BESTFIT Issue 20 – Throw In The Towel…To Your Workout
Bodyweight exercises involve both strength and mobility, challenging your flexibility and helping you develop stronger joints whilst elevating your heart rate and burning calories.
This routine amplifies your body’s work using the towel, creating extra friction or tension to intensify your efforts. We also use multiple planes of motion to develop strength that improves performance in sport and in everyday life. This includes twisting and turning in multiple planes of motion without us even realising it, from picking up the kids, to loading shopping into the car. Training in different ways ensures you continue to progress, so challenge convention and use your towel to break a sweat, not wipe it!
Five-Minute Warm Up
Grab one towel and pull it tight between your hands. Alternate between these three dynamic moves for five minutes to ensure you’re warm, limber and ready to go.
Rowel Trunk Twist
Hold the towel out taut in front of you. Keeping both feet facing forward, twist from side to side as though you are looking for someone behind you.
Squat With Overhead Reach
Keeping that towel taut, squat down and reach both arms up straight above your head and as far back as your shoulders allow in one smooth motion. You’re trying to warm up your shoulders through their full range of motion. We’ll be working them hard in this workout.
Squat With Towel Twist
As you squat twist your hands down towards the furthest foot and then up diagonally to the ceiling as you lift. This should look like a woodchopper motion with the towel kept taut.
Complete each of these moves for 45 seconds straight and rest for no more than 30 seconds to keep your heart rate up. Do this three times and you’ve got yourself a 30-minute full-body routine.
Sliding Curtsey Lunges
Place your towel under one foot, this will be the one that moves. Slide back diagonally into a curtsey lunge and then drag the towel back to your start point, without it leaving the floor. Don’t forget to swap legs halfway (20 seconds per leg).
Reverse Plank Hamstring Curl
Come down to the floor and place your towel under your heels. Sit with your hands by your hips and then lift up into a reverse plank. Keep your body in a straight line and try not to relax your head back. Now drag your heels in towards your bum and then back out to straight. You should feel this in your abs, shoulders and hamstrings as you drag the towel.
Door Pistol Squats
Wrap your towel around a door handle (make sure it’s secure enough to take your weight). Now take one leg out in front of you and sink down as low as you can on the other leg, this is a pistol squat. Great from improving your mobility and creating equal strength in both legs through isolation (20 seconds per leg).
Push Ups With Arm Slide
Come into your regular push up position, with your towel underneath one hand. As you lower for a push up slide the towel hand out to your side in a straight line and drag it back in as you extend. If you need to, drop to your knees to make it easier. After 20 seconds be sure to swap sides with the towel!
Plank Star Slide
For this you need a towel under each foot. Start in your regular plank position, here you’re going to be moving the opposite hand and leg. Lift one hand and twist into a side plank as you slide the opposite leg through towards the wall, making your body look like a star. As you return your hand, drag your leg back and repeat on the other side.
Pull Through Crunch
Sit on the floor and hold your towel taught between both hands above your head. Now bring your legs in as though you were performing a crunch, but as you do, bring the towel down towards your legs. Feed your legs through the gap between your legs and the towel and straighten them once the towel is held beneath your hamstrings. Curl your legs back up and pass the towel over your toes as you return to the start position. Tough.
Place one towel underneath both feet and return to your plank position. Slide your legs in towards your hands keeping your legs straight (without locking your knees) and lift your bum up into the air to perform a pike, pause at the top and slide to the start.
Dorsal Raise Vs V Sits
Two for the price of one. Lying on your stomach and start with your towel taut above your head. Lift your arms and legs to perform a dorsal raise, then keeping your towel tight, roll over onto your back. From this position fold in half, bringing your extended arms and legs together to meet in the middle for a v sit. Return to the mat and roll over to repeat your dorsal raise