The most important part of any workout is toning because it not only gives a well-formed and shapely appearance to the entire body but also helps to bulk up on lean muscle mass more easily. But who would have thought that an equipment as simple and basic as a gym towel can be used as a body toning tool? Well, you have heard me right. The towel can do much more than just wiping sweat from your face and body. The sliding moves done using a towel helps to notch up the intensity of any exercise. Adding towel to workouts helps to increase the benefits of core training and cardio intensity without producing any adverse impact on the joints. The best workout towel for these workouts should be thick with a high thread count which will slide easily on the floor and won’t bunch up in one place.
15 Best Towel Exercises to Tone the Entire Body
A great workout doesn’t always require fancy machines. You can use a modest beach towel to work your muscles, and we assure you it works as successfully as resistance bands, dumbbells and other expensive equipment.
Static Lunge Row with Towel:
This is one of the easiest towel exercises that targets the major muscles of the whole body and can be considered an effective full-body exercise. It works the back muscles along with legs and biceps, and it requires absolutely no equipment except for a towel. Start in a standing position with the right foot placed at the center of a towel and left leg placed behind, hands grasping each end of the towel evenly.
Now, come to a lunge position by bending both knees and hinging forward from the hips. Pull the ends of the towel towards the body keeping the elbows close to the sides and shoulder blades squeezed back and together. Stay in the lunge position for 30 seconds while pulling the towel as hard as you can and then switch legs and repeat. Aim for 2 or more repetitions on each leg.
Tricep Pull With Towel:
Well-toned arms and shoulders are important for both men and women but sadly body weight exercises such as push-ups are the only known exercises that help to tone the shoulders and arms. But the tricep pull exercise using towels is one of the amazing towel workouts ideal for those who are not able to do the push up to absolute perfection. Begin with feet placed hip-width apart, knees flexible while holding one end of the towel with the left hand.
Now, bring the towel to the back by extending the left arm up and bending the left elbow. The towel should be in line with the spine. Bend the right arm to the back and grasp the towel at the level of the lower back. Keep the right arm steady and slowly extend the left arm up to the ceiling and then back to the start. It makes 1 repetition. Aim for 12 to 15 repetitions on each side.
Coasting Cobra with Towel:
This is one of the most popular towel workout exercises that is inspired by the classic cobra pose found in yoga. This particular pose targets the lower back muscles, glutes and triceps and helps to develop a flat and toned midsection. Lie face down with legs placed hip-width apart on the floor and hands resting on a folded towel.
Now, lift the chest off the floor by extending the spine as high as possible and slide the towel close towards the body and return to the starting position. Make sure your chin is pointed towards your chest and eyes are focused downward throughout the exercise in order to avoid neck strain. Do 15 repetitions in one go.
Shifting Push Ups with Towel:
When it comes to toning the upper body, there are no other exercises like the classic push up which uses the body weight to tone the arms, shoulders and chest muscles. The shifting push up is a functional towel workout and an advanced variation of the classic push-up. Begin in a modified push-up position with hands kept shoulder-width apart and the left palm resting on top of a folded towel.
Now, slowly slide the right arm out to the side bending the elbows in order to lower the torso towards the floor and slide the towel back in to straighten the arms and return to the starting position. Do 15 repetitions on one side before switching sides.
Plank Pull-Ins with Towel:
The plank is one of the most effective exercises for toning the core muscles. It helps to strengthen the core, arms, shoulders, back, butt and legs and can be done anywhere in the home. The plank pull in using a towel is a smart variation of the classic plank exercise which helps to make it more challenging. It is a functional towel exercise workout that targets the abs, legs and arms.
Start in a classic plank position with arms straight and wrists placed directly under the shoulders and legs stretched straight with toes placed hip-width apart and resting on a folded towel. Keep the core engaged and use the abdominal muscles to drag the towel up towards the hips by bending the knees, wait for 1 count and slowly straighten the legs to the starting position. Try 10 to 20 repetitions at one time.
Rocking Cradle with Towel:
This is one of the best exercises with towels that targets the abdominal muscles and helps to get a flat and chiselled abdomen without doing a single crunch. It works the external and internal oblique muscles along with the transversus abdominis and rectus abdominis. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet lifted and ankles crossed.
Hold a towel folded lengthwise with hands open wide at the sides of the head and the head cradled at the center of the towel. Lift the head and shoulders off the floor and rock to the left till the left elbow touches the floor and then to the right till the right elbow touches the floor. Use your abdominal muscles to control the momentum and shift sides as quickly as you can. Aim for 20 repetitions at a stretch.
Inner Thigh Slide with Towel:
Next in line is a power-packed leg workout using a towel. The inner thigh slide is one of the easy towel exercises at home that targets the glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs and calves – all at the same time. It helps to tone these leg muscles, reduce fat and increase lean muscle mass.
