Towel Exercises to Tone Your Body

Towel Exercises to Tone Your Body

You don’t need a gym membership — or expensive, bulky home equipment — to get in a decent workout. There are plenty of ideas for home workouts that use simple everyday items you probably already have at home. You can even get a workout in using only a single, small towel! 

Let’s take a closer look at how towels are used for exercising and what kinds of towels to use. We’ll also list a number of specific exercises you can do using just a towel. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, you can still get in your daily workout! Try these ideas yourself and see just how effective towel exercises can be.

How Can Towels Be Used in Fitness Routines?

Maybe you’re scratching your head wondering just how a towel can be used like a piece of fitness equipment. You may be surprised to find out just how versatile the simple towel can be for your workouts. Use linens to replace workout equipment like:

  • Resistance bands: One of the most common ways towels are used in exercises is as a resistance band. You may have seen special resistance bands for sale or at the gym that look like giant rubber bands. A small towel twisted into a rope shape can replace resistance bands in many different exercises. 
  • Fabric yoga straps: Some yoga workouts suggest the use of a fabric yoga strap for stability and to aid with stretches, and a towel can easily sub in for many of these exercises, as well. 
  • Sliders: A folded towel under your hands or feet during a sliding-type exercise helps you glide across a smooth floor easily while working your core muscles and balance. It’s important to note that a towel as a slider will not work on carpeting, but it works great on hardwood floors, tile or vinyl and laminate flooring. 
  • Yoga support supplies: For yoga workouts, towels can also be rolled up and used for extra support for more difficult positions. Replace bolsters, wedges and other cushions with a versatile towel.

It’s easy to see that towels are actually multi-purpose fitness aids and have a variety of uses. Additionally, if you work up a sweat, you’ve already got a towel on hand to wipe off. 

What Kinds of Towels to Use for Exercises

Most towel exercises utilize a hand towel. This size is perfect to roll into a rope and use as a yoga strap or resistance band or to fold and use in place of an exercise slider. Sometimes, a larger bath towel may also work, but a hand towel is ideal. You could also use a kitchen tea towel, but hand towels will be easy to find when you’re at home or traveling. As a bonus, hand towels offer far more absorbency to wipe up sweat after a workout. 

13 Exercises You Can Do With a Towel

Ready to jump right in and get to the exercises? Grab a hand towel or two and check out these workouts. Combine several of these options for a full-body workout or customize a workout that targets the areas you want to work on. Try any of these towel workout ideas:

1. Squat Hold With Overhead Pass

To do the squat hold with an overhead pass, roll up your hand towel into a rope shape. Stretch it taut between your hands and hold it away from your body. The towel should reach so your hands are about shoulder-width apart. 

With your towel ready, move into a squat position. Raise your hands and the towel overhead so your bicep muscles align with your ears and hold this position for a second. Then, lower your arms to shoulder level. Hold the squat position while you continue the arm movements for 40 seconds. Rest and repeat for several reps. Squats are great for targeting the core muscles, the glutes and leg muscles. 

Mountain Climbers

2. Mountain Climbers

For this classic exercise, you’ll need two hand towels, each folded into a small square. Position the folded towels under each foot and move into a plank position. Engage your core and keep the spine tight as you pull your right foot in, aiming your knee toward your chest. Your foot should slide easily across the floor on the towel. 

Push your right foot back to its starting position, then pull the left foot in the same way you did the right. Push the left foot back to start and repeat, alternating feet for about a minute. The movement should work several major muscle groups, including your core, quads and triceps. 

3. Progressive Angular Twists

This exercise is great for the arms and easy to do. Twist or roll your towel into a rope and hold it between your hands with arms extended shoulder-width apart. Imagine the towel as a straight line in front of you that will slowly rotate from a horizontal position to a vertical one. Rotate your arms just a few degrees at a time, so it takes about a full minute to make a complete rotation. Repeat the cycle two times. 

4. Rear Lunge

The rear lunge is another exercise that uses the towel as an exercise slider. Fold your towel into a square and place it under your right foot. Push this foot backward so you’re on the ball of your foot. Bend down into a lunge position, sliding that right foot back farther. Try to keep the right leg straight without locking your knee while the left leg bends into a 90-degree position. 

Hold the lunge for a second, then straighten your left leg and slide the right leg back to starting position. Repeat for several reps and switch legs. This exercise works the quads, glutes and hamstrings, and the towel slider makes it easier and more fun. 

5. Plank Slides

For this variation on a plank exercise, start by folding your towel just once horizontally. There should be room for both feet on the towel to use as a slider. Get into a classic plank position with both feet placed on the folded towel. 

