What Is A Russian Twist Exercise

What Is A Russian Twist Exercise


January 22, 2022

Do you want an exercise that will boost your core strength?

A Russian twist exercise is one of the popular workout exercises among athletes because it helps in rotational movement.

It is a simple movement that requires a lot of strength and support. It can help burn fat and request core stability, which benefits athletes and sportspeople.

Maintaining a toned and fat belly is difficult because a lot goes into sculpting your abs. An important aspect of developing abs is to adopt the right mix of exercises that hit the right muscle groups.

Russian Twist is the exercise for core muscle strengthening as it strengthens your core section and obliques. This article looks at performing a Russian twist exercise and its benefits.

Exercise Overview

What Is A Russian Twist Exercise

A Russian twist is a low-impact workout and perfect for injury-sensitive people. This exercise will strengthen the muscles that you might mess with your crunches and sit-ups.

It improves your obliques and entire core to give you a firm foundation. Individuals who regularly do the Russian Twist have a better body balance.

Russian twists strengthen your obliques, spine, and your core. They are the best exercises to get a flat belly and toned core.

This exercise targets all the muscles in your core. It works mostly on your abs and the obliques, alongside the glutes, lower back, and traps.

You typically perform this exercise with a medicine ball. It involves rotating your torso from side to side while holding a sit-up position with your feet off the ground.

The Russian twist exercise has several variations, such as the grounded Russian Twist, Weighted Russian Twist, and the Gym ball Russian Twist. Perform different variations to adjust the difficulty.

For example, a Russian Twist with feet down is the easiest version as it reduces demand on your core. In a weighted Russian twist, you can hold a dumbbell to increase the impact of the exercise. 

Benefits of Russian Twist

What Is A Russian Twist Exercise

The Russian twist is a good workout for the abdomen as it engages all the abdomen muscles. Adding a Russian twist to your workout plan can offer some of the following benefits to a certain extent.

Stronger muscles

Russian twists are a strength training exercise, meaning they can improve your muscle strength and endurance. Having the extra muscle can benefit your health apart from being visually appealing.

Some muscles you work with Russian Twist include the obliques, hip flexors, erector spine, scapular muscles, abs, and lats.

If you want to build muscle while doing Russian twists, add extra weight, such as a dumbbell between hands, to increase the amount of muscle mass you gain. You must maintain a sitting position while your obliques help protect the perfect

It builds muscle Endurance

Russian twist exercise can help you build type 2 muscle fibers, useful for sprints, powerlifting, and javelin throwing, among other activities. It targets your oblique muscles on either side of the torso and twists the spine.

When performing a Russian Twist, the obliques contract to twist left and right to develop strength that allows twisting and bending more efficiently.

The exercise will improve your muscle endurance and help you perform short-duration activities. It will also protect your spine against injury.

Improve your posture and isometric abdominal strength

Performing a Russian twist can also improve your posture. As you hold in a reclined position during Russian Twist, the rectus abdominis muscle is isometrically contracting. This means the muscle works to hold in that position.

If the abs are stronger isometrically, you can maintain proper posture. It is a total core exercise that works your balance and builds stability in your spine. You can also use it to trim your midsection

Strong immune system

The immune system comprises biological processes that protect you from diseases.

A Russian twist can make your immune system stronger and help you be sick less often. A less intense Russian Twist means you don’t over-train and weaken the immune function.

It can help with weight loss

Losing weight entails using up body fat and burning any excess fat deposits. This is possible when you use more energy throughout the day than you consume from food.

A Russian twist workout increases the intensity of your movements for some time, meaning you use more energy than usual.

It can help with weight loss as the workout requires more energy than most usual daily activities.

You can burn a lot of calories performing a Russian Twist. For example, performing 30 minutes of Russian Twist at a vigorous pace can help burn 300 calories depending on your weight and intensity.

Improved mood

The physical health of a human body influences their mood and thoughts. Doing Russian twists will help improve your mood and general health by promoting the release of endorphins.

