6 Top Tabata Workout Moves from StriveLife

By Martin Reader & Ryan Caicco on July 24, 2014 , categorized in Strength + Conditioning

tabata workout

For some, working out is a solo pursuit. Miles logged before everyone else wakes up, powering away on the elliptical to a jamming mix on your iPod—totally in the zone. Others can’t imagine fitness without a team element.  Former Olympic athlete Martin Reader and professional athlete Ryan Caicco, both Vega Ambassadors, have combined their experiences in team sports to build a growing fitness community in Toronto called StriveLife. They took time to sit down with us and explain their fitness philosophy in this interview.

Even if you’re not in Toronto, you can get a taste of the StriveLife workout by trying this tabata workout created from Martin and Ryan’s favorite movements. The following exercises will encourage athletes to develop proper lifting form, develop posture, and integrate landing to lateral movement and core connectivity while enhancing core stability. Move with purpose with the intention of building yourself up rather than breaking yourself down.

This workout involves 36 sets of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds of rest making it 18 power packed minutes of continuous exercise. Perform 6 sets of a single exercise before moving onto the next exercise set of 6. It is incredibly important that you start working at the stroke of 20 seconds in order to maximize these brief yet intense work periods. Think of the rest time as a time to gain your composure and prepare to execute the next work period perfectly!

Thruster

Equipment: Dumbbell, kettlebell or body weight

Why it helps boost performance: This full body exercises helps you hone in on squatting/jumping mechanics while building upright torso positioning and power transfer from legs through the core into an overhead press

How to:

  • Center the weight under your chin and engage your core by tucking your navel to your spine.
  • Keep your elbows elevated then drive your hips back slightly, keeping the weight in the mid foot and heel while paying attention to your knees not bowing in.
  • Find the bottom range of the squat while keeping the chest and elbows up then pause in the bottom pocket without bouncing in the knees.

tabata workout

  • Drive up through your legs while transferring upwards force through the core and into the weight (cue drive elbows up simultaneously with the legs).
  • When you near triple extension apply upward force into the arms and extend overhead.

tabata workout

  • Lockout position will be directly above your head and shoulders, control it here for one second before lowering the weight with full control to below the chin.
  • Repeat for 20 seconds.
  • 10 second rest.

Lunge Double Vector

Equipment: Light resistance band, light free weight, or body weight

Why it helps boost performance: This lunge improves core control and builds overhead stability, shoulder range of motion and decelerate control from a throw or spike.

How to:

  • Start in a high lunge position with your torso leaning forward slightly supported by your glutes and hamstrings while your arms hang straight down at your side.

tabata workout

  • Tuck your navel to your spine and raise your straight arms in front of you while maintaining the angle of your torso.
  • As you begin to experience more tension continue raising your arms as far overhead as you can without arching your back.

tabata workout

  • Hold your arms straight overhead for a second before slowly bringing them down without bending at the elbows.
  • Pause with control at the bottom and without bouncing or using momentum repeat the movement.
  • Repeat for 20 seconds.
  • 10 second rest.

Side Step Jumps

Equipment: Body weight or resistance band

Why it helps boost performance: You will improve your lateral explosiveness, control and stability while building your ability to jump higher and for longer periods of time.

How to:

  • Begin in an athletic triple threat position with weight chest slightly forward, chin tucked in and up, hips slightly back and weight centered on your feet.

tabata workout

  • Drive through your outside leg/foot while simultaneously lifting and throwing your inside leg.
  • Plant the inside leg and begin storing your lateral movement and preparing to convert it vertically.
  • Plant your trailing leg firmly hip width from your lead leg and explode vertically while beginning to swing your outreached arms.

tabata workout

  • Continue to drive arms up and finish your hip/knee/ankle triple extension as fast and directly up as you can without drifting sideways.

tabata workout

  • Once you hit the apex of the jump, drop your arms and upon contact with the ground cushion the landing softly and evenly.
  • Immediately drive laterally towards where you started while keeping the hips square.
  • Repeat for 20 seconds.
  • 10 second rest.

Tire Burpee

Equipment: Large tire, park bench, picnic table, step up box

Why it helps to boost performance: Full body is utilized from start to finish. Focus is on core strength, posterior chain activation and being explosive through triple extension.

How to:

  • Start in a push-up position, hands on the tire and feet on the ground both shoulder width apart.

tabata workout

  • As you push up, think about pushing your belly button to spine and keeping your back straight, actively driving your knees towards your chin while pulling your legs underneath your body.
  • Plant your feet near your hands, thinking heels first as you land in the bottom of a squat position, with your shins vertical and your back straight.

tabata workout

  • Explode out of the crouched position driving through your hips, arms actively swinging through for momentum as you activate triple extension and land on the tire to finish.

tabata workout

tabata workout

  • Do not jump down, rather step back down to reset and repeat.
  • Repeat for 20 seconds.
  • 10 second rest.

Lunge Twist

Equipment: Medicine ball or kettle bell.

Why it helps to boost performance:  By combining two primal movement patterns in an explosive package you are required to have full body awareness, core stability and solid balance.

How to:

  • Start in a split squat/lunge position.
  • On the leading leg, weight on foot is evenly dispersed; shin is vertical making sure that your knee is not tracking beyond your toes yet pointed out rather than inward. Back leg is bent with knee hovering over ground, toes pointed straight.
  • Hold your medicine ball high of back leg, thinking straight back and belly button to spine as you prepare to plant, load, jump and exchange leg positions.
  • Your upper body will be actively rotating from hip to hip. Carefully landing in the same position that you started in with your leading leg firmly planted, shin vertical, chest up, back straight and core fully engaged while back leg is hovering with knee just above the ground.

tabata workout

  • Repeat for 20 seconds.
  • 10 second rest.

Star Push-up

Why it helps boost performance: This advanced push-up is a full body movement that adds the extra dimensions of explosiveness and coordination, strength and core stability.

How to:

  • Start in a standard push up position to get set.
  • Walk your hands into a closer position while keeping your feet slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • From here actively lower down into a push up keeping your shoulders are under your hands for stability, hands are screwed in with a slight external rotation in order to provide torque as you explode through the bottom half of the push up.

tabata workout

  • All the while back is straight, core is engaged, belly button sucking towards your spine, hips are square and glutes are activated.
  • When all of this is happening once you are at the top of the push you instantly exchange your hand and feet positions and land with hands slightly wider than shoulder wide and feet a bit narrower.

tabata workout

  • Repeat  for 20 seconds.
  • 10 second rest.

Follow Ryan, Martin and StriveLife workouts on their website, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Read more about StriveLife’s fitness philosophy here

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