When it comes to crazy effective workouts for improving posture and keeping your arms looking good and your shoulders healthy, few items in my Pilates studio rival the towel to make it happen. 

Ron Fletcher, who had personally studied under Joseph and Clara Pilates, developed a style of using a towel in a Pilates class which he later named Fletcher Towel Work ®, using his signature red towel and a unique percussive breathing technique. The simple act of holding a towel is a brilliant addition to provide feedback, precision, control, and endurance in a Pilates-based workout and is something easily achievable using a towel you may have at home.

All you need is a towel that is at least 36 inches long and you’ve got your instant workout. Watch the video below for three simple moves inspired from Ron Fletcher’s work.

Three Position Towel Pulls

Grip: Hold your towel at twice the width of your chest with your fingers wrapped completely around your towel, arms straight, and your wrists neutral. 

Movement: Pull towel taut with the intention of trying to break the towel in half, then release.  Start with the arms at hip level, then chest level, and finally overhead. Repeat 4 times in each position.

 

Awesome Arms Workout-Three Position Towel Pulls

Reach Backs

Grip: Hold your towel at twice the width of your chest with your fingers wrapped completely around your towel, arms straight, and your wrists neutral. 

Set-up: Bring arms overhead and behind your back. Make sure to keep arms slightly bent as you’re pulling the towel taut.

Awesome Arms Workout-Reach Backs

Movement: Without disrupting your posture, particularly your ribs over your pelvis, send your arms towards the wall behind you, keeping the towel taut. Repeat 4 times then add 8 pulses at the end range.

Two Position Arm Floats With Elbow Flexion and Extension 

Grip:  Hold your towel taut with palms down, waist distance with your elbows at 90 degrees.

Set up: Keeping towel taut, bend, and straighten your elbows keeping them at your sides.

Awesome Arms Workout-Two Position Arm Floats

Movement: While continuing to keep the towel taut while bending and straightening at the elbows, start to float your arms in front of you, paying careful attention to keep the elbows directed inwards versus drifting outwards. Return the towel to the start position. Then widen your grip one hand distance on either side and repeat. Bend and straighten arms 4 times on the way up and 4 times on the way down and perform 2-3 sets in each position.

Work on these moves regularly and you’ll notice how easy it will be to maintain great postural alignment, which will make those arms look particularly awesome the next time you wear that strapless dress.

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