Japanese Method to Get Rock Hard Abs in 4 Minutes

The Tabata Protocol, based on performing series of intense aerobic and anaerobic exercises, is one of the most effective methods. However, due to the high intensity of the exercises, expert counseling is recommended.
Japanese Method to Get Rock Hard Abs in 4 Minutes
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Everyone’s dream is to get a flat stomach and rock hard abs.

However, you need to be aware that the only way to achieve this is by eating a balanced diet and constant physical exercise.

Don’t be fooled by those seemingly miraculous home tricks; you have to work hard to reach this goal.

Here’s a training protocol that originated in Japan and that’s classified as a high-intensity interval training method. This means that, although you’ll get the positive impact of physical exercise on your body in just a few minutes, you must be very careful while doing it.

Indeed, high-intensity training methods are discouraged for people who suffer from heart or other problems. However, in general, specialists usually recommend sports to their patients with heart disease, as this study by the University of North Florida states.

You have to do them under the supervision of an expert who will tell you if it’s advisable or not. In addition, since these are intense exercises, if you aren’t familiar with the correct body positions, you may suffer from a muscle contracture or overload.

In this article, we’ll talk about the so-called Tabata Protocol, considered one of the most effective training methods in the world.

We’re sure you’ll find it interesting.

The Tabata Protocol: Brief, yet intense physical training

The Tabata protocol.

Izumi Tabata is a Japanese scientist and notable figure in sports medicine.

His research in the 1990s found that one of the best ways to lose weight and gain muscle strength was by combining aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

  • He designed a very specific exercise routine which he calls the Tabata Protocol. The goal of the protocol is to include exercises that, together, work out all the parts of the body. Therefore, it’s a very complete method that includes both aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
  • Although it was used in gyms and even athletes have tried it, it was almost entirely forgotten within a few years up until very recently. Universal Pictures asked him to produce a series of DVD films to teach this protocol to the public.

To sum it up, the Tabata protocol is based on the following core ideas:

  • It seeks, above all, to ensure that the heart pumps at an elevated rate while combining aerobic and anaerobic exercises. It’s an interval method, meaning that it includes a series of exercises performed at maximum intensity for twenty seconds, followed by a very short 10-second pause.
  • Since they’re performed at maximum intensity and in intervals, these exercises improve cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, and metabolism in general. It has a positive impact from practically the first time you try it out.
  • Since it’s about “giving everything you have” in a few seconds, you must “be careful”. A fitness expert can help you with this protocol, adapting it to your physical state and correcting your posture to avoid overloading.

In any case, regarding the abdominal table for the Tabata Protocol, you could try it out at home:

  • Always with the utmost care
  • Previously studying the correct postures of each exercise to avoid problems
  • Stretching both before and after exercise
  • Always respecting your limits

How to get rock hard abs with this Japanese method

You have to do the exercises respecting the intervals and each day. In addition, we advise against not doing just one table (four minutes), but at least three instead.

However, keep in mind that you need to be consistent and never exceed your physical limitations. If you get too tired or dizzy due to the intensity, take a break.

We’ll show you how to get rock hard abs below.

1. Start with a warm-up

You should never begin a high-intensity exercise routine without first warming up. Jump up and down for a few seconds or do some simple stretches with your legs or waist.

This way, you’ll avoid injuries like straining your back or overworking your legs, as well as other types of injuries, just like this study conducted by the University of Navarra states.

2. Tighten your abdomen

As you’ll soon find out, these exercises require a lot of effort.

  • After warming up, lie on the floor on your back and lift your legs about eleven inches off the ground.
  • Put your hands behind your head and raise your torso.
  • Try to hold this position for 20 seconds.
A woman working out her abs.

3. Small jumps

We already mentioned that the Tabata Protocol combines aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Now it’s time for an aerobic exercise. Now, it isn’t an easy exercise, be extra careful with the position of your knees, and remember to always fall with the tips of your feet. Also, if you have back problems, we don’t recommend doing it.

  • Stand with your knees together.
  • Now, squat down and jump.
  • Land with your feet apart and your legs bent.
  • From this position, jump back into the starting position with your knees together.
  • Repeat for 20 seconds.
Woman doing squats.

4. Mountain climbers

This exercise is about doing crunches while taking your legs to your chest while you’re lying down:

  • While face down and supporting your body with your arms, bend your knee up to your chest and hold this position for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
A woman doing mountain climbers.

5. Abdominal resistance

This last exercise is easy to do.

  • Lie down on your back and stretch out your arms.
  • Now, contract your body and bring your knees to your chest.
  • Repeat as fast as you can for 20 seconds.
  • If you have back problems or lumbago, we advise against doing this exercise.
  • Remember to keep your abs tight during the exercise to protect your back.
A woman doing crunches.

As you may have seen, these exercises are easy to do. However, they require speed and stamina, according to this study conducted by the University of La Frontera in Chile.

Ideally, you should do a series of these exercises over the course of four minutes at a good pace without stopping.

If you decide to do four exercises, the table should be as follows:

  • Tighten your abdomen for 20 seconds + 10 seconds of rest
  • Small jumps for 20 seconds + 10 seconds of rest
  • Mountain climbers for 20 seconds + 10 seconds of rest
  • Abdominal resistance for 20 seconds + 10 seconds of rest

Total: 2 minutes.

Therefore, to reach four minutes, you should do the table twice.

In any case, if you have back or heart cardiovascular problems or you’re simply not used to physical exercise, it’s better for a fitness specialist to advise you beforehand.
Do you dare to give your best to get rock hard abs?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Tabata, I., Nishimura, K., Kouzaki, M., Hirai, Y., Ogita, F., Miyachi, M., & Yamamoto, K. (1996). Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO(2max). Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005768-199610000-00018
  • Viana, R. B., de Lira, C. A. B., Naves, J. P. A., Coswig, V. S., Del Vecchio, F. B., & Gentil, P. (2018). Tabata protocol: A review of its application, variations and outcomes. Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging. https://doi.org/10.1111/cpf.12513

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.