Towels as Fitness Tools? Yes! Tips for Functional Training in Baltimore
Got access to tile, a hardwood floor, aerobics room or similar surface? Yes? Perfect! You can get a kick-butt full-body workout in with two small hand towels (or glider discs if possible). I think you’ll be surprised at how effective this full-body workout is at raising your heart rate, working your core and connecting musculature, and improving your overall balance and agility.
All You Need Is a Towel For This Full-Body Workout
Pushup plus Pike
Start by placing the two hand towels under your feet. I’d suggest rolling the towels or folding them to improve the sliding capability. Get into a plank position, with your wrists directly under your armpits. Keep your spine in a neutral, straight position (from your head to tailbone) and flex your glutes and quads. And don’t forget to keep your core engaged (act as if someone is filming you from underneath, so keep that belly in). Once you begin your plank, slowly lower yourself into a pushup, keeping your body in a plank position on the way down and up as you push yourself up into a starting position. Then slowly slide your feet towards your hands, raising your butt up into the air as if you were going to make a triangle. The towels should slide your feet up towards your hand position and then slide back as you straighten your body back into a plank position. You can modify this challenging exercise by just doing a pike or performing the pushup on your knees. Start out by doing 3 sets of 10 reps (1 pushup and 1 pike=1 rep).
Knee Tuck plus Plank Jack
Start this move just as the first exercise, with the hand towels under your feet. Get into plank position. Keep your core tight and begin pulling both feet in towards your chest. Try to keep your hips from lifting too high. Then slide back into a starting plank position. Once you are back into a plank position, slowly slide both feet out as if you were performing a jumping jack. Be careful to not slide your feet too far out or you could put too much pressure on your low back and thighs. Slide your feet back into a starting position. You have now completed 1 rep. Start out by doing 3 sets of 12-15 reps (1 knee tuck and 1 plank jack=1 rep).
Start standing upright with both towels under your feet. Keep everything tight, including your core and glutes. Slowly sit your hips back as if you were going to sit in a chair as you slide your left leg out in a lateral direction. Your right knee will bend slightly (as if doing a single-leg squat) as you extend your left leg out. Make sure you keep your right knee behind your right toe to keep your knee joint safe and properly engage your glutes. You’ll put most of your weight on your right leg as you extend your left leg. Then slide your left leg back into a starting position as you straighten out your right leg. Repeat the same movements on your right leg this time. Modify by keeping the lunge shorter or only putting one towel under your foot. Start by doing 3 sets of 10 on each leg. While this challenging full-body workout only requires hand towels and a hard surface, you’ll be amazed at how effective it is at improving your overall fitness. You’ll get a fantastic workout throughout your core, arms, and legs and even clean the floor at the same time!