20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms

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If you’re looking to build strength while also increasing your cardio, definitely try this 20 min Tabata workout for beginners. There is no equipment needed, so you can do this workout at home, at the gym, or wherever you like to exercise.

Tabata workouts are one of my favorite because they are simple but effective. I also like that the interval style really allows you to work both strength training and cardio at the same time.

As a busy mom, y’all know I am all about getting the most out of my workouts. 😉

20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners Abs & Arms

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20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms

To do this 20 min Tabata workout, perform each exercise for 20 seconds. Take a 10-second rest before beginning the next exercise.

Complete each circuit 3 times before moving on to the next one. You can get a copy of this workout plus 13 more with my Fitness Planner Bundle here.

Circuit #1:

Perform each exercise for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds. Complete the circuit 3 times.

  • Scarecrows
  • Plank Hold
  • Straight-Arm Triceps Push Back
  • Bent Knee Toe Taps

Circuit #2:

Perform each exercise for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds. Complete the circuit 3 times.

  • Side Plank Left
  • Supermans
  • Side Plank Right
  • Bird Dogs

Circuit #3:

Perform each exercise for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds. Complete the circuit 3 times.

  • Knee Push-Ups
  • Cross-Over Crunch
  • Shoulder Taps from Knees
  • Swimmers

How to Do a Tabata Workout

If you haven’t tried Tabata before, then your first question is “how to do a Tabata workout?” A Tabata workout refers to doing exercise intervals of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds of rest.

The goal is to push yourself hard for 20 seconds and really get your heart rate up. Then you get 10 seconds to rest and catch your breath before you begin again.

For this workout, you have 4 exercises in each circuit. When the timer starts, begin doing the first exercise listed. Push yourself hard for 20 seconds.

When the timer goes off, take a 10-second rest. When the timer starts again, move on to the next exercise.

Repeat each circuit 3 times and then move on to the next circuit. The workout should take you about 20 minutes to complete all the way through.

You might find it helpful to use a timer app on your phone for this workout. You can find one HERE for android or one HERE for apple.

Scarecrow - 20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms Scarecrow

Scarecrows

Lay on your belly with your feet stretched out on the floor about hip-width apart. Let your legs relax and place your arms out beside your body palm down.

Your arms should bend into a 90-degree angle with your hands in line with your head. Rest your forehead on the floor and engage your core.

Gently lift your head, shoulder, and arms 1-2 inches off the floor. You should keep your arms and hands straight at a 90-degree angle to the side of your body.

Also, make sure to keep your neck straight in line with your body. This move should come from your upper back and your shoulders.

You shouldn’t be straining your neck or lower back. Keep the move gentle and controlled.

Slowly release down. Repeat for 20 seconds.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, keep your forehead on the mat and just lift your hands and forearms off the ground. If this move feels too easy, try holding the move for the full 20 seconds.

Printable Home Workouts

Plank Hold - 20 Min tabata workout

Plank Hold

Start in a full plank position with your feet close together. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders and your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Hold for 20 seconds.

Modifications: If this move feels challenging, try dropping both your knees to the ground. If this move feels too easy, try lifting one leg off the ground during each circuit.

Tricep push back - 20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms

Straight-Arm Triceps Push Back

Start this move by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees slightly and lean forward a few inches.

Hold your arms straight by your side with your palms facing behind you. Then extend or push your arms up and back.

Release your arms back to your side. Try not to swing your arms, but keep the movement controlled. Repeat for 20 seconds.

Modifications: If the move feels too challenging, try alternating one arm at a time. If the move feels too easy, increase the pace of your arms.

Bent Knee Toe Taps - 20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms Bent Knee Toe Taps Bent Knee Toe Taps

Bent Knee Toe Taps

Start by lying flat on your back with your hands by your sides. Place your hands underneath your hips. Bend your knees at 90 degrees and lift your feet into the air.

While holding your left leg in place, tap your right toe on the ground. Be sure to keep both knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Bring your right leg to the starting position and repeat on the left side.

Be sure to keep your core engaged and your lower back touching the mat throughout the exercise. Repeat for 20 seconds.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try tapping your toe close to your hips. If this move feels too easy, trying keeping your legs straight and tapping your heel instead of your toe.

Side Plank Left - 20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms

Side Plank Left

Start in a full plank position with your feet close together. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders and your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.

Transition your weight to your left arm and leg. Open your hips and shoulders so your body is facing the side. Lift your right arm into the air.

Be sure to keep a straight line from your head to your heels.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try placing your left knee on the ground. If this move feels too easy, try lifting your right leg into the air as well.

