It’s called the Japanese towel exercise. Heard of it?
Basically, this “weight loss trick” came from a Japanese chiropractor named Toshiki Fukutsudzi, who claimed that belly fat is caused by incorrect placement of the pelvis. Apparently, this exercise fixes pelvic alignment, rearranges internal organs, and slims your belly.
But you guys…I’m skeptical. Like, REALLY skeptical.
How to do Japanese towel abs
Okay. So here’s how you’re supposed to do the Japanese towel trick:
Step 1. Roll a towel and put it on a flat, hard surface.
Step 2. Lay on the towel so its under your lower back, just behind your belly button. Stretch your arms above your head, palms down and pinkies touching. Your feet should be hip-width, toes touching.
Step 3. Just…lay there for 5 minutes? Every day. Umm.. what?
And then see magical results in a month? (Some TikToks even say 10 days)
Does it really work?
Sorry…but probably not.
Let me ask you this: If laying on a towel for 5 minutes every day realllllllly made people lose weight, don’t you think everyone would already be doing it? Trust me, I’d be like SIGN ME UP.
I know A LOT about exercise and the body…and I’m thinking that this is just more fake fitness advice floating around the internet. It’s as simple as knowing that to burn fat, you have to burn calories and to strengthen your core, you have to do more than awkwardly lay down for 5 minutes.
But I will say that this stretch might not be a complete waste of time. YES I said stretch. Because that’s all it really is.
If you’re someone who sits a lot, has really right hips or shoulders, or even a sore back, this stretch might be really helpful for your alignment. Stretching your spine can help your posture, which could help you APPEAR a little more slim because you won’t be as likely to slouch!
So… I guess Dr. Fukutsudzi was onto something… just not the weight loss part.
And I can tell you that I’ve done a similar stretch using a yoga block instead of a towel and it does feel amazing. So try it! … but you don’t have to lay there for 5 minutes every day to feel the benefits 🙂
Here’s how you CAN use a towel in your workouts
Laying on a towel might not give you the abs of your dreams, but a towel is actually a really great tool for home workouts!
For stretching: If you don’t have a yoga strap, a towel is a great substitute to help with hard to reach stretches!
For abs: Ooooh this one BURNS. Use a towel (or two) as sliders while in plank position to do pike ups or to work your obliques.
For legs: Another burner. Do sliding side squats with a towel under one foot. Or, really fire up that leg and slide the same leg slightly behind you and forward again. These work your balance too, so it doubles as a sneaky core workout!
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