Isometric exercise is a kind of strength training that involves applying force without actually moving the bones the muscle is attached to. Instead of starting with your arm straight and then bending it while holding a dumbbell, you start with your elbow already bent to whatever angle you want, and apply as much force as you can while pulling on something you can't actually move, like the towel. Your arm doesn't move, but the muscle still has to work hard to do the pulling. It's actually a good way to make your muscle use maximum force without the risk that comes with using a weight that's too heavy to move. And it has the advantage of being something you can do almost anyplace, without any special equipment. But this kind of training does have some limitations. This article has more info about isometric training:
Hope this helps.
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