The 8 Minute Tabata Back Workout (Mad Monday)

If you live an extremely busy life (don’t we all?) and want to shorten up your workouts but not lose training effectiveness… look no further than Tabata.

The method was initially founded by Izumi Tabata in Japan. It was found that a training protocol where you do intense all-out plyometric exercise for 20 sec followed by a 10 sec rest period was super effective for improving ones strength gains, muscular endurance and cardiovascular capacity. The KEY is to go as fast as possible when you are doing the exercise. It must be done as a plyometric.

In today’s Mad Monday workout we’ll be incorporating this principle to work our back muscles. Many bodyweight exercise fans think that you need to incorporate a bar in order to develop a strong back.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of calisthenics using equipment like the parallettes and groups such as the barstarrz and bar brothers. However, they are not an absolute necessity to getting a stronger back.

And in this Mad Monday workout, we’re going to prove it!

What Does The Workout Look Like?

Today’s workout has 2 exercises in it. You probably have not heard of either of them.

Exercise 1: Circle Plank
For this exercise you be in the plank position but be going in a circle. Watch the video below to get the exercise down.  Remember to go all out for this exercise.

Exercise 2: Rhomboid Push Up
The rhomboid muscle is in your back and its the muscle that connects from your scapula (shoulder blade) into your spine. The muscle retracts or pulls back your shoulder blade. This exercise is designed to strengthen this muscle.

Let’s Get Started Buddy!

So you think you are ready to rock and roll! Alright, let’s do this.

As I stated in the video, I sincerely appreciate the comments. We are a community and I am striving every day to build a feeling that each person belongs here. I want us to continue to learn each others’ names not just between me and you but between you and you. 🙂

Knee health score 3

The only way that this is going to happen is if you share your comments under each post.

Hope you enjoy my friends!


P.S. Today marks the first day of the 3 Month Full Splits Challenge! For all of you are joining in… congrats! I have already sent you an email but in case you have missed it here are the instructions again.

Step 1: If you haven’t picked up a copy of Focused Flexibility, you’ll want to do that first because we’ll be incorporating Jarlo’s techniques into the program.

Step 2: Download the stretch chart so you can keep track of each stretch session.

Step 3: Do your baseline measurements. Below you will find a detailed explanation and pictures on how to perform the measurements.

Seated Hamstring Measurement:

The picture will show you how to do the Seated Hamstring stretch. Make sure to keep your back super straight and don’t round your shoulders. Go as far as you can and record your number. You’ll put the tape measure so that the 12in mark is at your heels. My number is 6.

  • Side View

  • Above View

Full Pancake Measurement: 

For this one, make sure that your legs are as far a part as you can. Put the end of the tape measure at your crotch and lean forward with your back super straight and your shoulders not rounded. Record your number.

Side Splits Measurement: 

Most people know this one so I won’t go into much detail. To see a picture, click below.


These are my starting measurements:

Seated Hamstring – 6 inches

Full Pancake – 30 inches

Side Splits Left Side – 18 inches

Side Splits Right Side – 15 inches

I definitely have a LONG way to go but that’s the fun in a journey!

Show/Hide Comments (5 comments)
  1. Daniel

    Thanks again for these workouts. The site is great, especially all the videos of different exercises. I was in a rut until I found this site and now I’m having fun again with all the variety.
    How come you do not advocate pullups on your site? It is considered a bodyweight exercise right?

    Col. 3:23

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Daniel,

      I love pull ups but haven’t done a lot of pull up videos. Here’s one article you can check out with a video that I did where I maxed out at 25 pull-ups total.

      • Daniel

        Thanks for posting that link. I am going to try those “cheats” for sure.

  2. Greg

    Hi Todd,

    Thanks again for all the effort you put into creating these programs for me and the other members of this “community.” I did indicate that I would start and update you on my progress. Things went well for about a week and then work again. I do look at the routines and smile (and laugh sometimes) at how you struggle with some of the exercises, but when I try them there’s no smiling. I do understand what you go through when you start to tire, but I get there a bit sooner. Consistency is my issue, but I do get in at least one workout per week. One is better than none, but it still is too low to see any appreciable gains or changes. I will soldier on! Thanks again for the encouraging videos.


    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Greg,

      Thank you so much for the comment! I certainly appreciate.

      And yes, one workout per week is WAY better than none. You are creating the habit of working out even though it is just one day a week. Habit is the most important part. Try to pick another day to do some minor walking. That will help instill the habit even deeper.

      Soldier on my friend! Keep going! 🙂


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *