Towel exercises at home

When one thinks of strength training exercises, we generally tend to think of heavy dumbbells, barbells, weight training machines, gyms, resistance bands, and medicine balls. But have you ever thought about using a simple gym towel in order to build on physical endurance and muscular strength? Ace fitness expert Wanitha Ashok says, give it a try! It is handy, portable, effective and not to mention the cheapest workout ever possible. Towel exercise is an inexpensive home workout. It's also called shower workouts, if done just after the shower, which is ideal as the muscles are warm right after the shower. These workouts can be done just by using a towel as equipment.

You can perform simple stretches, work on mobility and strength exercises using the towel. These exercises keep the joints healthy and muscles supple and improve blood circulation. These workouts include various exercises like side stretches, standing twists, front shoulder raises, static triceps extensions, and even bicep curls - all with just a towel as equipment.

Here are a few towel exercises to get you started, and to give you an idea about how you can use a simple towel for home workouts.

Towel exercise #1: Neck stretches -
Did you ever imagine that you can in fact do a bunch of different neck exercises with just a towel wrapped around your head right after your hair wash? Just by leaving the towel wrap on your head, perform effective neck exercises such as head tilts and head clocks in both directions. Keep the rotations controlled and slow as shaking your head around vigorously can make you dizzy.

Towel exercise #2: Rowing exercise -
Simple rowing exercises by using a towel at home will improve the strength in the muscles of the upper back that are responsible for proper posture.

- Wrap the towel around a pillar, a sturdy door handle, hook or bar (on the window grill?).
- Holding both the ends of the towel place your feet 12 inches away from the pillar. Stand upright and extended your arms.
- Now, pull your body and lean forward towards the pull.
- Tuck your abs and squeeze the shoulder blades together at the top.
- Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions.

Towel exercise #3: Towel crunches for your feet -
Generally, people fail to see the importance of maintaining strong, healthy feet. A simple towel crunch exercise can strengthen your feet and avoid foot-related injuries.

- To execute the towel crunch sit on a chair with the towel spread on the floor.
- Rest your toes on the edge of the towel and using your toes pull the towel towards yourself.
- 5-8 reps on each foot for about two to three times per week are enough to gain maximum benefits out of towel crunch exercise.

Towel exercise #4: Leg flexibility exercises -
Flexibility exercises for the legs, especially the back of your thighs, will improve blood circulation in that area and relaxes all the muscles.

- Lie on your back on a mat or bed and wrap the towel around a foot.
- Hold both the ends of the towel. Now by keeping your legs straight slowly raise the leg until you feel a comfortable stretch on the back of the thigh.
- Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

Towel exercise #5: Shoulder flexibility exercise -
To improve your shoulder flexibility and increase the ROM (range of motion) at that joint, perform this simple shoulder flexibility exercise.

- Drape a towel across your right shoulder and hold the front of the towel in your right hand while you hold back of the towel in your left hand behind the back.
- Now by using your right hand, gently pull down on the towel to stretch your left arm and rotate your left shoulder.
- Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

While this is a good substitute workout when you're pressed for time, or travelling for work with no gym facilities, it won't do as a stand-alone workout forever. Compliment this towel workout with your regular workout and do tell us about your experience.

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