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.


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SES823 6/26/2021
Interesting Report
This is a great blog. I like the way you express the information to us. Thanks for such a post and please keep it up. Report
RACHNACH 5/30/2021
Thanks Report
TOMTATE 5/26/2021
Helpful Report
MALIAQURY78 5/25/2021
Thanks for giving information for exercise.
THINCPL2004 4/30/2021
Thanks for the article Report
WHITEANGEL4 2/3/2021
Thanks Report
JIACOLO 2/2/2021
These are some great exercises that can be done just about anywhere. Report
JAMER123 2/2/2021
Good thoughts. Thanks for sharing. Report
Clever use of a towel and such clear instruction! I would have never thought of using a towel for a bicep curl, plus the added benefit of building balance while on one leg.
SCHECK5 2/2/2021
Great ideals...thanks for sharing Report
JANIEWWJD 1/24/2021
Very different, but I like it. Report
CECTARR 10/17/2020
Thanks Report
WNCGIRL 10/9/2020
I can do most of these. Give it a try. Report
ARNETTELEE 8/22/2020
thanks Report
ROBBIEY 8/5/2020
good exercises to switch up Report
Nice to have some different exercises to do besides w/ equipment. Thanx! Report
Nice to have some different exercises to do besides w/ equipment. Thanx! Report
I keep seeing articles that I want to have quick and easy access to. There needs to be a save feature so that I can find them when I want to go back to it. Report
Thank You................ Report
Thanks for sharing! Report
These are great exercises. I can use some of them to help me stretch my muscles. Report
Good article Report
Thanks for these exercises - can do the ones on the floor because if I get down then they need to call the firemen to get me back up but I do like the others. Report
Great ideas! Thanks! Report
We had just been speaking to my son last week about exercises he can do with a towel to increase muscle strength. He is recently diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos and chronic fatigue syndrome. Report
Thanks Report
Interesting Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
This is a great set of exercises - I'm often on the road, but there's no place that I can't find a towel to work with. Thanx for posting this! Report
I'm going to have to do some variation for stretching and strengthening a vertical movement for my back (as in drying off my back). I need more ability to scratch my back, scrub my back, as well as working my shoulder muscles in the movements. Thank you for these, and for the inspiration to tackle one of my own difficulties since my stroke.
Woo Hoo Report
Thanks for the information Report
great article Report
Great idea Report
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It's great to see some new workouts. This looks good. Report
great Report
Thank you. Report
Great article! Report
Some good ones.... Report
Thanks Report
These are great. Our sports medicine Dr. taught us a few of these and they work. Report
fantastic ideas Report
Great article Report
Thank you for sharing Report
great examples Report
I need more strength exercise so will try these Report
Thanks Report
Thanks. This is one way to be able to exercise while on the road traveling. Report