Why the humble tea towel is your best new workout accessory
The tea towel is an ordinary kitchen cloth, used mostly for the washing and drying of hands and dishes. It wouldn’t be the first item in most people’s gym bags, but fitness expert Laura Williams says that tea towels can be just the ticket for rinsing out those abdominal muscles – and much more besides.
“A tea towel can add a sliding surface to your favourite moves and help minimise impact, and works the body in all planes of movement,” confirms Williams. “It also enables you to create highly-effective full-body exercises in your front room, for which you would otherwise need sturdy gym kit.”
Here are four of her favourite moves guaranteed to change your relationship with your tea towels…
1. Pike – works your core, hip flexors, chest and shoulders
Position the balls of your feet in the centre of two tea towels in a push-up position, with your body in a straight line from shoulders to bum. Look down at the floor as you slide your feet (and towels) towards your palms, ‘jack-knifing’ your hips into the air while keeping your legs straight.
Extend your legs back behind you to the start position and repeat eight to 10 times.
Acceptable cheat: Bend your knees to bring your legs into your chest if you can’t do this with straight legs.
2. Single-leg hamstring curls – works your hamstrings and bum
Lie on your back, arms by your sides, with each foot resting on a tea towel. Lift your lower back and hips off the floor, so you’re resting on your shoulder blades in a bridge position.
Lift your toes off the floor so your weight is on your heels, and slide one leg out in front of you. As you bring that leg back, extend the other leg, so both of your legs are moving at the same time. Repeat for a total of 20 curls.
Acceptable cheat: You can push your fingertips into the floor to help give the move ‘grip’.
3. Pec flies – works your chest, shoulders and core
Position yourself on all-fours, with the tea towels under the palms of your hands, and then roll forward so you’re in a half push-up position, with your weight distributed between the bottom of your thighs and the palms of your hands.
You should have a straight line running from shoulders to bum – avoid arching your back and/or sticking your bum in the air.
With your stomach pulled in (though don’t hold your breath!), lower your chest towards the floor, extend your right arm a little way out to the side with a small bend in the elbow, and slide your left arm a few inches out to the side, and back in again.
Keeping your right arm still, move your left arm in and out for 12 reps, then switch sides.
Acceptable cheat: Bring your supporting arm closer to your side – this should make the exercise less intense for your upper body.
4. Plank-jack-pulse – works your inner thighs, back and core
From a push-up position with your feet on the tea towels, slide both feet out to the side and pulse for a count of two. Then slide them halfway in, so that your feet are in line with your hips, and pulse for two more. That’s one rep – aim for 12-15.
Acceptable cheat: Stick your bum in the air so that your body forms a ‘V’ shape, if you feel your back arching.
The Press Association
Latest posts by The Press Association (see all)
- As her clothes are set to go to auction, here’s what made Elizabeth Taylor such a style icon - July 12, 2019
- Feta and Chicken Meatballs in Lemon Spaghetti - July 12, 2019
- 4 ways to get some much-needed relief from joint pain – without resorting to painkillers - July 9, 2019
- 5 tips to ensure a holiday with your dog runs smoothly - July 9, 2019
- Mind the gap: How to fill your garden borders when spaces appear in summer - July 8, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!