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Superman - 20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms Superman

Supermans

Lay on your belly with your feet stretched out on the floor about hip-width apart. Stretch your arms straight out in front of you beside your ears.

Lift your arms, head, chest, and legs off the floor. You should look like Superman flying through the air.

Make sure to engage your shoulders, back, booty, and legs. Don’t worry about lifting too high if that’s uncomfortable. There should be no strain or sharp pain.

Hold for a moment and then carefully relax back to the floor. Repeat for 20 seconds.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, just try only lifting your chest and arms. If this move feels too easy, try holding the move for the full 20 seconds.

Relevant Posts:

Side Plank Right - 20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms

Side Plank Right

Start in a full plank position with your feet close together. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders and your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.

Transition your weight to your right arm and leg. Open your hips and shoulders so your body is facing the side. Lift your left arm into the air.

Be sure to keep a straight line from your head to your heels.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try placing your right knee on the ground. If this move feels too easy, try lifting your left leg into the air as well.

Bird Dog Bird Dog - 20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms

Bird Dog

Start on your hands and knees. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders and your knees should be directly below your hips.

Keep your core engaged throughout the entire move so your back stays flat like the top of a table.

Next, you are going to lift your left arm out in front of you while lifting your right leg out behind you at the same time. You will really need to engage your core to help stabilize your body and keep your back flat.

Lower your left arm and right leg and then switch sides. Continue to alternate extending your arms and legs for 20 seconds.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try lifting the arm and leg separately instead of at the same time. If this move feels too easy, try extending your arm and leg and then bringing your elbow and knee to the center of your body and touching before switching to the other side.

Knee Push-Ups 20 Min Tabata Workout Knee Push-Ups

Knee Push-Ups

Get into a plank position and place your knees on the floor. Your body should make a straight line from your head all the way down to your knees.

You can place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. For more of a challenge, place them directly below your shoulders.

While keeping your body in a straight line, bend your arms, and lower your body toward the ground until your arms create a 90-degree angle. Then push against the ground with your hands until your arms are fully straightened.

For this move be sure to focus on keeping your core tight and engaged. Repeat for 20 seconds.

Modifications: If this move is too challenging, try doing pushups against a wall or a raised surface like the arm of a couch. If this move is too easy, try doing the full pushup. Simply pick your knees off the floor and start from a full plank.

Printable Home Workouts

Cross Over Crunch - 20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms Cross Over Crunch

Cross-Over Crunch

Start by laying on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Bend your knees and lift your right foot and place it over your left knee.

Place your hands behind your head and keep your elbows opened wide. Next, lift your head and shoulders off the floor and reach your left elbow toward your right knee.

Then relax back to the mat. Repeat for 20 seconds. For this workout do 1 circuit on each side and then for the last circuit do 10 seconds on each side.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, place your foot back on the ground and perform the exercise. If this move feels too easy, hold both knees up in tabletop position and then lift up toward the opposite knee.

Shoulder Tap From Knees - 20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms Shoulder Tap From Knees

Shoulder Taps from Knees

Get into a plank position and place your knees on the floor. Your body should make a straight line from your head all the way down to your knees.

Place your hands directly below your shoulders. Shift your weight to your left hand and reach up with your right hand and tap your shoulder.

Place your right hand on the ground and repeat on the other side. Try to keep your hips and body stable and in a straight line as you switch from side to side.

Repeat for 20 seconds.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, just try lifting each hand off the ground for a moment instead of trying to tap your shoulder. If this move feels too easy, try lifting your knees off the ground and holding a full plank.

Swimmers - 20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms Swimmers

Swimmers

Lay on your belly with your feet stretched out on the floor about hip-width apart. Stretch your arms straight out in front of you beside your ears.

Lift your head off the ground slightly. Then lift your right arm and left leg off the ground. Gently lower them to the ground and then lift your left arm and right leg off the ground.

Continue to quickly alternate lifting 1 arm with the opposite leg. It should look like you are swimming through the water.

Repeat for 20 seconds.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, slow down your pace as you lift your arms and legs. If this move feels too easy, increase the pace that you are lifting your arms and legs.

Final Thoughts on 20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners: Abs & Arms

I hope you enjoy this 20 min Tabata workout for beginners. It’s great for tightening and toning those abs and arms. You can get a copy of this workout plus 13 more with my Fitness Planner Bundle here.

After you try this Tabata workout for beginners, let me know what you think. Comment below or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more beginner home workouts.

Pin this for later!!👇👇

20 Min Tabata Workout for Beginners Abs & Arms

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