Primary Muscle Group: Abdominals, Obliques
Secondary Muscle Group: Hip Flexors
Equipment Needed: None
The Benefits of Russian Twists
The Russian twists exercise is a pretty simple but effective way to tone your tummytone your tummy, waist, and hips. It’s a popular exercise among athletes since it helps with twisting movements and allows you to quickly change direction & improve mobility.
The Russian twist is named after one of the exercises developed for Soviet soldiers during the Cold War. Today, it’s used by millions of fitness enthusiasts who are wanting to get a better six pack.
Russian Twists are also ideal for anyone looking to tone their midsection, get rid of love handles, and develop their all-important core strength, which helps with balance, posture, and movement. Plus, it’s easy to learn!
We have listed below exactly how to do the Russian twist with a step by step guide along, hand drawn illustrations and a video demonstration.
If you are looking for new and exciting workouts you can download a Free Workout Plan or purchase one of our Workout Plans that comes with access to your own fitness advisor for the duration.
The Risks of doing Russian Twists
Russian Twist can put a small amount of stress on the back during the twisting motion of the exercise. With this said, if you have any pre-existing back injuries you should be careful when performing this exercise and if you feel any discomfort, you should stop immediately. To help avoid injuries, you should warm up before doing a working set.
How To Do Russian Twists
1. Sit in an upright position with your feet out in front of you.
2. Elongate and straighten your spine at a 45-degree angle from the floor, creating a V shape with your torso and your legs.
3. Reach your arms straight out in front, interlacing your fingers or clasping your hands together.
4. Use your abdominals to twist to the right, then back to centre, and then to the left.
For Perfect Technique
• For beginners, press your feet into the floor or extend them straight out as you get a feel for the movement.
• Breathe steadily and deeply. Exhale with each twist, and inhale to return to the centre.
• As you twist, keep your arms parallel to the floor or reach down to tap the floor beside you.
• Move slow and with control, making sure not to arch your back at any point in the move. Avoid allowing your legs to fully touch the ground at the end of the move to make the exercise more intense.
• Engage your abdominal and back muscles throughout the exercise.
• For more stability, cross your lower legs.
• Maintain a straight spine, and avoid slouching or rounding your spine.
• Allow your gaze to follow the movement of your hands.
Once you have mastered the Russian Twist Ab Exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Crunches
1. Lie down on your back. Plant your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Bend your knees and place your arms across your chest. Contract your abs and inhale.
2. Exhale and lift your upper body, keeping your head and neck relaxed.
3. Inhale and return to the starting position.
How To Do Lying Leg Raises
1. How to: Lie on a mat on the floor, face up, legs extended.
2. Place your hands underneath your lower back and glutes so your pelvis is supported.
3. Begin to raise your legs toward the ceiling, pressing your thighs together and keeping the legs straight.
4. Lift until your hips are fully flexed and you can’t go any higher with straight legs, then lower back down and repeat.