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The 5-Minute Japanese Towel Exercise for Abs Is Burning Up the Internet

Are you desperate for those six packs and want a quick fix? Alas! There is none. Debunking the myth and revealing the truth of the 5-minute Japanese exercise for abs.

Nicole Taylor
The 5-Minute Japanese Towel Exercise for Abs Is Burning Up the Internet
Table Of Contents

Standing on the mountain, she felt her abs tighten like they were ready for a challenge. She had been training them in the gym, and now she could feel the benefits of all her hard work.

Looking at the world before her, she saw her abs as a symbol of strength and power. They represented her commitment to physically and mentally pushing herself and her refusal to settle for anything less than her best.

She knew that building abs required more than just doing a few crunches at the gym. It required discipline, dedication, and a willingness to push through the pain and discomfort that came with hard work.

Besides burpees and sit-ups, a new five-minute exercise routine is taking the internet by storm called the Japanese towel exercise for abs.

This extremely simple (to the point of being too good to be confirmed) workout is said to tone your midsection in just minutes, and all you need is a small towel and a bit of space. Look at this workout craze and see if it's worth all the hype.

What Is the Japanese Towel Exercise for Abs?

The Japanese towel exercise for abs is based on the principle of isometric exercises, which involves contracting your muscles without moving any joints. It is a core exercise primarily targeting the abdominal muscles, specifically the rectus abdominis muscle.

This muscle is responsible for flexing the trunk and bringing the ribs towards the pelvis, which is the movement that is emphasized during the exercise. And since the routine only requires a small towel, you can do it anywhere, anytime-no gym required.

The exercise also engages the internal and external obliques, which are the muscles on the waist's sides. These muscles are responsible for rotating and bending the trunk and play a secondary role in the Japanese towel exercise for abs.

To Do It:

  • Bend your legs and elbows at 90 degrees, placing a folded-up towel beneath your lower back.
  • Extend your arms and legs away from your body while lying on the yoga mat with a rolled-up towel underneath your lower back.
  • Touch the pinky fingers of both hands together so that your palms face the ground, and point your toes inward until they meet.
  • Relax and rest for five minutes. Do this procedure once daily for 10 days to lose abdominal fat.

The Origin of the Exercise

You'd think it's just some silly trick that someone came across while trying to lose weight and fix posture issues, but this assumption of yours, let me tell you, is far from the truth.

Contrary to expectations, it's a product of long-term research by reflexology and massage specialist Toshiki Fukutsudzi, who gave this easy exercise to the world as a posture-correcting and back pain-alleviating technique.

The Japanese doctor claimed the method could strengthen the core muscles, reduce back pain, correct bad posture, and even tighten up the waist.

So, there are two things worth noting:

Firstly, the five-minute Japanese towel exercise is not some fluke that some social media influencer came up with out of absolutely nowhere. As previously mentioned, the exercise was created by a professional fitness instructor named Toshiki Fukutsudzi.

He developed the exercise to help his clients improve their core strength, stability, and posture. Since then, it has been widely used by fitness enthusiasts and professionals and has gained a reputation as an effective and challenging exercise.

Secondly, it's not primarily a weight-loss technique either. While it is true that exercise can help burn calories and promote weight loss, its primary purpose is to strengthen the core, rule out spinal realignment, reduce backache, and help correct bad posture. Pro tip- add Post Workout Supplements to your routine to eliminate these pains and fuel your body. By engaging the abdominal muscles and promoting core stability, the exercise can help improve overall health and well-being and prevent future injuries and pain.

Does It Really Work?

By now, you may be wondering if this technique is worth a try for toned abs. Well, fitness specialists think it may be worthwhile for back pain and posture fixation but don't expect weight loss.

According to Mallory Creveling, a personal trainer, and certified ACE CPT, while the five-minute Japanese towel exercise won't hurt you, it will not give you the results that some people claim it will.

"While the towel trick might benefit body alignment, I'm sorry it wouldn't do much for weight loss. There's just no quick trick for that," Noted Creveling.

The fitness specialist believes no amount of lying on a towel will remove excess fat from your abs. If you are serious about six packs, you must sweat at the gym or work out at home.