Once you’re in position, slide both feet in, pulling both knees toward your chest. You can stop when you feel your core muscles fully engaged, then push the feet back outward to the starting plank position. Repeat this movement 15 times for a set, and do three sets. Plank slides work a variety of major muscle groups, like the abs, legs and back. 

6. V-Sit With Row

You’ll again use a rolled-up or twisted hand towel like a rope for this one. Sit on the floor with your knees bent in what’s known as the “V” position. Keep your feet flat against the floor, and hold the rolled towel between your hands, extended straight out in front of you. 

Pull your hands and the towel back toward your core, using the muscles of your mid-back and retracting the shoulder blades inward. Push the towel back out to the extended position of the starting point, then repeat the movement for one minute. You can do several sets of this one-minute exercise that works the back and ab muscles. 

7. Twisted Knee Tucks

Twisted knee tucks are another variation of a plank exercise that works the leg muscles, abs and obliques. Use either a horizontally folded hand towel under both feet or two towels folded twice — one under each foot. 

Start in the plank position with the towels under your feet. Begin to pull your knees in toward your chest, but don’t pull them straight in this time. Engage those core muscles and pull the knees off to the side, outside of your right elbow. Extend the legs back to the starting plank position, then pull the knees forward again, this time swinging outside of your left elbow. Extend your legs back to the plank again. Repeat this exercise until you’ve completed 10 reps on each side. 

Bicep Curl

8. Bicep Curl

For this exercise, roll or twist your towel into a rope or strap shape and wrap it around your leg, just behind the knee. A larger bath towel may be a better size than a hand towel, but the smaller linen should work, too. 

Holding both ends of the towel, pull upwards until your leg is at a 90-degree angle. This position should be the starting point for your bicep curl. Now, pull the knee up as close to your chest as you can, using your arm muscles to curl your arms inward as you go. The arm movement is just like a bicep curl with weights, but in this case, you’re using your leg for resistance. It’s a great upper body workout with a towel. 

9. Roll-Ups

Roll-ups are a great towel workout for abs. For this exercise, you’ll roll your towel and hold it tight between your hands. Lay down on the floor with your legs straight and your arms stretched back behind your head. Flatten your back against the floor and use those ab muscles to slowly roll your body up to a sitting position. 

Keep those arms straight and the towel stretched between your hands. Now, reach forward and touch the towel to your toes if you can. Keep the whole movement slow and controlled, and roll back down to the starting position. Repeat several reps of the roll-up movement. 

10. Plank Hand Walks

For this exercise, fold your towel and place both feet on the linen or use two smaller towels — one under each foot. Move into a plank position and keep your arms and back as straight as possible. Walk your hands forward about 6 inches at a time, alternating hands and letting your feet slide behind you on the towel. Go forward about 10 to 20 “steps,” or whatever you have room for. Then, reverse the movements and push yourself back to the starting point. 

11. Back Pull

Stand up with your back straight and hold a rolled-up towel between your hands out in front of you at chest height. Hold your hands about shoulder-width apart and your elbows bent at 90 degrees.

Now, lift your hands up over your head and pull back down, but bend your arms so the towel goes behind your head and upper back. Straighten and raise your arms up again, and return to the front position. You can repeat this exercise for several reps for a great arm and upper back exercise. Try to keep the towel taut the entire time for the best workout. 

Back Extensions

12. Back Extensions

For this exercise, start by lying on your stomach on the floor. Fold two small towels, place one under each hand and extend your hands out in front of you. Activate those core muscles and feel your back lengthen as you stretch your arms out.

Now, slide both hands back toward your body, keeping your arms as straight as possible and lifting your shoulders and chest off the floor. Lift up as high as you can, but don’t worry about going too high. Just stretch as much as you can and slide your arms back down to the starting position. Do at least 10 to 15 reps of this exercise. 

13. Sliding Arm Circles

Sliding arm circles are a great follow-up exercise to back extensions because you can stay in a similar position, on your stomach on the floor. Keep your two folded towels under your hands and extend your arms out in front of you. 

Press into the floor with your hands so your shoulders raise up slightly, and slide your arms to your side and back, down toward your hips. Imagine your hands making a large circle on the floor. Bring them back to the front starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps to stretch those arms and core muscles. 

Shop the Best Towels for Exercising From Towel Super Center

Shop the Best Towels for Exercising From Towel Super Center

Whether you’re looking for a towel exercise for belly fat or a full-body workout you can do with just a towel, there are plenty of options to try. It’s definitely possible to get in a great workout from home without any expensive or bulky fitness equipment. 

If your towel supply could use a refresh, Towel Super Center has you covered. Shop from our wide selection of high-quality gym towels at unbeatable prices online today. We’ve got towels in various sizes, shapes and colors so you can find the perfect linens for your home or business, and maybe even use them to get fit! 

Similar Posts