Yes, you can - but not by doing 4 minutes of crunches.
Here is how ...
Tabata is the name of a Japanese researcher who found a "magical" training protocol to increase both anaerobic and aerobic pathways at the same time. It's one of those strange training programs that seems to fit across disciplines, whether you're an athlete looking to improve your performance or just looking to lose fat quickly.
The Tabata training method is so simple, yet so incredibly difficult and effective.
What is it? It's very simple.
How To Do It
Just pick one exercise and perform it in the following manner:
That's it! You're done in four minutes!
It's simple and effective. In a way, it's similar to the high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) protocol where the work-to-recovery ratio is 20 seconds vs. 10 seconds (2:1) by time with a total of 8 intervals. The work phase is a full-out intensity of any weight training exercise. The recovery phase is a very brief period of resting for just catching your breath.
You can also compare the Tabata method to strength and cardio circuit training where the time intervals to work and rest are specified with a total of 8 sets.
To reap the maximum benefits of anaerobic conditioning and fat loss, you should pick an exercise that work a number of (large) muscles.
The best exercise options for the Tabata method are front squat and thruster. Dumbbell swing or Kettlebell Swing are also very good conditioning exercise.
Front squat engages your whole body, your core and central nervous system. You typically do front squat with a barbell bell or on a Smith Machine.
Watch a "front squat" demo video. >>
Thruster is a combination of front squat and shoulder overhead press in a continous moving fashion. You can do thruster with barbells, dumbbells or kettlebells.
Dumbbell Thruster >>
Dumbbell Swing >>
Why Should You Try Tabata Workout?
The Tabata method may be the single best fat burning workout. It's only four minutes. But the long 240 seconds seem to keep you sweating and breathing hard for a long, long time afterwards. Your metabolism is fired up! The Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) or after-burn effect in this anaerobic interval training will keep you in a fat burning mode for 24 to 48 hours.
Fat Loss in 4 Minutes
So yes, you can lose fat by doing 4 minutes of exercise a day by following the Tabata training method.
Want more challenges? Do 2 to 4 Tabata exercises in a workout session. The question is whether you'll be able to recover fully to doing another Tabata session on a second day.
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