It can be tough to remain motivated or find creative ways to exercise when you’re stuck at home most of time, but you can get a full workout without leaving home using only a towel. These simple tips are great for both beginners and those looking to switch up their at-home workout routine, with an added bonus – there’s no equipment needed. To get you moving, the health experts at Envolve, an integrated health care solutions company, have put together ways to use a towel and limited space to easily get in a total body, strength-building workout.
1. Lateral Pulldowns. Twist your towel and grab both ends while raising it above your head. Keep your arms about shoulder-width apart, back straight and look straight ahead while slowly lowering your arms behind your head until you reach your neck. Try to touch your shoulder blades together, pausing for a second to maximize results. This exercise activates several muscles in your upper body including arms, back and shoulders. Perform 3-5 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Bonus Burn: Perform pulldowns while in a plié position (toes pointed out, feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, then squat) to engage your inner thighs and blast more calories.
2. V-Sits. This dynamic core exercise is a great way to increase abdominal strength. Sit on the floor and hold each end of your towel in front of your body. Lift your legs, bend your knees, and keep your shins parallel to the ground as you pull your knees toward your body. Keep your legs beneath the towel and push back out with your legs, returning to the starting position. As you pull your legs toward your chest again, guide your towel beneath your legs creating a “V” with your body. Alternate those two movements for a great ab workout. Perform 3-5 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Bonus Burn: Stand back up and jog in place or do jumping jacks for 30 seconds to a minute to get your heart pumping.
- Biceps Curls. This popular exercise concentrates on the front of the upper arm muscles. Place each end of the towel in your hands with your palms facing the ceiling. Lift one leg off the ground and wrap the towel below the kneecap. Apply pressure by pushing down with your knee while simultaneously curling your arms up to your chest. You control the amount of resistance with your knee so make sure to use enough force to get the best possible results. Perform 3-5 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Bonus Burn: Keep your ab muscles held in tight to benefit from the “crunch” created by lifting and lowering your knee.
- Towel Shakes. This heart-pounding exercise improves cardiovascular health and strengthens your shoulder and core muscles. To reap the benefits of this movement, grab both ends of the towel and stand up straight with feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Move your hands up and down as quickly as possible, shaking the towel like a wave. Don’t forget to keep your core tight to really feel the burn. Perform for 30 seconds.
Bonus Burn: Stand in a squat position while doing the shakes to engage your leg muscles and increase the difficulty of the move.
- Lateral Slides. This lunging exercise hits your quads, glutes and hip muscles making it a no-brainer to add to your home workout routine. First, find a surface that allows for a sliding movement. Next, fold a towel into a square so that one shoe fits comfortably on top. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart and place one foot on top of the towel. Push your leg outward until you reach full extension, and then bring your leg back toward your body. Using a towel during a lunge keeps your muscles under tension for the entire movement, making it more challenging. Switch up your routine and try rear and side lunge variations to tone multiple lower body muscles. Perform 3-5 sets of 10-12 repetitions per leg.
Bonus Burn: Get your heart pumping again with another cardio blast for one minute. Try hopping over an invisible jump rope or doing “high knees” where you march or run in place while bringing your knees as high as you can.
Don’t forget to warm your body up before beginning the exercises and to spend a few minutes stretching after you’re finished to prevent muscle soreness.
Here’s a warm-up you can follow:
Always consult a physician or health care provider before starting this or any other exercise program. The information provided is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. In the case of a medical emergency, contact your health care provider or call 911.