The physiological change during Russian twists will also create positive feelings, having done something challenging that’s good for you.

Improve cardiovascular health

When you perform intense workouts such as the Russian Twist, your heartbeat is a little faster, which helps strengthen your cardiovascular system. You can maintain a healthier heart by optimizing the blood circulation in the heart vessel.

How to Perform a Russian Twist

How to Perform a Russian Twist

This exercise involves sitting on the floor in a reclined position while holding feet up off the floor. You sit on your butt and twist from side to side with your legs up, which helps improve your core stability.

When you’re twisting, you engage your oblique muscles and help burn fat. Here are the instructions on how to perform a Russian twist exercise

  1. Start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Lean back, so your upper body is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Your torso and legs should form a v-shape.
  3. Keep your back straight at this angle throughout the exercise without hunching your shoulders forward.
  4. Link your hands together in front of your chest, then brace your core and raise your leg off the ground. Always engage your core.
  5. Rotate your arms over to your side, then do the same in the other direction
  6. Twist your upper body from side to side without moving your legs
  7. Try 20 repetitions in total or set a timer for a minute and keep twisting until the beep goes off.

If you want an extra challenge, add some weight that is a dumbbell to the exercise.

However, you must maintain a starting position without weight before adding a load. Consider improving your core strength before trying this exercise if you find it difficult.

Safety Tips

Safety Tips

Russian twists are mostly sloppy, which involves significant twisting and rounding of the lower back.

This is high risk because the lumbar vertebrae are not designed for high movement, especially twisting. This movement may not cause a problem in the short term for young and healthy athletes, but it can damage your discs over time and cause lower back pain.

You need to perform Russian Twist the right way. For starters, the move should not be your go-to oblique exercise. Consider them like bicep curls for your care, where you do them occasionally to target muscles and improve aesthetics.

Don’t perform the Russian Twist if you’re not an advanced athlete. If you’re a beginner, don’t try the weighted Russian Twist, as it might cause soreness in the muscles. Also, skip the Russian twist exercise if you want to tone the midsection and develop the core strength.

Go slow while doing the Russian Twist as it will help you in maximum contraction. Moving slowly and maintaining control is safer and more beneficial. As you twist, keep your arms parallel to the floor or reach down to tap the floor beside you.

Also, avoid touching the weight to the ground, which guarantees that you will over-rotate and twist through your lower back. You can rotate slightly throughout your upper back, but ensure your lower back stays locked in place.

Maintain a straight spine when performing the Russian twist exercise to avoid rounding or slouching your spine. Your back should not round forward to start the Russian Twist.

Think about razing your entire torso from your worst, then extending your torso long. Make sure you engage your abdominal and back muscles throughout the exercise for more stability.

Learning how to perform the Russian twist exercise can prevent injury. Ensure you move slowly and breathe as you work out. Consistency is also a big factor when performing the Russian Twist to enjoy the benefits.


The Russian Twist is an effective workout method to build your shoulders and core muscles.

Performing this move will contract your muscles to the maximum and help you burn more calories. You won’t find a better core exercise to prepare for kayaking or canoeing in a Russian Twist.

Therefore, make the Russian twist part of your workout by including it in your routine two to three times a week. The best thing about a Russian twist is that you can do it almost anywhere.

You won’t need a specific location or use specific equipment to perform this exercise. However, the Russian Twist doesn’t train your obliques to perform better. You can achieve it with more effective exercises such as the Romanian deadlift and suitcase carrier.



Justin Rodriguez has spent most of his adult life inspiring people to take their fitness more seriously. He is not new to the business of providing practical solutions for those looking to set and smash their fitness goals. From sharing professional tips and tricks to recommending awesome products, Justin Rodriguez helps just about anyone who wants to get the best out of their workout routines.Having gathered a lot of experience both in and outside the gym, Justin Rodriguez uses DSW Fitness as a medium to show you exactly how to get that great-looking body with toned muscles you’ve always wanted.