Influencer Cassey Ho has been quite upfront in criticizing the five-minute towel method. In an outburst aimed at this trend, Ho said, "I am so sick of fake fitness information going viral. First, it was the waist trainer, then skinny teas, then Apple Cider Vinegar, and now apparently you can lay on a towel and get toned abs in 10 days."

Cassey Ho is a certified fitness instructor who wants to bust this bubble simply because she feels it to be her responsibility to educate people and steer them away from fitness lies.

One of her very famous remarks is, "If all you had to do was lay down to get abs, we would all have six-packs by taking naps."

For Ho, there are no shortcuts to toned and sculpted abs. You'll have to work hard in the gym, support your effort with a clean diet, add Whey Protein Supplements for maximum muscle, and add some intelligent core strengthening tools like an ab roller to get those six-packs you are losing sleep.

Biology of Sculpted Abs

Biology of Sculpted Abs

Six-packs are so glamorous, and the reality is, they look fantastic! Who wouldn't want that killer look? But science says sculpted abs go far beyond ab workouts; fat distribution in the human body is heavily impacted by genetics and sex hormones.

Your abdominal muscles comprise several thin sheets of connective tissue that protect and stabilize the core. They run horizontally across your muscles and appear like packs of muscle.

You'll be rocking the well-known six-pack abs look if you have low body fat. However, body fat distribution also deals with genetics, which makes it more difficult for some people to achieve the desired look they are working towards.

Are Toned Abs Even Possible?

After all the talk of genetics and natural fat deposition inclination, you may be skeptical of losing belly fat! Rest assured; it's possible to reduce body fat percentage and bring yourself as close to six packs as your unique physiology allows.

Fat loss is simply weight loss. To lose weight, you need to restrict calorie intake. When you consume fewer calories, your body burns stored fat from your cells to compensate for lost calories. In time, you start losing weight and body fat. But there is no way to achieve targeted fat loss.

You lose weight overall, and your body burns fat all over. So, you can reduce belly fat by losing weight, reducing caloric intake, and doing strength training for more muscle, because muscle burns more calories and does that even when you aren't working out.

As you lose weight and your body composition moves towards muscle, losing fat will become more accessible, and you can show those sculpted abs.

So, yes! Toned abs are possible, but you need to eat less and move your body to attain your goal instead of simply lying on a towel for five minutes.


1. What is the Japanese secret to losing weight?

Hara Hachi Bu, which translates to Eat until you're 80 percent full, is an essential secret to successful weight loss found in Okinawa, Japan. It's no gimmick; it's been effective since the times of Confucius.

2. Does the 5-Minute Japanese Towel Exercise for Abs really work?

The effectiveness of the 5-Minute Japanese Towel Exercise for Abs, like any exercise routine, can vary from person to person. While it involves exercises targeting the abdominal muscles, achieving visible abs requires overall body fat reduction through a combination of exercise, a balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle. While it can be a valuable addition to a comprehensive fitness program, its effectiveness depends on factors like consistency, intensity, form, individual fitness level, and overall exercise and nutrition habits. To maximize results, incorporate a variety of core exercises and maintain a well-rounded fitness routine that includes cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Consulting with a fitness professional can provide personalized guidance based on your specific goals and needs.


The Five-Minute Japanese Towel Exercise For Abs has gained much attention on social media, but it's important to remember its intended purpose and potential limitations. If you suffer from back pain or bad posture, incorporating this exercise into your routine may be beneficial, and weight loss may just follow as a secondary benefit.

However, if you're specifically looking to tone and sculpt your abs, it's important to remember that there's no shortcut to achieving your goals. While the exercise may engage and strengthen your core muscles, it's not backed by scientific evidence as a reliable way to achieve a six-pack look.

Ultimately, prioritizing consistency, hard work, and a healthy lifestyle is the key to achieving your fitness goals. Combining a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a commitment to long-term habits is the most effective way to achieve sustainable results.

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Nicole Taylor

Nicole is a professional freelance writer specialized in sports nutrition and home based exercises. She publishes a website dedicated to home exercise and has contributed articles to magazines as well.

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