Your Pilates practice can be as affordable or as pricey as you want it to be. While it’s certainly worth investing in an at-home reformer, you can get an effective workout with next to nothing in terms of equipment—it’s really up to you. Want to know a little secret? One of the best tools you can use in your Pilates workouts—especially when it comes to lighting up your core—is a towel.
In the latest episode of Good Moves, Brian Spencer, an instructor at East River Pilates, shows how the simple addition of a towel to your Pilates core workout can light those muscles on fire. (And if you don’t have a towel handy, any piece of cloth that’s roughly shoulder-width distance works perfectly.) “It’s going to help us find all sorts of different ways to inform our muscles to get a little bit deeper into our core, our shoulders, and just give you that extra little something,” he says.
There are a handful of different ways the prop comes in handy during this 10-minute Pilates towel workout. First, it helps you keep your form and target the correct muscles. When you’re lying on your back and extending your arms behind you, the towel acts as a reminder to keep your ribs down on the mat. “If you’re someone like me who tends to flare your ribs up, it gives you that extra little moment of really bringing awareness into our mid-back,” Spencer says.
The towel also gives you an extra stretch during your roll-ups, challenges your shoulder and abdominal stability, helps correct forward head posture, and even acts as a slider to amp up your planks. Oh, and it wipes up all the sweat that’ll most definitely be dripping down your face throughout the workout. Press play on the video above to follow along and experience the magic of the humble towel for yourself.