10-Minute Tuneups: Towel Workout

Get toned for summer in 10 minutes using only a dish towel

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warmup towel workout

Get toned fast for summer

Everyone has a dishtowel or hand towel at home. Using this basic tool, along with a floor that allows for sliding, can be a creative, effective and inexpensive way to get a killer workout!

Due to the amount of stretching that is required for these moves, be sure to progress slowly during the first few repetitions of each exercise. This will allow your muscles and tendons to gradually become used to the increased range of motion.

Each exercise has an easier option.

If you do those, aim to progress to the tougher version; gradually increase the number of times you try the tougher moves until you’re no longer doing the easier option.

Of course, ideally we should be getting 30 minutes of fitness a day. But if time is tight, doing a 10-Minute Tuneup when you can fit it in can make a significant difference.

Warm-up: 1 minute

Hold the towel in front of you with straight, outstretched arms. Walk around the room while gently raising arms overhead, then back to chest level.

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sliding tuck

Sliding Tuck: 2 minutes

Works: Abs

Get into a plank position with both feet on the towel and hands on the floor directly below chest. Shown: Keep abs tight and exhale as you hinge from your waist and, with bent knees, pull feet toward hands by sliding on towel. Slide feet back out. Repeat for 50 seconds, rest for 10, then start over. Tip: To increase difficulty, keep legs straight throughout.

Easier option: Repeat for 15 seconds, rest for 15, then do three more times.

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slider lunges

Reverse Slider Lunges: 1 minute

Works: Legs, including quads, glutes and hamstrings

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and left foot on the towel. Shown: Slide left foot backwards into a lunge position until your right knee reaches 90 degrees. Push off of right heel and slide left foot back to starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch to right leg on towel and repeat for 30 more seconds.

Easier option:
Repeat for 20 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, then switch legs and repeat for 20 more seconds.

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Slide-Through Plank: 2 minutes

Slide-Through Plank: 2 minutes

Works: Abs and shoulders

(A) Get into a plank position on hands with feet shoulder-width apart and right foot on towel. (B) Slide your right foot up midway under your body. (C) Keeping abs tight, lift your left arm toward the ceiling while sliding your right foot forward until it is about two feet in front of your left foot. Keep hips elevated and spine straight. Move backwards through steps to starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds with the right foot, then switch and do 30 seconds with the left foot. Then start over.

Easier option:
Do 20 seconds sliding with right foot, 20 seconds with left foot, then rest for 20 seconds. Then start over.

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Frog Plank: 2 minutes

Frog Plank: 2 minutes

Works: Abs

Get into plank position with forearms on the floor, feet shoulder-width apart and towel under right foot. Keeping hips level with shoulders, slide right foot out and forward (shown) so that right knee moves toward right elbow. Move leg back to starting position. Repeat for one minute on right side, then switch and do one minute on left side.

Easier option: Do for 30 seconds on right side, hold plank position for 15 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds. Repeat sequence on left side.

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Push-up with Single Arm Slide: 1 minute

Push-up with Single Arm Slide: 1 minute

Works: Chest, triceps and abs

Get into push-up position on knees, and place a towel under left hand. Slowly lower your chest to the floor as you slide the towel forward (shown). Exhale and push up as you slide the towel back into starting position. (It’s getting back up that’s tough!) Do for 15 seconds with left hand, then switch to right and do 15 seconds more. Repeat sequence.

Easier option: Do 10 seconds with the left hand, 10 seconds with the right, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat.

Cool-down: 1 minute

Walk around the room holding towel out at shoulder height and taking deep breaths for 30 seconds. Then, for 30 seconds, gently stretch the major muscle groups you’ve just worked: quads, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, chest, triceps and abs.


Watch the video for 10-Minute Tuneups: The Towel Workout


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