This Full-Body Strength Workout Uses Only a Towel

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Most of us are familiar with the benefits of a regular strength program and why it's so important to add this type of training to your exercise routine. Yet despite recommendations from fitness trainers and urgings from doctors, many people are resistant to give it a try. For some, it's the idea of fumbling through how to use complicated weight machines at the gym that gives them pause. Others find that the expense of purchasing costly dumbbells for a home workout has been an obstacle. Many people find themselves overwhelmed simply by the idea of understanding what kind of equipment you need to effectively target various muscles.  

No matter what your reason may be, the bottom line is that strength training doesn't have to be complicated or scary. In fact, a very simple routine using tools you already have in your home may be just what you need to get started. One of those tools is the towel. Versatile in many ways, a single bath towel can help you challenge muscles in your body from head to toe without ever needing to step foot in a gym. If you're already a regular exerciser, adding strength training to your plan could be the change in routine you've been needing. So head to your bathroom closet, grab a bath or beach towel and let's get started!

For this full-body workout, each exercise should be performed for one to three sets, with eight to 12 repetitions per set. If the exercise alternates sides, be sure to do the full set of reps on each side.

Rear Lunge

Muscles worked: hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes

Stand tall and place the towel under the right foot. Push the right foot back slightly so that you're on the ball of your foot. As your left knee bends into the lunge position (about 90 degrees), slide the right leg back, keeping the leg straight without locking the knee. As the left knee returns to a straightened position, the right leg slides back in to complete one rep.

  
 

Back Pull

Muscles worked: upper back, shoulders, biceps

Stand tall and grip the ends of the towel at chest level in front of the body. Hands should be shoulder-width apart with elbows bent at 90-degree angles. Raise your arms above your head and pull down, bending your elbows and bringing the towel down behind your upper back. Straighten your arms back above the head to complete one rep. Make sure you don't lean forward or tuck your chin, and keep the back straight throughout the movement.

  
 

Hamstring Curl

Muscles worked: hamstrings

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place the folded towel under both feet and bring your hips up high into a bridge position. Slide the feet out until the legs are almost straight and knees aren't locked, then slide back in to the starting position to complete one rep. Your hips and glutes should remain lifted through the entire exercise.

  
 

Alternating Knee Tucks

Muscles worked: abs, quadriceps, lower back

Start in a plank position with the towel under both feet. Pull the feet in toward the chest at an angle to the outside of your right elbow. Return to the starting position to complete one rep. Then pull the feet in toward the outside of the left elbow, alternating sides. Maintain good form during the plank with hips in line with the shoulders and the spine in a neutral position.  

   

Chest Press

Muscles worked: chest, shoulders, triceps

Stand tall and grip the ends of the towel at chest level in front of the body. Hands should be shoulder-width apart with elbows bent at 90 degrees. Slowly push the towel away from the body with one arm while pulling in with the other arm at the same time. Return to the starting position to complete one rep.

  

Biceps Curl

Muscles worked: biceps

Stand tall and grip the ends of the towel in each hand, looping the towel behind one leg just above the knee. Keep your elbows in close to the body and pull the leg up until the knee is at 90 degrees. This is your starting position. Pull the knee up as close to the body as possible while curling the lower arm. Lower down until the knee is back at 90 degrees again to complete one rep. This is the same motion as a traditional bicep curl, but uses the leg as resistance.

  

 
Figure Eights

Muscles worked: obliques, lower back, shoulders

Sit tall with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Grip the ends of the towel overhead and brace your abs tight as you lean back slightly. As you're leaning back, drop the towel down to the right side of the body, tracing a figure eight from the back of the body to the front. Sit tall again as you bring the towel overhead to complete one rep. This should feel like a rowing motion, moving from one side to the other.

  
 
Have you ever used a towel for strength exercises? Do you have any favorite exercises to share?

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Comments

OLDSKOOL556 4/18/2019
Thank you for sharing Report
DWROBERGE 4/18/2019
great examples Report
KITTYHAWK1949 4/17/2019
I need more strength exercise so will try these Report
LOSER05 4/17/2019
Thanks Report
JAMER123 4/16/2019
Thanks. This is one way to be able to exercise while on the road traveling. Report
CHRISINMIAMI 4/16/2019
Hey! I read this yesterday! It's still a great article. Report
KAYAHSLOANE1 4/16/2019
This was very good, one of the more helpful strength training routines for me, at least~ Report
KWOOD1955 4/16/2019
Excellent for traveling. Thank you for posting! Report
_CYNDY55_ 4/15/2019
Thanks Report
CECTARR 4/15/2019
Thanks
Report
MSROZZIE 4/15/2019
Great examples of the types of exercises to do with a towel. Thanks! Report
CHRISINMIAMI 4/15/2019
Amazing photos! Thank you! Report
HOTPINKCAMARO49 4/15/2019
Great ideas! Report
LIS193 4/15/2019
Great workout Report
BABY_GIRL69 4/15/2019
Thanks. Report
SPINECCO 4/15/2019
Great exercises. Report
PATRICIA-CR 4/15/2019
A different way to vary things up. Report
ERIN_POSCH 4/15/2019
thank you Report
MARITIMER3 4/15/2019
Some of these are similar to ones my physiotherapist recommends. Report
NEPTUNE1939 4/15/2019
ty Report
AZMOMXTWO 4/15/2019
thank you Report
DMEYER4 4/15/2019
thanks Report
FERRETLOVER1 4/15/2019
Great! Report
PETRA320 4/15/2019
Great ideas! Thanks!! Report
NASFKAB 4/15/2019
Great cant do planks yet but some of the others will be a great help thank you Report
PICKIE98 4/15/2019
I can use some of them. Report
4CONNIESHEALTH 4/14/2019
Great ideas. I will use this to change things up here. Report
FRAN0426 4/13/2019
Thanks for some ways to change up the way some exercises can be done. Report
ZRIE014 4/12/2019
very helpful Report
DWROBERGE 4/11/2019
Great ideas Report
MOONDRAGON30 4/11/2019
Thanks for the article. Report
ARNETTELEE 4/11/2019
thanks Report
BGRAEF 4/11/2019
Great exercises, especially since we live no where near a gym. Report
MARKSMOM3 4/11/2019
Great ideas! Report
EVIE4NOW 4/11/2019
terrific Report
BONDMANUS2002 4/11/2019
Absolutely great Report
GABY1948 4/11/2019
Thanks Report
GABY1948 4/11/2019
Thanks Report
CRUISINLOSIN 4/11/2019
Thanks for sharing! Report
KHALIA2 4/11/2019
Great info! Thanks! Report
SXB990 4/11/2019
Great article Report
JANIEWWJD 4/11/2019
Awesome workout!!!! Report
CHERIRIDDELL 4/11/2019
Awesome Thanks Report
DWROBERGE 4/11/2019
amazing article Report
DRAGONFLY631 4/2/2019
Thanks Report
KHALIA2 3/28/2019
Thanks! Report
LEANJEAN6 1/27/2019
amazing what a towel can do! Report
LESLIELENORE 12/19/2018
I do several of these already, good reminder to add some of the others! Report
DJ4HEALTH 10/31/2018
Thanks Report
Thanks for the suggestions. I never thought about doing them like you suggested. Report