As busy moms, we hardly have time to tie our tennis shoes, much less get in a solid workout.  Luckily for us, research now supports our need for a quick, efficient workout.  Studies have proven that short bursts of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are as effective as longer steady state workouts.  You’ve probably seen these types of workouts crop up on your gym schedule or your late night infomercial viewing, but here is a super easy version you can do at home, in 10 minutes, with no equipment.

The basic premise of this workout is based on Izumi Tabata’s (et all; National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Japan) research on HIIT, in fact, that is the name you have probably heard, “Tababta Workouts”.  Tabata found that a workout that consisted of 20 seconds of high intensity efforts followed by 10 seconds rest, then repeated 8 times produced amazing results.   So in this 10-minute workout you’ll do 1 minute of warm ups, 2 four-minute “tabata” cycles and a minute to cool down…and you are done!

You can easily use the second hand on your watch for this workout, but if you are feeling techie, there are various smart phone applications that will keep track of your intervals for you.  I like Tabata Pro for $2.99 from iTunes.

Warm Up:  Spend 1 minute with a simple cardio warm up, like marching in place or jumping jacks.  Or spend 1 minute doing a speed pick up of the toys in your living room to make space to work out.

Tabata #1: Squats and Push-ups

:20 seconds: Standing with feet about shoulder width, squat down as if you are sitting on a chair that is about 2 feet behind you.  Keep your knees over your ankles, not shooting out over your toes.  Squat as many times as you can in the 20 seconds without sacrificing form.

:10 seconds: Rest- it goes by faster than you think!

:20 Seconds:  Drop down and do as many push ups as you can.  You can do your push ups on your toes or knees, but make sure your shoulders lower down directly over your wrists.

:10 seconds: Rest!

Repeat the above two intervals 3 more times.

Take about 30 seconds in between your Tabata sets, long enough to grab a drink of water and reset your tabata timer.

Tabata #2: Lunges and Abs

:20 seconds: Crunches- Lay flat on your back with your feet off the ground, legs at a 90 degree angle.  Keep a space between your chin and your chest as if you are holding a ball under your chin.  Crunch, lifting your nose towards the ceiling (not your knees).  Repeat as many times as you can while maintaining control

:10 seconds: Rest (and stand back up)

:20 seconds:  Right leg forward in a long stride lunge (the number one mistake people make in doing lunges is a too short stride length).  Dip up and down on the same leg as many times as you can in the 20 seconds

:10 seconds: Rest

:20 seconds: Repeat lunge with the left leg forward

:10 seconds: Rest (and lie down)

:20 seconds: Pedaling- bring both knees into your chest.  Engage your abs and push one leg at a time out towards the opposite wall.  Do not let your back arch.  If you feel your back arching, try aiming your leg a little higher up as you extend

:10 seconds: rest (lying down this time!!  Enjoy!!)

Repeat from the top starting with the crunches, standing up to do the lunges and lying back down for last set of pedaling for a total of 4 more interval sets

Cool Down: 1 minute, Stay on the ground and stretch bringing each knee into your chest, then twisting across your body for a low back stretch.

Done! Get up and get on with your day!

*You can do this workout as often as you like and you can substitute any exercises into your intervals segments.  Most experts agree not to add weights to any tabata, because of the fast pace and risk of injury.