Upgrade your bodyweight routine with this simple idea!
You don’t need a pricey new fitness class to shake up your routine. Work out any time, in any place, with this total-body plan—which uses nothing but a household hand towel—created by Melissa Paris, a New York City–based personal trainer. “The key to seeing continued results and avoiding plateaus is to keep challenging your body in different ways, whether that’s with new moves, a new environment, or new equipment,” says Paris. “Incorporating a towel into your routine is a no-cost and efficient way to take your workout to the next level.”
That’s because with every exercise, the towel provides either friction (as in the lateral lunge) or tension (as in the seated oblique twist) to help engage muscles that would otherwise be missing the action.
So rather than using the towel to dry off, use it to break a sweat. Complete the exercises as instructed, moving from one to the next with little or no rest in between. Stop for 30 to 60 seconds at the end (if needed), then repeat up to two more times.
MOVE 1: Leg Curl
Lie faceup on the floor, knees bent and both heels on a towel; lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders (a). Slide your heels away from you as far as you can without dropping your hips (b). Pause, then return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15.
MOVE 2: Seated Oblique Twist
Sit on the floor and hold the towel taut between your hands, arms straight and extended at shoulder height; lean back and raise your feet about a foot off the floor, keeping your core tight and knees bent (a). Pull the right end of the towel toward the floor, rotating your shoulders and torso (b). Pause, then rotate back to center and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do 20.
MOVE 3: Lateral Lunge
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips, and your right foot on a towel (a). Bend your left knee and push your hips back as you slide your right foot out to the side as far as you can (b). Pause, then pull that foot back to start. That’s one rep. Do 15, then switch sides and repeat.
MOVE 4: Superman Press
Lie facedown on the floor, chest lifted, and hold a towel taut between your hands in front of your shoulders, elbows bent (a). Press the towel away from you until your arms are straight (b). Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 20.
Source: Women’s Health