Looking for a workout you can do anywhere or an inexpensive way to stay fit? Either way, these dish towel exercises make for a creative new routine to strengthen and tone your body.
Think you can’t get into the best shape of your life because you can’t afford an expensive gym membership, or don’t have room in your house for your own workout equipment?
With this workout, there are no more excuses.
Looking for an easy way to get started working out?
Grab our FREE Beginners Workout Guide - 3 Weeks To Tighter Abs, Sculpted Arms, And Toned Legs, by clicking here!
Everyone has a dish towel or two that they can transform into a kick-ass piece of equipment—that can tone and strengthen every inch of your body. (Yes, even you big, strong men out there. Try these push-ups and see for yourself!)
These towel exercises are best performed on a hard surface (e.g., hardwood or tile). But with some plastic workout sliders (or even paper plates), they can easily be done on carpet!
See? NO excuses!
Mix up a few of these towel exercises to create a full-body workout or add your favorites into your regular workout routines!
Start in full plank position with a towel under each foot. Keep your core tight and spine neutral as you engage the lower abs to pull the RIGHT knee in towards the chest—sliding your foot on the towel. Use the glutes and hamstrings to press the RIGHT leg straight again. At the same time, use the lower abs to pull the left knees in towards the chest. Continue alternating sides as quickly as possible—for 30 seconds to a minute.
Again in a full plank position with a towel under each foot, maintain a neutral spine. Engage the lower abs to pull both knees in toward the chest at the same time. Extend the legs straight again, making sure you don’t allow the hips to drop. But keep your core tight. Complete 15-20 repetitions.
Twisting Knees Tucks
Just as above, start in a full plank position. As you pull both knees in towards your chest, engage the obliques to pull both knees to the outside of the RIGHT elbow. Extend the legs back straight to the center, and repeat on the other side—pulling the knees in and over to the LEFT. Repeat, alternating sides for 10 repetitions on each side.
Similar to the Knee Tucks, pull both legs in and to the center—towards your feet. But this time, really engage those lower abs to pull the hips up into a pike position, but keep the legs straight. Use your abs to lower the hips back down, making sure you don’t let those hips sag. Complete 10-15 repetitions.
Unlike the other positions, the focus will be more on the upper body. In your plank position, place the towels under your hands. Still keeping your lower abs engaged, really focus on engaging those upper abs and stabilizing your shoulders. Then pull your hands back towards to your feet. Extend straight back out, and repeat 10-15 times.
These are tough! Place the towel under your RIGHT hand while you’re in full plank position. Keep both hands narrow, and lower into a push-up position with your LEFT arm. As you slide your RIGHT arm in front of you, keep it straight. Press back up through your LEFT arm and slide your RIGHT arm back into plank. Complete 5-10 repetitions, and then REPEAT on the other side. (You can modify this by performing it on your knees.)
Just like front push-ups, you’ll start in a plank position with the towel under your RIGHT hand. This time, bring the hands a little wider. As you lower into a push-up with the LEFT arm, slide the RIGHT arm out to the side. Press up through the LEFT arm, and slide the RIGHT arm back in. Complete 5-10 repetitions, and then switch sides.
Start standing, and slightly shift your weight onto your LEFT leg—as you place a towel under your RIGHT foot. Slightly extend the RIGHT foot behind you, so that you start on the ball of the foot. Lower into a lunge position in the LEFT leg, bending the knee at a 90-degree angle and keeping the knee over the heel. As you lower, slide the RIGHT foot behind you. Press through the LEFT heel to engage the glutes and hamstrings, straighten back up, and slide the RIGHT leg in. Repeat 15-20 times, and then switch sides.
Similar to the Rear Lunge, except keep your weight on your LEFT foot, and keep your RIGHT foot flat on the towel. Lower the LEFT leg into a 90-degree lunge position, and slide the RIGHT leg out to the side. Use the glutes and hamstrings on the LEFT leg to straighten up, as you use the inner thighs on the RIGHT leg to slide the foot back in. Complete 15-20 repetitions on each side.
Start standing with your RIGHT foot on a towel, and most of your weight on your LEFT leg. Sit your hips back into a squat position, and slide the RIGHT leg out to the side using the outer thighs. Then staying down in your squat position, use the inner thighs to slide the RIGHT leg back in. Repeat 15-20 repetitions with the RIGHT leg, and repeat with the LEFT leg.
