12 Minute Tabata Workout


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It’s about time for a new workout post, huh? It’s been over a month since I last posted one!!

Per doctor’s recommendation I’ve been on the eat more, exercise less plan so I haven’t been working out as much as usual. It feels odd not taking a class, running or hitting the gym almost every day, but if I’m being completely honest it also feels relaxing and therapeutic in a way. Over the past week I’ve found that I’ve been way less stressed — I’m not worrying about when I’m going to fit in a workout (if it happens, it happens) and I’ve been really productive doing other things like unpacking and organizing the house (yes, it’s been over a month but we still have boxes to unpack), enjoying quality time with Isaac, taking walks with Olive or sleeping in and soaking up the health benefits of getting more sleep. Oh, and I started back with yoga. <— So excited about this!

I’m also LOVING short workouts like the one I’m sharing today. It’s a tabata workout with three 4-minute circuits. The first set focuses on cardio and legs, the second set works your arms and the third works your core. You do each circuit twice, with 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for each move.

It’s intense and there’s little rest, but it’s over in just 12 minutes — 15 if you take a one minute break between each circuit. You can do anything for 15 minutes, right?

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12 Minute Tabata Workout that works your legs, arms and core!

This workout is awesome because all the moves are bodyweight focused so you don’t need any equipment — just a timer. I have the Tabata Timer app (it’s FREE) and it makes it super easy because you don’t have to keep looking at the clock.

Here’s how the workout will go:

Circuit 1 (Cardio + Legs)

  • High knees for 20 seconds, 10 seconds of rest.
  • Jump lunges for 20 seconds, 10 seconds of rest.
  • Jump squats for 20 seconds, 10 seconds of rest.
  • Jumping jacks for 20 seconds, 10 seconds of rest.

// REPEAT //

rest for 1 minute

Circuit 2 (Arms)

  • Push ups for 20 seconds, 10 seconds of rest.
  • Inchworm for 20 seconds, 10 seconds of rest.
  • Mountain climbers for 20 seconds, 10 seconds of rest.
  • Plank ups for 20 seconds, 10 seconds of rest.

// REPEAT //

rest for 1 minute

Circuit 3 (Core)

  • Flutter kicks for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
  • V-ups for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
  • Plank hold for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
  • Reverse crunch for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.

// REPEAT //


I hope you all like this fast and furious tabata workout as much as I do. Let me know if you try it. 🙂

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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  1. Thanks for sharing this! If your reason for eating more/exercising less is the same as mine (which I think it may be based off of previous posts), I agree that it’s been nice to catch up on other things, including sleep! It’s also helpful to know that you’re not being lazy, but it’s for a good reason!

    1. Yup! My doctor diagnosed me with hypothalamic amenorrhea and wants me to raise my BMI and decrease any stressors (which includes high intensity exercise). I hope the process is going well for you! Feel free to reach out if you want to talk more about it.

      1. Same situation here. They told me its PCOS but I don`t fit the profile (5`4, 128 lbs, no facial hair). Last period April 2014, pretty sure its either H.A or Hormones Imbalance. Really hard to slowing down exercising when you feel healthy. Starting Cycle 3 of Clomid next month, hope fort the best, good luck ladies, thinking of you both!

        1. Interesting thread here – I was also told I have PCOS after not getting a period after going off the pill, and I have none of the other common characteristics either, my BMI is 18, no facial hair, etc. I was also told to stop any HIIT workouts, the doctor said it all goes back to the caveman days and your body’s biological response: when you do HIIT workouts or run a lot, your body goes into fight or flight mode and will not ovulate/produce a period because your body doesn’t think it’s a safe time to get pregnant, your body may think you are in danger. I was fascinated by this and have slowed everything down and have taken a more lax approach to my diet too.Good luck to you guys!

          1. Thanks for sharing, Kate. Best of luck to you as well. I’m planning to write a full post about this soon.

  2. I really love the idea of this type of workout. Since my knee injury last Oct., I can’t do any of the regular gym workouts I used to do (i.e. wake up at 5 AM every day and hit the gym for massive amounts of cardio) and I have to say, since stopping that and starting to do yoga every day I feel so much better, more rested and really less tired and stressed. I do like getting my heart rate up though so I will give this a try! I think this will also be great for travel workouts.

    1. Oh no, I didn’t realize you had a knee injury. I hope it’s healing up well! Do you do yoga at a local studio? I feel like I may have asked you that before, but I can’t remember. 🙂

  3. Tabatas are one of my favs because there’s so many different moves incorporated! More sleep = so needed sometimes. I also need to incorporate more yoga! Pinning this for later 🙂

  4. Tabatas are a great way to do a lot of work in a short amount of time. I have been missing yoga too. Thanks for the workout!

    1. Kinda, but not quite yet. Right now I’m just working on getting my period to come back after going off birth control. 🙂

  5. Hi, this is the first time I am not working out on a regular basis and have been really looking for something to keep me in shape. I’m in France all summer and it’s too expensive to join a gym for two months. I’m going to try this out now and let you know. Thanks, miquella

    1. Oh wow!! Have so much fun this summer in France. I bet you are walking a ton, which totally counts for your workout. No gym membership needed. Let me know what you think of this workout if you try it. 🙂

  6. All my fav exercises in one workout, love it!
    I have also been trying to incorporate more yoga into my routine and am loving it too!

  7. I love this workout, thank you! It seems like it will be great for days that I can’t make it to the gym for a long workout. I love that it requires just body weight. I hope you’ll continue to post more workouts like this, they’re really great

  8. Great workout. I rarely do tabatas, mainly because I get in ruts and tend to focus on strength training, but this is a great workout for summer busy summer’s when I tend to travel and spend more time outside.

  9. I don’t normally try quickie routines like this off blogs (for whatever reason) but I tried this one out as I enjoyed the body weight aspect and simplicity of doing it anywhere! Been a nice way to cap off a quick 20 minute run – just find a patch of grass!! 🙂 Thank you for this!!

  10. Been awhile since the last post on here, but thanks for sharing! Awesome workout! I have & still do the Insanity workouts w/great results & I’m always looking for shorter intense workouts when I don’t have the time. This killed it!

  11. Hi there,
    Is the Tabata timer already set for this workout?
    If not, can you please tell me how to set it?

  12. Thank u very much, for sharing this but I really want to conform that I have a hormonal imbalance problem. So shall I do this tabata