This 8-Move Tabata Workout Is the Perfect Way To Get Outside

Strength, cardio, and sunshine can be the perfect trio to improve your health and mood.


Exercising outdoors—like at the beach or a park—can be like recess: It's freeing and just plain fun. Take advantage of those good feels with this low-equipment Tabata workout. It's designed to be done outside, where you have ample room to use a jump rope and a park-type bench.

This routine from Francine Delgado-Lugo, CPT, cofounder of Form Fitness Brooklyn in New York City, combines strength and cardio through a mix of up-and-down, front-to-back, and side-to-side movements that will get your heart pumping and your muscles burning out, so you improve endurance.

Exercise Benefits of This Workout

This workout can offer potential benefits based on the ability to do it outside, the moves it entails, and the use of your body weight to complete it.

Outdoor Physical Activity

There are plenty of advantages to doing an outdoor workout. Some benefits include:

  • Energy level increases
  • Landscape variety
  • Mood improvement
  • Vitamin D exposure from the sun

One small study also found that adults who completed a 15-minute outdoor walk showed improved cognitive performance compared to those who did the walk inside.

Tabata Workouts

Tabata workouts are short, high-intensity exercises with short rest periods between movements. You don't need a lot of equipment to do Tabata training, and it's not expensive. This type of workout or training can also help individuals: lose weight and improve blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and glucose regulation.

Bodyweight Exercises

These exercises can be done anywhere and don't require equipment or much space. Many bodyweight exercises are great for beginners to try. Additionally, regular bodyweight workouts may improve:

  • Blood sugar and blood pressure levels
  • Body composition
  • Insulin sensitivity

Who Should Use Caution or Not Do This Workout?

Though there are benefits to this kind of workout, they're not meant for everyone. Pregnant people should avoid any exercises or moves that may increase their risk of injury. Engaging in high-intensity exercises like Tabata workouts can also be harmful to people with the conditions or in situations as follows:

  • Acute heart failure
  • Asthma
  • Complete heart block
  • Metabolic diseases, like type 1 diabetes
  • Recent heart attack
  • Unstable angina, or chest pain

Even if the above conditions or situations do not apply to you, speaking with a healthcare provider before you begin any exercise regimens is always a good idea.

8-Move Tabata Workout

Try these eight moves for an indoor or an outdoor workout:

  • Jump rope
  • Squat movement
  • Tabata bench dip
  • Alternating side lunge with overhead reach
  • Push-up with cross-body knee tuck
  • Alternating bench step-up
  • Bench hip thrust
  • V-sit Tabata move

Do each exercise for 40 seconds, completing as many reps as possible. Rest 20 seconds between exercises. Repeat for three rounds. Rest 60 to 90 seconds between each round.

Jump Rope

  • Stand with feet together and a jump rope handle in each hand with the rope behind your heels.
  • Keep your elbows at your waist, and use your wrists to swing the rope, bringing it over your head and under your feet as you jump.
  • Jump double-footed over the rope, don't use a skipping pattern of jumping.
  • Keep your knees soft and the weight on the balls of your feet.
  • Pay attention to your breath as you go.

Squat Movement

  • Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes turned slightly out.
  • Keep your chest up and your abs engaged as you do the movements
  • Move your hips down and back into a squat as you raise your arms to shoulder height.
  • Push your feet into the floor to stand up.
  • Repeat the movement for 40 seconds before taking a break.

Tabata Bench Dip

  • To start this movement, you are seated on a bench.
  • Place your hands on the bench seat behind you and outside of your hips
  • Scoot forward and walk out with your toes pointed upward until your buttocks clear the bench seat.
  • Bend your elbows, squeeze your shoulder blades back, and lower your body a few inches toward the ground.
  • Your shoulders should not roll forward as you lower—if they do, don't go as low.
  • Use your triceps to press back up and straighten your arms.
  • Keep butt close to bench and chest lifted.

If you're new to dips, keep your knees bent, but straighten your legs if you want a challenge. Exercise for 40 seconds and then rest and repeat.

Alternating Side Lunge With Overhead Reach

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold a folded jump rope with your hands also at shoulder-width apart. Pull on the rope to create tension.
  • Step out to the side with your right foot.
  • Keep the opposite leg straight and your spine flat
  • Move your hips backward as you bend your right knee.
  • Reach your arms up, pulling your shoulder blades back and down as you bend your knee. Keep tension on the jump rope throughout the movement.
  • Push off using your right foot and straighten your knee to stand up again.
  • Bring your arms down before you, still keeping tension on the rope.
  • Repeat the complete series of movements on your left side.

Continue alternating sides as you work through the 40 seconds before taking your rest break, then complete the series for three sets or rounds.

Push-up With Cross-body Knee Tuck

  • Place your hands on the bench, and walk your feet back until you assume a plank pose.
  • Keep your shoulders over your wrists and your chest over the bench.
  • Maintain tension in your butt by squeezing your glutes and quads.
  • Push your shoulder blades down and back to create tension in your upper back.
  • Bend your elbows, and lower your body towards the bench.
  • Keep your elbows by your ribs.
  • Push back up using your arms, exhaling on the upward movement, and bring one knee up and into the opposite elbow.
  • Step it back into your plank position.

Repeat the combo on the opposite side, doing one push-up and one knee tuck per side.

Alternating Bench Step-up

  • Face the bench, standing with feet hip-width apart.
  • Step your entire left foot on the bench, shifting your weight slightly over your left foot and hinging at the hips.
  • Drive through the left foot to stand on top of the bench fully, with your shoulders over your hips.
  • Tap the right foot on the bench.
  • Bend the left knee, and step back down with control.
  • Repeat the movement with the right foot, and continue alternating for 40 seconds.

Bench Hip Thrust

  • Sit on the ground, back facing the bench, with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart.
  • Lift your butt slightly off the ground, with your upper back against the bench and the edge of the bench lining up with the bottom of your shoulder blades.
  • Place your hands on your hips.
  • With feet planted on the ground, scoop (tilt) your pelvis and squeeze your glutes to extend hips toward the sky—avoid lifting with your lower back.
  • Knees and ankles should be in one line; same for hips and shoulders.
  • Lower yourself with control, butt coming back toward the ground and bench. Repeat.

V-sit Tabata Move

  • Sit on the bench, placing your hands by your hips and holding onto the sides.
  • Lift your legs, keeping the knees bent and engaging your abs
  • Lean your torso back slightly, keeping your feet about the same level as your hips.
  • Inhale and extend your legs straight out, leaning your torso back more.
  • Exhale to bring knees back in and chest back up.

Repeat. To make this exercise more challenging, let go of the bench and hold your arms straight out in front of you.

These eight intense bodyweight moves will get your heart pumping and the sweat running. Maintaining strong form and focusing on breathing is always important, but enjoy yourself as you sweat, said Delgado-Lugo. "For me, fitness is about moving well, building confidence, and working toward being the best version of yourself." This workout will help you achieve just that.

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