20-minute workout: tabata

You don't need an hour to get results. Instructor Amanda Russell shares her favorite quickie.

While you can carve a tantalizingly toned body in less than a half hour, we’re here to tell you what you likely already know: To reap the rewards — increased calorie burn, strength, power, blissful endorphin high — truncated workouts must be insanely intense. But it may be worth the effort, since, according to a recent review of research published in the Journal of Physiology, shorter, more vigorous sessions are not only more effective than endurance training in terms of strength building and calorie burning, but they also may be the most efficient way to train elite athletes. Sold. So, we asked a team of Equinox trainers and group fitness instructors what they would do if they were given just 20 minutes to have at it. Here is the first in the series. Check back each Wednesday for a new routine:

The Pro: Amanda Russell - MBA, CPT, Schwinn Cycling, Equinox cycling instructor
The Clubs: NYC, LA

The Workout: This high intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio and strength workout is based on Tabata protocol, created by Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. The gist: Four minutes of near max exertion effort which consists of 8 rounds of 20 seconds maximal effort + 10 seconds rest. As legend (and science) has it, those four minutes are worth the equivalent of an hour of steady-state cardio. Do the routine below once, resting for one minute between each round:

Round 1: Jumping Lunges (8 sets of 20 second intense effort + 10 seconds rest)

Round 2: Knee Push-Ups (8 sets of 20 second intense effort + 10 seconds rest)

Round 3: Mountain Climbers (8 sets of 20 second intense effort + 10 seconds rest)

Round 4: Scissor Crunches (8 sets of 20 second intense effort + 10 seconds rest)

Want more?Try the ultimate beach workout.