Towels and Washcloths

I’ve survived physical challenges of various types over the years. I’ve run and biked long distances, climbed mountains, baled hay, performed 436 sit-ups nonstop, and sat 6 hours in a doctor’s office. These challenges all pale, however, in comparison with last night’s open training session at Kachmann Mind Body.

I knew we were in trouble when Erin Long placed washcloths and bath towels on the floor. They weren’t for tidying up after class, if that’s what you’re thinking. They were actually props in a sordid, devilish scheme to drain us of every bit of energy and strength that we possessed. Not surprisingly, the scheme worked.

We used the washcloths (dry) as pads for feet and hands in several types of exercises. We performed push-ups using the cloths, each hand on one, sliding one hand away from the body and pushing down, then up, then sliding the other hand away from the body and pushing down, then up. This was a timed exercise, as were most that we encountered.

Another exercise using the washcloths consisted of the participants lying on the back, with heels resting on the washcloths. With arms flat on the floor, we had to swing our legs from side to side across the surface of the floor. This is a good one for abs if you can overlook the extreme tugging on your innards.

We also did some sliding lunges using the washcloths. We were given the choice of using dumbbells or not. I used them. The lunges were done forward, to the side, and backwards, alternating legs. Pretty awesome.

Now, as for the towels. We used them three different ways. One exercise consisted of lying on our backs on the towel, feet on the floor. Lifting the hips, we pushed ourselves backward across the width of the exercise room and back again. Think of this as doing a “bridge” on the move. This was good for the abs and the quadriceps, as well as the calves.

The next one on the towel was also done on our backs. This time, we were instructed to PULL ourselves across the floor rather than push. This was the exercise from HELL. If you doubt this, try it sometime. Lie down on a towel on your back, on a smooth floor. Using your feet, pull yourself forward. Then keep pulling until you’ve gone as far as you can. I don’t know about you, but I could only muster about 15 or 20 feet. Maybe not even that far. This is a killer for the hamstrings.

The third towel exercise was done on the stomach. Two washcloths were placed on the floor, toes resting on them. Using our arms and hands, we had to pull ourselves forward across the floor. This one reminded me of doing breast strokes in water. I liked this one. It was difficult and challenging but very satisfying somehow. Breathing is very important with this exercise. I exhaled while I pulled myself and inhaled when I reached forward for the next pull. I’ll feel this one in my upper arms, shoulders, and upper back.  I think this exercise can help my back strength and therefore my posture.

Although the session was very dynamic and exhausting, I felt good afterwards. After supper and a hot shower, I slept very well. I expect a bit more difficulty with sleep tonight when my muscles start to protest their abuse. Tonight’s yoga session should help with that, however.

I have some guest passes to the classes at Kachmann Mind Body if anyone is interested in trying out one of the exercise sessions or the yoga. Check out the class schedule.

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