Need A Quick Full-Body Move? Try A Reverse Lunge Twist (With A Towel)
Reverse lunges and twists alone are great additions to any workout, and together, they make a great pair for strengthening and stretching the full body. When time—or energy—is low, sometimes all you need is a quick, simple move to wake up the body, get the blood flowing, and carry on with your day freshly energized. Here's how to do a reverse lunge twist, with a towel, to target your entire body.
How to do a reverse lunge and twist:
- Begin standing with your feet hips-width apart with a straight spine and tailbone slightly tucked.
- Hold a towel out in front of you actively with both hands at shoulder level, as if you were pulling it apart. With a proud chest, feel your shoulder blades wrap down your back.
- Inhale, and on the exhale, step the right foot back, coming into a reverse lunge. Left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle with a strong left quad. On the ball of your right foot, lower your knee so it's just hovering above the ground, and feel your right hamstrings and glute light up. Keep tailbone tucked down.
- At the bottom of your exhale, twist to the left, using the towel to leverage the twist. Keep legs and hips still and square to the front of the room as you twist up and out of your core, allowing your chin to be the last to turn.
- On the inhale, untwist back to the reverse lunge, then step back to standing.
- Repeat on the other side. That's one rep. Complete 3 to 4 sets of 15 to 20 reps.
Why it's effective.
When you do a reverse lunge and twist with proper form, this simple move targets the entire body.
The exercise challenges your legs and hips, strengthening the quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, and glutes. And the twist engages your core, particularly those obliques. It also strengthens your back muscles and spine and may even help with digestion.
Factor in the addition of the towel, which engages your shoulders, chest, and arms, and there's a good chance you could do this move alone and still feel it the next day. You can also incorporate it into any bodyweight workout, or even a yoga flow.
Anytime you need it, this reverse lunge twist is there for you—just grab a towel and get moving.
Jason Williams, NASM-CPT is a personal trainer, meditation teacher and well-being coach. He was a former collegiate track athlete at Lynchburg College, where he received a B.S. in sports medicine. He teaches boot-camp style and spin classes, but his main interests are pilates and barre. He is the director of Pilates Barre Training in Baltimore, MD and the author of "The Adventures of Frankie Fitness," a children's book that inspires kids to be both physically and mentally healthy.