I know it looks a bit silly….

And I’m not expecting you to go into the middle of your commercial gym weight room floor and start doing it…

But the Towel Taz is an amazing, and deceptively hard conditioning drill that can be a great way to mix up your cardio sessions without all the impact and even put an emphasis on your upper body and core.

It can get you moving in every direction and be done no matter your fitness level.

And it doesn’t require fancy equipment.

Heck you can grab your comforter or even a sheet off your bed if you don’t have a moving blanket.

But I do want to break down the benefits of this amazing move because it can be done without any fancy equipment and is deceptively humbling!

The first reason I love this move, despite how silly it looks, is that it can be used with a variety of intervals to achieve different conditioning benefits.

You can use a heavier moving blanket and easily gas yourself out with quick 10-20 second sprints.

Or you can even learn to use it for more aerobic capacity building longer interval durations of even 1-2 minutes.

But no matter your fitness level you can vary the intensity and intervals you work in to get benefit from this exercise.

And it can really be tailored to what you want to work on – whether you want to focus more on intense quick bursts or more endurance!

And unlike so many of the conditioning drills we do, it gets you moving in every direction while being a full body drill!

When you often think about cardio, our first thoughts are often of running or biking.

If we’re thinking about bodyweight interval workouts, we may start to consider the basic burpee or jump squats, which really still are moving us only in one plane of motion.

And while I think there are some great variations of these moves that can be used to twist and turn and work in every direction, the Towel Taz is a great way to do this without the impact of jumping!

You shuffle laterally as you shake the towel up and down.

Or side to side.

You can circle.

Move forward, backward.

You’re not just moving in one direction like we are with running and riding and your whole body is working.

There is a lot of freedom to the movement, whether you want to make it more core intensive, rotating side to side as you move around…

Or you want to make it more shoulder and arm intensive, shaking the towel up and down.

And it conditions not only your lungs, but so many of the muscles that pay off for other sports.

That towel becomes way heavier than you’d expect and you’re going to feel your arms and shoulders.

This can be a great drill to help keep your shoulders healthy, while improving your conditioning for swimming, not to mention any fight sport.

You may even be surprised by how much it improves your upper body lifts, improving the strength endurance of your shoulders.

And by moving in every direction, you may feel your agility and even reaction times to cut, twist and turn improve. You see your balance and stability improve from your ankles up to your hips.

It also will add diversity to your routine as so many of the cardio moves we do are lower body focused.

While no, we can’t spot reduce an area and just do a thousand tricep exercises to try to lose the bat wing, this move does come in handy for that little extra fat loss benefit when our lifts and nutrition are dialed in.

Studies have shown that more fat is mobilized from areas AROUND the muscle we work. We just then need to UTILIZE that mobilized fat…and a little cardio focused on those areas strategically may make that 1% improvement.

Do your upper body lifting session then finish it off with a killer 30 on 15 off series of Towel Taz while making sure your nutrition is on point, and you may be surprised by how much that helps with that last little stubborn bit!

The Towel Taz can also be helpful if you’re not able to do some of the higher impact conditioning drills or lower body cardio exercises.

If you’ve had a lower body injury and have to reduce impact, you may feel limited in your conditioning drills.

This move can be done seated if needed or even by stepping or quick cuts to move around.

Honestly, this silly looking move is well worth the stares you may get.

And can be a great option if you’re training at home and looking to mix things up.

It is incredibly functional in how it asks us to quickly engage muscles and have so many things work in unison in every direction.

No it’s not a functional movement pattern you will directly do in everyday life, but the benefits of the mind-body connection, conditioning improvements and strengthening in every direction really will have you feeling fabulous.

Now I just wanted to add some quick tips to implement this move….

Use a big and heavy towel. Moving blankets are ideal as they won’t whip you and they have some weight to really challenge your upper body and core.

Focus on quick movements of both your upper AND lower body. While you may shake the towel up and down, shuffle and step in every direction.

If you even swing the towel side to side, focus on walking forward and backward.

Force your upper and lower body to work independently in different directions but together!

Make sure you focus on that exhale as you shake the towel and focus on a speed that challenges you for the intervals of work you’re performing.

If you’re doing 20 seconds, max out.

If you’re using this for 1 minute, consider more of a 65-75% of your max effort pace to push yourself to feel out of breath but be able to work the entire time.

But as much as you may be shaking your head no at your screen, give this move a chance.

It’s humbled many an MMA fighter and you may be surprised by how much it improves your conditioning to even be able to lift more, run faster and cycle further.

You may even be shocked at how much you see improvements in your ability to quickly react and move in every direction!

What untraditional exercises do you love?

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