The Russian Twist is a challenging abdominal exercise. It targets your core while also improving the strength in your shoulders and arms. You burn calories, increase muscle tissue and improve your posture with one exercise. You also have a variety of Russian twist options from which to choose to continue to stimulate muscle response and keep you intrigued. Plus, you are able to add this effective exercise into your core routine even when limited equipment is available to you. Allow for at least one day of rest between core workouts using weights. The muscle breakdown needs time to repair and make the strength improvements.
3 Variations of Russian Twists to Add to Your Core Routine
Traditional Russian Twist
You can add this exercise into your core routine at the beginning, intermediate or advanced level. It is progressive and will grow with you.
Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels on the floor. Hold onto a medicine ball, kettlebell, dumbbell, or weight plate in both hands with your arms bent and hands in front of your chest. Keep your back straight and your chest lifted throughout the exercise and look forward to protect your neck. Perform the movement by inhaling and rotating the weight to your right as far as you are able while keeping a good posture. Then, exhale and return to the center. Rotate to the left and then return to the center to complete one repetition.
Perform one to three sets of 10 to 12 seated Russian Twists. As your strength improves, aim to lift your feet off the floor throughout the movement to further challenge your core.
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Stability Ball Russian Twist with Cable
It is beneficial to use a variety of training tools when performing core exercises. Place a stability ball on the floor approximately an arm’s length away from a “D” handle connected to a cable machine. Set the height of the handle to the middle of the tower. Lie face up with your upper back on the ball. Place your feet flat on the floor and elevate your hips to create a straight torso. Grasp the handle with both hands and extend your arms away from your chest. Pull on the handle and rotate your torso to the right. Your right shoulder remains in contact with the ball as you roll up onto it. Using control, return to the start position and then repeat the twist to the left. Continue for repetitions.
Standing Russian Twist with Barbell
A unique way to perform a Russian twist if it is uncomfortable to sit on the floor is from a standing position. Place one end of a barbell into a secure corner of a wall. Stand at a distance from the wall at which you can hold onto the other barbell end near chest height. Place your feet slightly wider than your hips. Rotate the barbell and your torso to the right and then return to center. Rotate to the left and return to start for one repetition. Aim to keep your hips square with the wall. Increase the challenge of the twist by increasing your speed. Start with the barbell and gradually add weight plates to increase the resistance.