Russian Twist exercise is challenging exercise that builds the upper abdominals, lower abdominals, serratus and oblique muscles. It also engages the lower back and hip flexors.

Russian Twists will also develop core strength, flexibility and mobility of the hips and the trunk. This can be used as a warm up before training back or legs.

It can also be used as a finisher to an abdominal training program since it ties in the major muscles of your core section. This is a valuable exercise for physical activities that require trunk rotation such as baseball, tennis, golf and boxing.

Russian Twists Exercise How To

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent in a 90 degree angle.
  • Hold a medicine ball with both hands in front of your chest.
  • Tighten your core; lean back slightly then twist your trunk to one side. The medicine ball must remain in front of your chest at all times.
  • You could have the medicine ball touch the floor for a greater stretch but it must always come back in front of your chest.
  • Once you feel a nice contraction, reverse position and twist to the other side.
  • If you want to make the exercise more challenging, raise both legs off the ground and hook one foot behind the other for security before initiating Russian Twist. This variation engages the lower abdominal in the exercise.
  • Repeat the exercise until you have completed the targeted number of reps.

Form and Technique

If you want to involve the lower abdominals more and create a stronger contraction of the core, switch to the “legs raised” version of Russian Twist.

Keep in mind however that it also places more compression forces on your lower back. If you have issues with your lower back, stick with the regular version with both feet on the floor.

Focus more on form and technique than the amount of weight you are twisting with. You get better results from Russian Twist by focusing on the stretch and the contraction.

Variations:   Plate Twist, Oblique Crunches, Seated Barbell Twist

Routine for Strength: 5 sets x AMRAP (30 secs rest between sets)

Routine for Muscle Gains: n/a

Russian Twist

How To Do Russian Twist