Time for our Workout Of The Month. Each month we take a look at a different exercise and break it down by movement, how to do it, and discuss some of the positive versus negative impact that it can have to you and your level of fitness. Some workout’s of the month breakdown how to do a common exercise, others feature a specific exercise. This month we breakdown the towel fly – what it is, how to do it, and why you should do it.

How To Do A Towel Fly

Hello YLB readers! For this Workout Of The Month we are going to be featuring the towel fly. It may be one of those exercises that you don’t normally find in your routine but the towel fly is a great way to give your chest workout a boost by utilizing your body weight. In addition to that this exercise also recruits numerous other muscles of the arms, back, hips, and abdomen to keep yourself stabilized – master this and watch your chest, arm, and core strength increase.

First Things First With The Towel Fly

The first thing you need to become good at is the common push up. If you haven’t mastered that go here to see how to perform it properly. If you can’t do a proper push up, regress a little (it’s okay). Do them on your knees. Once you’ve mastered that, progress to the real thing – aim for 12-15 in a row.

Now, on to the good stuff – and what is a towel fly?

The towel fly combines the cable fly with a push up and it needs the help from multiple muscles to do this.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1. A flat, smooth surface
2. Two gym towels

Here’s what you do: Assume a normal push up position with hands spread about shoulder width apart and one hand on each gym towel. The gym towels here are key as they help glide your hands outward in the fly position on the smooth surface. Instead of doing a pushup, slowly open your arms outward to about half way down, pause, and then close your arms inward and bring yourself back up. That’s one rep. Aim for about ten. If doing the towel flys in a regular push up position is too difficult, do them on your knees until your core is able to support your body weight.

How to do a towel fly:

This exercise is great because it recruits so many different muscles (1,2,3):

Standard pressing muscles: The pectoralis muscles, the anterior deltoid, and triceps.
The helpers: Biceps, triceps, anterior deltoid, rhomboids, teres minor/major, levator scapulae, trapezius, and medial and posterior deltoid.
Muscles you’ll use to help stabilize yourself: Erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, hip flexors, obliques, rectus abdominus, gluteus, biceps (and all other muscles of your arm as well).

Aim for 10-15 reps with 3-5 sets on a day your do your chest or throw it in to your circuit.

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Sources:
1. http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/PectoralSternal/BWPushup.html
2. http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/PectoralSternal/CBStandingFly.html
3. http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/RectusAbdominis/BWFrontPlank.html
4. http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/RectusAbdominis/BWBallRollout.html