Start standing with your RIGHT foot on the towel and your LEFT foot flat on the floor. Lower all the way down to the floor, and place both hands on either side of the LEFT foot. Bring the RIGHT foot slightly behind you. As you use the RIGHT leg to slide the towel back and front (similar to mountain climbers), keep the LEFT leg stable and firmly planted on the floor. Be sure to engage the lower abs and use the quadriceps. Complete 15-20 repetitions with the RIGHT leg, then repeat with the LEFT.
Lie on your back. Keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor in a bridge position. Place a towel under each foot, then lift the hips up into a bridge. Keep the glutes and hamstrings engaged as you slide the feet out—almost straightening the legs, but keeping the hips lifted. Use your hamstrings to really press into the floor and slide the feet back into your bridge position. Complete 15-20 repetitions without letting those hips lower to the floor.
Single-Leg Hamstring Curls
Switching up the Hamstring Curls above, place a towel under only your RIGHT foot, and keep your LEFT foot flat on the floor in a bridge position. Lift the hips up into bridge. Use the RIGHT leg to slide the foot out straight, then pull it back in. Repeat 15-20 repetitions, then switch sides.
Plank Hand Walks
Come into a plank position on your hands with a towel under each foot. Keep your arms tight and spine neutral, then “walk” with your hands about 6 inches in front of you. Then “walk” 10-20 “steps” forwards. For an optional challenge, REVERSE and go backwards!
Come into a full plank position, and place your hands on a towel. (Or place some weights on the towel for an added challenge, as shown.) Engage the abdominals, take a big step forward with your RIGHT foot, bring the knee to the chest, and push through that leg to propel the towel (and hands and weights) forward. Take a step with the LEFT leg, and continue as quickly as possible. Make sure you don’t lift those hips up, and keep the body in a straight line. Complete 10-20 steps. Then turn around and repeat back to your starting position.
Plank with Abductions
Come to a plank position on your hands, and place one towel under your RIGHT foot. Stay steady in your plank. Don’t let your hips shift as you slide your RIGHT leg out to the side, keeping the leg straight. Then slide back into plank. Focus on those inner and outer thighs, and engage your core. Complete 10-15 repititions with the RIGHT leg, then switch sides.
Twisting Plank Slides
Start in a full plank position with a towel under each foot. Engage your abs. Make sure your hips don’t lift up, as you pull your RIGHT knee slightly in towards your chest. Then slide it under your LEFT leg to press it out straight, twisting slightly through your torso. Pull it back into plank in the center, then repeat on the other side. Complete 10 repetitions on each side.
Lie on your back with your legs out straight, and hold each end of one towel in your hands. Extend the arms over your head. Begin to engage your abs, as you flatten your back to the mat. Roll up one vertebrae at a time to sit all the way up, then reach toward your toes. Roll back down one vertebrae at a time and repeat. Be sure to really use those abs, and don’t cheat by going fast. Stay slow and controlled!
Start by having a seat on a mat, and hold each end of a towel in your hands. Bend the knees and lift them up, so that your shins are about parallel to the floor. Shift your torso back slightly, so that you balance on your tailbone. Hold the towel out in front of you, creating a sort of “ring” with your arms by keeping the towel right over your shins. Engage those abs to pull the knees in toward the chest, and thread them in the “ring.” The towel is now under your knees. Pull those abs in again, and unthread them as you bring the towel back up above the shins. Repeat 10 times.
Lie on your stomach and place a towel under each hand, as you extend your arms straight out in front of you. Engage your core as you lengthen through your spine, and slide those hands in toward you to lift the chest and shoulders off the floor. Make sure you don’t feel any compression through your spine; you don’t have to lift too high. And then slide back down, and repeat 10-15 times.
Lying Arm Circles
Lie on your stomach, and extend both arms out in front of you with a towel under each hand. Engage your core and back muscles to lift into a tiny back extension, then press into your hands. Keep pressure in the hands, and slide them out into a circle all the way back toward your hips. Then reverse back forward for one repetition. Complete 10-15 repetitions.
Find a high horizontal bar, and drape a towel over it. Grab a hold of each end of the towel, engage the shoulders and lats to pull yourself up, and lift the chest to the bar. Lower back down, but keep the back engaged. (Don’t drop into the shoulder. Keep them away from your ears.) Repeat 10-15 times.
(Your Next Workout: 44 Resistance Band Exercises to Tone Every Inch)