The one-arm towel row is a great exercise for training the back muscles and it’s very unique in that only a towel and door are required to perform the movement. It’s a fantastic alternative to free weights and it’s both convenient and effective for when you don’t have access to a gym.
The one-arm towel row also stimulates the biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis as secondary movers in the exercise, while the core has to stabilize your body during the movement. So overall, the towel row activates the entire upper posterior chain, which composes the entire back area.
In this Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: The back in general (Latissimus Dorsi, Traps, Erector Spinae, Rhomboids, Teres Major).
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Towel
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Position your feet so that your door is between your legs.
- Wrap your towel around one side of your door on the handle and hold the towel with one hand.
- Slowly and carefully lean back with knees slightly bent so you’re holding yourself up with the towel.
- Pull yourself toward the door while exhaling and keep elbows close to your side.
- Then slowly reverse the motion to the starting position while inhaling.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
- Repeat with your opposite arm.
Variations & Tips
- You can wrap two towels around each side of the door handle to perform the movement with both arms at the same time.
- Resistance bands are a great alternative to the towel row when you need more resistance.
- The one-arm towel row is a great exercise when you don’t have access to the gym or free weights.
- Be very careful and slowly perform the exercise to prevent the towel from slipping.