Need an easy way to build strength? Just grab a towel

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Who says you need to belong to a gym or buy a set of dumbbells in order to do great upper-body workouts that enhance your strength?

Just make a quick trip to any store that sells towels -- or grab some from your linen closet.

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That’s right, towels can be used for more than just drying off after a shower or a dip in the pool.

With a partner to help, towels can be a great way to bulk up and get stronger in the upper body.

Here's exactly how you can get stronger by using a simple towel and letting your partner provide all the resistance you need.

Bicep curls

Simply grab one end of the towel underhand with your left hand, the other with your right hand, and have your partner put both hands overhand in the middle of the towel.

Then, try to raise up as your partner provides a level of resistance that's right for you.

Shoulder presses

This is a similar concept to bicep curls, except you grab each end of the towel overhand. Then put the towel on your shoulders, have your partner grab the middle of the towel with two hands, and try to push up the towel as your partner provides the resistance.


You actually don’t need a partner for this one. Just grab each end of the towel with your hands and hold the towel around your waist. Then, just pull in each direction as if you are trying to rip the towel in half.

You can do this in the front starting around the stomach, or for further resistance, try to do it behind you, along your back.

If you prefer to work triceps with a partner, doing an old-fashioned tug of war, one set with each hand and arm, is a good exercise, also.


This can be done with or without a partner, although obviously, having one will provide a lot more resistance.

One exercise is to lay flat on the ground like you are on a bench press at the gym, grab the towel at each end and have your partner push down in the middle as you are pushing up.

Another is to stand up and hold the towel right in front of you, pushing forward and back horizontally. If you desire more resistance, have a partner hold the middle in front of you as you are pushing out.

Good luck!

This story was first published in 2019. It has since been updated.

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.