Thrive at Home: 5 exercises you can do with just a towel

SHARE Thrive at Home: 5 exercises you can do with just a towel

Jeana Anderson (above) works out at ENRGi Fitness. | Photos by Al Podgorski/Sun-Times 

Who needs a gym when you’ve got a wood (or linoleum) floor and a hand towel?

By using the towel to slide, you can get a tough full body workout — no weights needed, according to Jeana Anderson, certified personal trainer and blogger at

“Using a towel on a slippery surface allows you to engage your core and use a greater number of muscles as you add pushing and pulling to traditional body weight motions,” Anderson says.

Here are Anderson’s five moves:

1. Planks with knee tucks



“Start in a plank position with your hands right under your shoulders and your shoulders, hips and heels in a straight line. Place your toes on the towel and slide your toes towards your hands, letting your hips raise and your knees tuck toward your chest. Slide your feet back to the plank position and repeat.”

2. Lateral lunge



“Placing your towel under one foot, start in a wide stance. Slide the foot with a towel under it out, keeping the leg that’s sliding straight. As your leg slides, you’ll sit back on the other leg, keeping your knee behind your toe and your butt behind your knee.  Slide the leg back in and repeat.”

3. Russian twists



“Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet in front of your hips. Lean your upper body back, keeping your back flat.  Hold the towel between your hands, twisting your upper body from right to left. To make this more difficult, lift your feet off the floor.”

4. Offset pushup




“In a pushup position on your toes or your knees, place the towel under one hand. As you lower down, slide the hand with the towel under it to the side. As you push back up, slide the towel back towards your body.”

5. Hamstring curls



“Laying face-up on the floor, bring your body into a bridge position by planting your shoulders on the floor, placing your hands underneath your seat and positioning your feet directly beneath your knees as you raise your hips up. Make sure your upper-body is in a straight line from your knees to neck. Place the towel under your feet and slide your feet out and in, keeping your hips high and working your hamstrings.”

Look for more guest posts in the coming weeks from trainers and fitness bloggers as part of our new series, Thrive at Home.

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