoga class or outside on a long run. However, my busy schedule doesn't always accommodate my beloved long workouts. In order to keep up with my health goals even when time is limited, I've turned to one 16-minute high-intensity interval training routine to knock out a full-body workout in a fraction of the time I typically spend exercising. It's based on the popular workout called Tabata, which first popped up on my radar after an interview with celebrity fitness trainer Erin Oprea. After learning it was one of her personal favorites (and that each exercise lasts for just four minutes), I was intrigued enough to give it a try myself.

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A typical Tabata workout lasts four minutes and is structured in 20-second intervals of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds. It's based on high-intensity interval training principles, which have been proven to have a greater impact on aerobic and anaerobic systems in the body compared longer and more frequent moderate exercises.

I put the workout to the test and tried out a routine comprised of four different basic exercises each lasting four minutes, for a total workout time of just 16 minutes flat. A long-time runner and yogi, I was skeptical of how much 16-minutes of work without any equipment could accomplish, but after trying the regimen out for myself, I was shocked at how exhausted and sweaty the quick workout left me. Now, it's become a go-to of mine for when I'm pressed for time but want to squeeze in a fast workout and get my heart pumping. All you need to do this workout at home is a stopwatch and a mat. Here's how it's done:

1. Push-Ups

Do as many push-ups as you can for 20 seconds (rest your knees on the ground to modify). Rest for 10 seconds. Do push-ups for 20 seconds. Continue with these intervals for four minutes. Rest for one minute.

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2. Squats

Do as many squats as you can for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Do squats for 20 seconds. Continue with these intervals for four minutes. Rest for one minute.

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3. Burpees

Do as many burpees as you can for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Do burpees for 20 seconds. Continue with these intervals for four minutes. Rest for one minute.

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4. Mountain Climbers

Do as many mountain climbers as you can for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Do mountain climbers for 20 seconds. Continue with these intervals for four minutes. Rest for one minute.

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Try this quick and effective Tabata at-home workout for yourself next time you're pressed for time and see for yourself just how tough 16-minutes can be.

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