7 Ways to Get a Better Body in 30 Minutes or Less
In as little as a minute a day, you can make noticeable changes to your physique and your fitness level (if you keep it up over time, of course).
If you have four minutes...jump and squat. Rest. Repeat.
The Tabata Protocol
, which sounds like the title of a Robert Ludlum novel, is actually a mini-workout that really makes a difference. Originally named after the Japanese fitness researcher Izumi Tabata, this interval workout alternates 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercises with 10 seconds of rest, for a grand total of four minutes. While working with Olympic speed skaters in the mid-1990s, Tabata found that this type of workout helped build muscle and improve aerobic and anaerobic capacity
. More recently, Michele Olson, PhD
, a professor of exercise science and a principal researcher at the Auburn University at Montgomery Kinesiology Laboratory, revealed that a Tabata-style workout of squat jumps burned 13.5 calories a minute and
doubled calorie-burning potential for 30 minutes afterward. Olson's research also showed that this four-minute routine was as effective as five times the amount of traditional cardio
. Try it yourself: Do 20 seconds of a full-body move like squat jumps
at maximum effort
(it should hurt), then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this circuit continuously for four minutes.
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.