Working Out With Only a Towel

One of the most common issues people have with working out – at least for those who want to get ripped – is the eventual cost of getting from point A to point B. Workout equipment isn’t cheap, and neither is a gym membership. With that in mind, I’ve decided to create an entire page all about the most effective workouts anyone can do at home with nothing more than a common hand towel. The great thing about towel workouts is that they are perfect for anybody, whether you’re already strong and muscular or just starting out, because towel workouts use an individual’s own strength.

You can find a number of videos by Six Pack Shortcuts founder, Mike Chang, offering tutorials on various towel workouts. I’ve listed a few of my personal favorites below, with complete details on how, and how long, to perform each routine.

Towel Sit-Ups

This is a great workout for the abs, and the use of the towel keeps your body in line for perfect posture while adding to the resistance to help work your arms and chest. Towel sit-ups are very similar to a traditional sit-up, so you should have no trouble getting it down. Start in a basic sit-up position, holding the towel between both hands at about shoulder width. Keep your arms fully extended in the air during each sit-up, while keeping as much tension as possible on the towel – that’s the part that works your arms and chest. When laid back, the towel should be up over your head. When doing a sit-up, raise your arms so that it remains directly over your head at all times.

If sit-ups are difficult to perform with your arms raised, don’t be afraid to prop your feet under something heavy, such as the edge of a couch. If you need to use your body’s momentum to help pull you up into a sitting position, that’s okay too. As you get stronger, it will be easier to do sit-ups without using momentum or furniture to aid you, and your abs will be getting a solid workout either way. About 10-15 reps should do.

Lying Towel Pull-ups

Lying towel pull-ups are another great towel workout that focuses on the back, chest and arms. You may want to use two towels for this workout, placing one of the floor to lay upon as you will be on your stomach the whole time. Take the towel between your hands, again about shoulder width apart. Keep as much tension on the towel as possible throughout all reps. Bend your back so that your head and chest are up off the floor. The more you push your chest out, the more effective this workout is. Start with your arms fully extended in front of you, just up off the ground. Keeping tension on the towel, bend your elbows and pull the towel back towards your chest, then back out to full arm extension again. Repeat for about 20 reps.

Standing Towel Pull-ups

The concept of this workout is almost exactly the same as a traditional lying towel pull-up, except that – obviously – you’ll be standing for this one. Follow the exact same routine as the lying towel pull-ups detailed above, but when standing, your feet should be spread out to each side with your knees slightly bent outwards – a basic squat position, really. This will help work your legs at the same time as your chest, back and arms. Remember, the more muscles group you work at one time, the more fat you are burning along the way. Keep a lot of tension on the towel for maximum effect.

Bent-Over Towel Raises

This is another great, allover body workout using just a towel. Get yourself into a squat position with your upper body bent forward at about a 70% angle. Start with your arms down and slowly raise the towel above your head, but do not straighten your body. As always, keep as much tension on the towel as you can. Do not try to do this fast. Keep a slow steady pace for maximum burn, lowering and raising the towel with arms extended all the way out. This workout should last about 30 seconds.

Towel Snatches

This workout is very similar to the Bent-Over Towel Raises in terms of starting and ending form. Get in the same squat position to start, with your upper body bent forward and arms extended down (and plenty of tension on that towel!) Instead of slowly raising your arms up without moving the rest of your body, you will quickly raise your arms while adjusting into a full standing position. Then quickly lower your arms while returning to the bent-over, squat position. Repeat for 30 seconds.

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