Workout Wednesday: Equestrians of the World, Meet Dr. Tabata February 25 2015

How equestrians should do a burpee with perfect form

You’ve probably heard of burpees. You may or may not have heard of the Tabata protocol. And if not, I’m both proud and sorry to introduce you to it, because you will definitely have a love/hate relationship with this form of high intensity exercise, and its creator, Dr. Tabata.

Why bother?

You’re busy. You want to get a great cardio and muscular workout. And you want to get a greater benefit from four (yes four) minutes of intense exercise than you would during an hour-long moderate workout, right?

Then yeah, you’ll love Tabata. Or, at least, you’ll love what it does for you.

Tabata is a highly efficient form of high intensity interval training, which involves 20 seconds of intense activity, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times. That’s it. Four total minutes, and at the end, you’ll have done more for your aerobic and anaerobic fitness than you would in a sixty minute bike ride.

For equestrians, an increase in your anaerobic capacity will help when it matters most - like if you are riding are particularly strong horse and you're feeling that 60 minute "warm up" (calm down) when you hit the second direction in the ring

How do I do it?

We’ve all done burpees before, whether in gym class, bootcamp classes, or flashbacks/nightmares. But the reason they feel so exhausting is the same reason as they’re great to do, they’re legitimately a full body body workout, combining a pushup, with a squat, with a jumping jack.

To do a burpee well, set up in a standing position. From there:

  1. Bend down and place your hands in front of you, slightly wider than your feet.
  2. Jump back into a plank position. As you jump back, make sure you keep your core contracted.
  3. From there, drop into a full pushup so your chest touches the floor.
  4. Pop back up to your feet, and jump into the air, like in a jumping jack.

To Tabat-ify this workout, just do 20 seconds of burpees followed by 10 seconds of rest. You can either sync it with a stopwatch, or use a free High Intensity Interval Training app to get the timing right.

When should I do it?

If you’re doing any strength training, be sure to do this workout afterwards. You can also do a Tabata workout as a quick, stand alone workout. If you do, however, make sure that you start with a quick dynamic warm up before getting started.