Russian Twist Exercise Tips

The Russian twist exercise is a rotational movement that works all of your ab muscles with an added emphasis on the obliques. This exercise promotes strength and endurance in the front abs, side abs (oblique's), and lower back.

Using rotational moves lets you target smaller core muscle groups that can be difficult to reach. These types of oblique exercises also help your abs work in harmony with your lower back and hip area muscles and joints.

Because of that, the Russian twist is an exercise that can really help those who use explosiveness in their upper torso. Sports like golf, swimming, and lacrosse are just a few.

Russian Twist Exercise

Exercise Instructions:

  • Begin by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Put your arms out in front of you with your palms facing in.

  • With your back at a 45-degree angle and your ab muscles engaged, rotate to your right side as far as you can.

  • Pause for a count and then reverse your body to the left and go as far as you can. That's one rep.

russian twist position #1Kyle Demonstrating the Russian Twist
russian twist position #2
russian twist position #3


  • To add a challenge to the exercise, try lifting both feet off the ground as you rotate from side to side.

Russian Twist Exercise with Weights

Adding free weights to abdominal exercises like the Russian twist immediately raises the intensity level with the added resistance.  By using a free weight like a dumbbell, medicine ball, or a weight plate you are constantly shifting the weight around which changes it's location and forces your core to adjust in order to maintain stability. This builds stronger abs and has your core muscles ready for any abrupt moves on or off the field.

weighted russian twist position #3


  • Make sure to hold the weight in front of your body as you rotate from side to side. This action will strengthen your side oblique muscles.

Standing Russian Twist with Medicine Ball

  • Standing with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, hold a medicine ball with your arms extended.
  • Without bending your elbows whatsoever, rotate your arms one way or the other to draw a large imaginary circle.

standing russian twist with medicine ball position #1Kyle Demonstrating the Medicine Ball Big Circle
standing russian twist with medicine ball position #2
standing russian twist with medicine ball position #3

Russian (Oblique) Twists

Side to side twisting exercises are some of the most effective core exercises to strengthen your midsection. They are also very useful for keeping the core muscles balanced equally.

The last thing you want to see is a strained weaker set of ab muscles that could keep you down for awhile. By including an intense cardio workout and a healthy low cal diet, you can be looking at a flat and tight set of abdominal muscles in no time.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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