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6 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do With a Towel

Woman doing side lunges with a towel.
Karla Tafra

If you’re tired of your usual exercise routine, grab a towel and challenge yourself with some spicy moves. A towel acts as extra resistance as you push hard to keep it on the floor during exercises. And don’t let it fool you, a towel will really crank up the intensity of your workout.

It does the same things ab sliders do, but in case you don’t have some on hand, a towel will do. Plus, you get to clean your floors a little.

Back Lunge

Start in a standing position, with your feet separated at a hip-width distance. Step on the towel with your right leg and slide the towel back into a lunge, bending both knees. Exhale and slide the towel back to the starting position by squeezing your hamstrings and inner thighs. Repeat 12-15 times and do the same thing on the other side.

Keep your core engaged and your back straight throughout the entire exercise. Make sure your front knee is not caving and keep it straight in front of you. Don’t forget to breathe.

Microfiber towel

Great for the gym and home workouts.

Side Lunge

 Start in a standing position, feet at a hip-width distance. Step on the towel with your right leg and face the right side. Inhale and slide the towel to the right, bending your left knee and sitting down in your side lunge. Exhale and slide the towel back to the center, using the strength of your inner thighs. Inhale and slide out, exhale and slide in.

Keep your core engaged throughout the entire exercise and don’t compromise your form. Repeat 12-15 times on each leg.

Gym Sliders

Work your abs and your hamstrings.

Round Leg Sweeps

Start in a standing position with your feet at a hip distance. Step on the towel with your right leg and place your hands on your hips. Activate your core muscles and lift your belly button up. Open your chest, lift your chin, and relax your shoulders. Inhale and slide the towel directly in front of you, sweeping the leg to the right and back, making a half-circle. Exhale and round it back to the front.

Keep your thighs engaged the entire time and use make sure your left leg is strong and stabile. You can choose to keep your left leg extended and really work on your inner thighs or slightly bend it and feel the exercise in your left glute as well.

Do 10 rounds before switching over to the other leg.

Ab Roller

This ab roller features an extra-wide design for added stability and is made of a soft material that is suitable for all floor types, including hardwood and carpeted.

Knee Tucks

Start in a plank pose, legs extended and core active. Keep your hips in the same line and try to prevent them from lifting up or dropping down. Step on the towel and start bringing it in towards your abdomen, bending the knees and tucking them in.

Keep your core engaged and use the power from your abs to slide the towel without lifting your hips too much. Do 15-20 knee tucks and relax. Repeat two more times if you’re up for it.

Ab sliders

The unique hexagon design provides better surface and grip.

Runner’s Lunge Sweep

Start in a plank pose, legs extended and hips aligned. Push the ground away from you and feel the space in between your shoulder blades expand. Step on the towel with your right leg and on your inhale, slide the towel towards your right shoulder, coming into a slightly wider runner’s lunge on the outside of your right hand. Exhale and slide the towel back to the plank position.

Repeat 12-15 times and then do the same on the left leg. This is a great exercise for increasing your range of motion and improving the mobility of your hips so really focus on bringing the foot as close to your hands as possible.

Microfiber cooling towel

Perfect for after-gym cooldown or as an ab slider if you don't have any.

Hamstring Curls

Start in a lying position, feet on the towel and knees bent. Lift your hips up and slowly slide your feet down, so your legs are almost fully extended. Inhale and slide the towel back towards your sitting bones, trying to keep your hips elevated. Exhale and extend, inhale and bring the towel back in.

This is one of the most challenging exercises you can do with a towel, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t really work on the first go. Aim for 10 repetitions but if you can even muster up five that’s great for starters.

If this feels really impossible for you, leave your hips on the floor and simply work on bringing the towel as close to your sitting bones as possible by contracting your hamstrings.

Extra-Thick Yoga Mat

For all types of workouts.

Sometimes the best workouts happen when you just get creative. Try these exercises next time you get bored with your workouts and if you happen to have a phone with you, check out some of these awesome fitness apps.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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