You don’t need fancy equipment to get a great workout. In fact, you can get creative with what you already have at home. All that is needed for this workout is a hand towel! In Part one today, *the focus will be total body exercises to lean out the whole body while building strength and increasing metabolism.
Rules with the towel:
- Pick a hand towel that is long enough for your hands to be at least shoulder width.
- With all exercises, keep trying to pull the towel apart. Don’t let your towel slack at all. This will engage your back, chest, shoulder stabilizers, and arms.
- Retract and depress your shoulder blades and keep your abdominals contracted in with each exercise.
Warm up with these two exercises:
1. Modified Squats
- Stand with your feet shoulder width and arms overhead. Don’t shrug your shoulders!
- Perform mini squats by only dropping your hips halfway down.
- Keep weight on your heels.
- Simultaneously lower arms to your belly button.
- Stand back up and bring arms back up overhead.
- Repeat sequence for one minute.
- Start slow, but you can speed up and increase range of motion as you are successful.
2. Overhead (OH) Leg Kicks
- Stand in a staggered stance with arms overhead.
- Kick your back leg forward while reaching your arms towards your foot.
- Bring that leg back again with arms overhead.
- Repeat 30-60 seconds on one leg; switch.
- Again, start slow but build speed and increase your range of motion as successful.
You can also warm up by going for a walk/jog or adding more dynamic movements.
Now you are ready to work! These following exercises will be slow and controlled.
3. Squat to Overhead (Shoulder) Extension
- Perform closed squats (feet closer together) to the center for 10 repetitions (photos A & B above).
- Keep arms straight through the entire exercise without shrugging your shoulders.
- Keep weight even on both legs, but twist your torso to the right 45 degrees and perform 5-10 reps of the same Squat to OH Extension (photos C & D).
- Repeat to the left (photos E & F).
4. Plié Squat with Rotation
- Stand with feet wider than shoulder width and grab the towel with your palms facing up.
- Perform a plié squat while rotating your torso to the right; alternating sides with each plié squat.
- Your weight stays even on both legs and don’t let your knees cave in.
- Perform 12-25 reps.
- Note: If you aren’t flexible enough to twist, then don’t rotate side to side as you squat.
5. Side Lunge with Back Row
- Stand with feet wider than shoulder width.
- As you go into a side lunge to the right, pull your right arm in (feeling your back engage) as you resist with your left arm.
- Go back up to center, and let your left arm win (taking arms back to neutral).
- Repeat 12-25 reps on the right before switching sides.
6. Lunge (Crouch) to Hip Extension
- Start in a tall staggered stance (photo A), lunge down and simultaneously hinge from the hips so it’s more of a crouched position (photo B). Your chest stays open – don’t round your back!
- Shift your weight to your front foot and extend your leg back as if you were an ice skater (photo C).
- Lower your leg back to the crouched position (photo D), then back to your tall staggered stance (photo E).
- Repeat 12-25 reps before switching legs.
7. Squat to Overhead (OH) Leg Lift to Knee Pull
- Start in a squat position (photo A).
- Perform a diagonal reach to the right and lift your left leg to the side (photo B). Extend your left leg long and lead with your heel – not your toe.
- Next, pull your left knee is as much as possible while rotating your torso to the outside of the left leg (photo C).
- Reach out again at a diagonal while extending the leg (photo D).
- Take it back to the squat position (photo E).
- Perform 12-25 slow reps before switching sides.
- This is tough – especially on your balance! Keep your abs in tight to help you stabilize.
Bonus Power Move!
- Drive your knees up by pulling your abs in tight!
- Land as soft as possible to absorb the shock.
- Repeat 10x.
- If you don’t want to jump, explode up to your toes instead performing calf raises.
Stay tuned for Throw in a Towel Workout: Part 2 on Thursday for abs and back, and part 3 on Friday for flexibility.
*Consult your physician before starting any new exercise program.