Begin in a standing position with feet placed shoulder-width apart and put a small towel under your left foot and hands resting on the hips. Now, bend your right knee and push the hips back to a squat position and then slide your left foot out to the side. Bend down as much as you can while keeping your left leg straight. Stay in this position for a few seconds and then slide the foot back to the initial position. Aim for 15 repetitions on the left leg and then switch legs.
Sliding Mountain Climbers with Towel:
The classic mountain climber is a wonderful plyometric exercise that strengthens multiple muscles at the same time and also helps to improve the cardiovascular system. The sliding mountain climber is an innovated version of the classic exercise that helps to work the core muscles and the shoulders.
Get on all fours and place 2 small towels under each foot. Now, do the traditional mountain climber move by sliding one foot to your chest alternately while keeping the other foot grounded. Make sure to maintain proper form throughout the move and do 20 repetitions at one go.
Push & Pull Chest Press with Towel:
This is a powerful towel exercise that helps to tone the shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest and core muscles. It not only provides better form but also helps to increase lean muscle mass and cut out fat from the body.
Start by holding a medium-sized towel at chest level, hands placed shoulder width apart, and elbows bent at 90-degree angle out at the sides. Now, slowly push out with your left arm and pull in with your right arm at the same time, keeping the towel taut at all times. Wait for 2 seconds and then repeat the push and pull action with opposite hands. Continue this motion for 15 repetitions without any gap. Make sure your shoulders and hips remain engaged at all times during the workout.
Waistline Rows with Towel:
This is yet another simple and easy towel exercise for the abs that helps to target all the major abdominal muscles and is ideal for those who hate to do crunches or suffer from pelvic injury. Sit upright with knees bent, feet placed flat on the floor and arms straight, holding a towel taut overhead.
Now, tilt your body back while keeping your abs tight and scoop the towel to the right side of the body and then return to the center slowly. Sit upright as the towel reaches over your head. This makes 1 repetition. Repeat the movement immediately on the left side. Target 20 repetitions on both sides.
The towel bridge is an advanced variation of the glute bridge exercise which makes the move more challenging and helps to tone the butt, glutes, hamstrings and lower back muscles. It also helps you to get an attractive and shapely back.
Lie down with knees bent and a small towel placed under each heel. Keep the arms rested at the sides, palms facing up. Now, gradually lift the hips and legs a few inches off the floor while pressing the heels into the towel. Slide the feet out in front approximately 12 inches and then slide them back in towards the hips, keeping the hips up at all times. This comprises 1 repetition. Aim for 12 to 15 repetitions at one time.
Sliding Lunge with Towel:
The classic lunge is an easy to learn exercise that helps to tone the quadriceps and glutes along with the hamstrings, core and calves. The sliding lunge using a towel is a functional variation of the classic lunge exercise that enhances the level of difficulty of this exercise.
Stand with feet placed shoulder-width apart and a small towel placed under the left foot and arms raised in front. Now, slide your left foot back and come to a lunge position by bending both the knees, wait for 2 counts and slide back to the starting position. Perform 20 repetitions with the left leg and then switch legs.
Rocking Bicycle with Towel:
This is an effective variation of the rocking cradle workout which also engages the legs along with the core, arms and shoulders. This particular exercise helps to tone all the major abdominal muscles and helps to develop a slim and toned tummy.
Lie down with arms extended above forming a “V” shape by holding the ends on the towel in each hand and the towel pulled tight behind the head. Now, bend the legs at 45-degree angle, bending the right knee and pressing the inner edge of the right foot against inside of the left knee. Lift the head and shoulder off the floor simultaneously and gently rock to the right balancing on the right hip and return to the center, switch legs and then rock to the left balancing on the left hip. This makes 1 repetition. Target 15 to 20 repetitions at one go. Use your arms and abdominal muscles to control the rocking motion on both sides.
Towel Roll Crunches:
When it comes to toning the abdominal muscles and developing a slim and chiselled abdomen, there is no other exercise like classic crunches. The towel roll crunch adds an edge to this exercise and helps to target the abs from all angles.
Lie on the floor with a medium towel rolled and placed under the back, knees bent and feet placed 12 inches apart on the floor. Keep the palms at the back of the head with elbows out. Now, exhale and raise your head and upper back off the ground by pushing into the towel, pause for a few moments at the top and return to the starting position. Aim for 15 to 20 crunches at once.
Single Leg Cross Slide:
This is a fun and entertaining towel exercise that targets the thighs, hips and glutes and helps to improve overall balance and coordination. Begin in a straight-arm plank position with a towel folded under the feet.
Now, shift to a single-leg plank position by bending the left knee close towards the chest and pressing the inside of the foot against the inside of the right knee. Bend the right knee while sliding the towel in so that both knees come to the outside of the left elbow. Next, slide and extend the right leg back out into a single-leg plank position. This makes 1 repetition. Aim for 10 receptions with each leg.
So, the next time you feel too exhausted to hit the gym, just bring out a towel from your linen closet and do these power-packed towel exercises to work the entire body – from head to toe.