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Hey guys,

Just as I told you to put down the apple cider vinegar/cayenne/honey mixture, a new weight loss trend started making its rounds on TikTok. Well, technically it’s an old trend that’s circling back.

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.

rolled white towels

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)

@blogilates##duet with @tiabagha Fake fitness advice has a way of going viral on TikTok and I’m not happy about it. ##fitgirl ##healthygirl ##pilates ##fitness ##abs♬ carrieberkk ab workout – carrieberkk

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.

However.

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!

And if you are looking to lose weight…

Remember it comes down to eating well, staying hydrated, and exercising often. You can strengthen your core, but you can’t spot-reduce fat. No magical tricks or crazy diets, here!

What do you think of this new trend? I wanna hear your thoughts below!

The Conversation (26)

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  • komal says:

    such a true words used by a magical women….thx dear for clearing its realy happened like u said…

  • aby2020 says:

    Thanks , I just completed my June workouts . And feel stronger and I notice some small changes in my body . 1st month working out

  • Panda says:

    You don’t have to use the sauce, you can just add whatever you want to add! One comment said onion, which i bet is good!

    • Panda says:

      omg i have no idea what happened ignore this comment i was replying to another comment for a recipe, and it brang me here woops

  • Jennifer says:

    Please Cassey, can you do a “sliding around with a towel” workout someday? :)

  • Haimanty Roy Adhikary says:

    That’s a great idea

  • Mizu says:

    True, it won’t really help with 6 pack abs. I think the people on tiktok took it a little too far. It does help though, as i’ve tried it for a week (It hurts, tbh)
    Just the posture, but not the abs part. I think, what it does is align your posture properly so you can maximize your workouts? That’s just my theory as i do it 5mins before a workout. But i don’t think this is for everyone. If you have scoliosis, or any back problem, you might want to consult your doctor before jumping into the trend and aggravate your condition.

  • Katheryn A Thompson says:

    I saw this, and I didn’t think it would do more than stretch the back. I’ll stick to pilates to strengthen the core.

  • Allison says:

    I tried this year’s ago for my back after having my first child my back gave out 6mths later because I was just doing to much activities and not enough rest & sleep deprived taking care of a new baby. It slowly helped my back. I didn’t know about the ABS part until about 6mths ago I think. I didn’t get any of those benefits. I did this for 6mths 2 times a day. It actually hurt my back and my stomach for some reason. So I’m not sure it helped me at all to tell you the truth. It was my grandmother’s friends that suggested it year’s ago.

    One of the many problems is with Tic Toc & Instagram is anyone can post anything. No research nothing. Just post it even if it’s crap. The Cinnamon test or whatever it’s called, Skinny Tea’s, hair growth serums, at home remedies that could even be dangerous to consume. There is always someone who will try just about anything to see quick results. Not sure if they are desperate, lazy or just emotionally exhausted and not following through with consistency with exercise and learning how to eat healthy. I wish the Diet & Beauty & fake Fitspo culture could be regulated but I’m sure it’s nearly impossible because it’s so oversaturated.

  • Mandahoney says:

    About a month and a half ago I tried this for about a week. Nothing changed except now I have nerve damage on the top of my right foot that’s lasted for over a month. Its painful. It’s likely from the supine positioning of the feet while doing this ridiculous exercise. It cuts off circulation by impinging nerves from a prolonged inward rotated stretch.

  • Britnee says:

    Thank you so much for addressing this. I was wondering about the accuracy of this. Great job Cassey :)

  • Amy says:

    Cassey, I appreciate you debunking these myths. It sounds like Tik Tok has a lot of misinformation on it just like the rest of the Internet.

  • I saw this video on Facebook. I don’t think it would work. It’s a great stretch.

  • Heekyung says:

    I absolutely agree with your words. The towel trick is just a stretching. No more than the one. The answer you can get six pack abs is be doing workouts every single day.

  • Anna K says:

    Cassey, I just love you. I so appreciate your direct, effective, authentic approach to health and fitness. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t tried the ACV, lemon, cranberry concoction. But you’re so right, that considtent lifestyle patterns are so much healthier than fad diets and wacky workout myths. Thanks for all you do. ❤

  • Faiz abubaker says:

    Do you want to be friends with me cassey

  • eve says:

    its funny when you put it like that, it does sound ridiculous but i have done my own research on YouTube tiktok and other platforms and some people have found it really HELPFUL. again, like you said its not something to rely on and you stil have to eat clean and move but the stretching seems to have been proven…. i just wonder why your so quick to put the idea down? did you try it or do you think its a waste of time?

    • Yuna says:

      I’m pretty sure because at some point you know enough about a topic to separate fake stuff from things that actually work. Like when you hear “Doing this will give you the ability to fly through the air on a broomstick like a witch” you know that it’s fake because you have the knowledge to know that this is impossible. Also, anecdotal evidence doesn’t count. There are too many biases, like confusing causation with correlation. Humans are great at seeing connections between things that aren’t actually there.

  • Mykki says:

    Thanks for addressing this – I’ve seen it in Pinterest lately too! It does look like it would be a fantastic stretch for my back though, so I might give it a try and see if I can improve my posture a bit. :)

  • Feb says:

    What do ‘sliders’ mean in this context? I only know the term from American restaurant menus but I’m pretty sure you don’t mean “small hamburger” :(

    • Layla says:

      Sliders are patches of fabric or towels that you use in certain exercises to slide your foot or hand so you’re not dragging it all over the floor. All they do is ease your movement which can be really helpful sometimes.

    • Alice M says:

      Like sliding your hands and feet across a hard floor

    • Maya says:

      I was wondering the exact same thing

  • Natasha says:

    And I got all hopeful when I saw the title… 😂😭

  • Natalia Uurtio says:

    AGREE 1000%.

  • speaking of towels, I’m sure you have a towel workout on YouTube somewhere! From years back :-) wow that was creative :-) thank you for sharing.

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