10 Terrific Towel Exercises

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When we think of strength training activities, many of us think of free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, even medicines balls, but how many of us think of using a simple household item like a bath towel or dish towel to help us build muscular strength and endurance.

Below are 10 exercises one can do in the comforts of his/her home all with a simple towel. Some of the exercises listed are isometric exercises which is defined by the American College of Sports Medicine as an exercise that produces force without changing the length of the muscle.

I do want to caution those members with a history of heart disease, high blood pressure or who may be pregnant, because isometric exercises restrict blood flow this can lead to a rapid rise in blood pressure, therefore, it is best to get medical clearance from your health care provider before performing any of these exercises.

So if you don't have access to a gym or the money to purchase gym equipment, there are plenty of ways to build strength without having to forgo your health and fitness.


Single Leg Squat with Towel


Heel Slide


Sliding Plank to Pike with Towel


Straight Arm Criss-Cross with Towel

Chest, Arms, Core

Uneven Push-ups

Core and Shoulders

Mountain Climbers with Towel


Isometric Shoulder Hold with Towel


Isometric Bicep Hold with Towel


Arm Extension with a Towel


Ankle Strengthener

Have you ever performed any of these exercises using a towel? Would these be exercises you would try?

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ANHELIC 10/5/2017
Thanks for the suggestions. I never thought about doing them like you suggested. Report
-SHOREIDO- 10/3/2017
Thanks for the workout tip!! I'll introduce a towel to my other "Home" workout inventory! Report
KATHYJO56 8/16/2017
These are great exercises. My sports medicine Dr. recommends very similar exercises Report
SNUGGLEBUG2 7/16/2017
I want to try these. Thanks for the article.
SNUGGLEBUG2 7/16/2017
I want to try these. Thanks for the article.
REDROBIN47 7/13/2017
These are good suggestions. I am going on vacation soon and can do this where we will be staying. Using a towel is an awesome idea. Report
Thanks for this! I've copied and pasted to my email--so I can actually do these next time I'm doing a home workout. I checked out several of the links and they look like really good variations to add to my regular bodyshaping routine. I love finding new ways to work a muscle group! It's neat for me that you've used "outside" sources, too. Report
It would have been handier if all of the exercises were in one article, but I printed off the Good Housekeeping article "At-Home Workout: 30 Minutes to Slim" that includes a few with a towel and others with a small ball. Thanks. Report
I would have liked this article better if the listed exercises were all available on Spark. It wasn't user friendly having to go to other sites to see the exercises. Report
Looks like for most of these you need a non-carpeted surface. That counts me out! Darn! I was looking forward to doing these too! Report
Wow, I never knew there were so much things that you can do with a towel. I will be sure to try all of these. Thanks!!! Report
Since I sit at a desk all day, I do believe I'll try a few of these... Report
Could always use more ankle strengtheners! THANKS! Report
I certainly am going to try these, I could use some simple exercises to build up my shoulder and arm muscles. Thanks for sharing. Report
Sounds like exercises that Jack LaLanne would have taught, no fancy equipment or drive to a gym. LOL Report
For a change,I like doing the Isometric Shoulder and Bicep Hold. Thank you sharing other ways to use a towel. Good article. Report
I've heard of isometrics, but I've never really considered trying any. This is a great suggestion, especially since my finances at the moment won't allow for purchasing any exercise equipment! Report
Thanks for sharing what a great thing for a vaca! When you have little or no equipment! Report
Thanks for the compilation of towel exercises Report
Wow.......lots you can do with a towel Report
These are good exercises.I am going to try them. Report
Yes, we do some of these in boot camp. Very challenging and definitely works the targeted area. Thanks for the list - I plan to try those that I haven't done. Report
Creative use of a common object and Certainly shows a low tech, lost cost way to exercise. Report
Sounds fun! Thank you for sharing. Report
No, but willing to give it a try. Sound like a good cross training when I can't get to the gym. Always nice to have more tools in the bag anyway.

Thanks Report
Sound like good exercises. I will try to incorporate them into my walking/exercise routine tomorrow. Report
I would like to see a SparkPeople workout - ON CARPET - using towels, rather than chasing off to all these other websites with their wanna-be workout pages that are not anywhere as nice and clear as the ones on SparkPeople. The sliding ones on the ground look like fun but my house is 95% carpeted and there isn't enough room on the kitchen to do the exercises (though it might be an interesting way to mop the floor at the same time.).

I've seen similar towel exercises on the 3Angels Broadcasting online network (Seventh Day Adventist) but I'm not always up at 6 am to catch it online and I've not been able to figure out how to get a particular episode on demand. But they had quite a few towel exercises for the arms, waist and legs that didn't involve sliding on a smooth floor surface. Report
Thanks for sharing some different ways to get the exercise we all need. Report
I have done some of these exercises. Report
Yes I have done some of these exercises using a towel & I will try the ones I havn't too. Thank you for sharing this blog. Report
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