Punch & Kick Tabata Workout

Sunday, September 02 2018

This video features a total body Tabata workout in the shallow end with kickboxing flavor and lots of upper body toning.  Suitable for older populations, more than half of this workout is virtually impact free.  Bounded, cardio moves are alternated with grounded moves that target upper body and core stabilization.

Unleash your inner kickboxer and enjoy fun and challenging water exercise that features lots of kicks and punches.  This 50-minute pool workout features 8 Tabata rounds, a warm-up and a stretch.   Webbed gloves are recommended for added resistance.

What is Tabata?  Tabata is a specific type of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that features very short bursts of high intensity work followed by even shorter recovery times. Tabata training was invented by Izumi Tabata in the 1990's and was mainly used by athletes, but it has gained widespread popularity by the general population.  Tabata combines the best of both worlds – similar to combining cardio and strength. 

 The timing of the Tabata intervals is as follows.  Each round contains 8 exercises or sets.  Each set features a work cycle with 20 seconds of the exercise performed at high intensity and a recovery cycle with 10 seconds of rest.  Each round is 4 minutes and there is a longer 30-second recovery between each of the 8 rounds. 

 Among the key benefits of HIIT training is that it is purported to burn more calories from fat, more overall calories and it can elevate the metabolic rate more effectively after an exercise session.  Keep in mind, Tabata training was NOT developed for regular exercise and therefore modifications have been made to make this popular training more doable for regular populations.   In this workout, the exercises have been designed for longer duration aerobic training.  The Aqua Total Body Tabata workout is virtually 50% impact free because half of the moves are performed with feet grounded to the pool floor.  These moves target the upper body and keep the heart pumping due to the large rhythmic movement of the arms.  This workout can be performed with moderate intensity – OR – it can be performed with high intensity.   I teach this workout at the YMCA in Sarasota, FL where the participants are mostly older and they immensely enjoy this workout and perform the exercises at their own abilities.  They love kickboxing and they love Tabata even more!

As stated above, more than half of this workout is performed with feet anchored to the pool floor.  During this time, upper body is targeted while stabilizing through the core to keep feet anchored down.  This will be challenging if you get too deep.  During the grounded moves, adjust into slightly shallower water for optimal grounding to work the upper body and activate the core.   And then during bounded (impacting) moves adjust back a little deeper to lessen impact. 

When I perform the workout myself I wear webbed gloves but that is totally optional.  Keep in mind that this workout is intended to be an upper body workout and so the gloves provide an opportunity to add more resistance to the movements of the arms.  In fact, they add a LOT more resistance, which will be fully evidenced by my facial expressions in the video.   There really is no recommendation for type of gloves.  Some people prefer mitts and other people prefer neoprene gloves.  Both Amazon and SwimOutlet.com offer a wide variety of webbed gloves at a very affordable price ($9.00 to $20.00 per pair).

Enjoy this workout!  It has been one of the top selling audio workouts since it was released in February 2016.   Please post a comment here on the blog or on the video and let us know what you think?  And be sure to check out the companion deep-water Tabata workout – Aqua Tabata Deep.

Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.