The Russian Twist is a highly effective abdominal exercise which targets the entire abs and core: from your central abs, through your obliques, to your waist.
It is a difficult exercise to do even for fit people which is why it can be so effective. I love it myself because it gets the job done. It simply crushes those abs like any good workout should.
If you’re looking for an exercise to add to your regular workout routine this is the one for you. Just be ready for some real effort. If you have a low body fat percentage, it can help you get flatter abs.
I like the Russian Twist exercise not just because it’s hard but also because it involves a wide range of motion. Unlike other abdominal exercises in which the movement is pretty limited, this one really gets you moving.
There are a number of variations of this exercise which I will go over here. Feel free to use these content links to jump straight to your variation of choice:
Each of these exercises targets the abs in a slightly different way so I recommend doing all of these variations from time to time.
Swiss Ball Russian Twist
This variation requires a swiss ball.
You lie on the ball on your upper back with both feet firmly on the ground and knees bent.
Place your hands straight before you and together. You can hold a medicine ball if you like but it’s not mandatory.
While keeping both feet on the ground, you twist your torse to one side until your practically lying on the side of your body. This twists your entire midsection and is an excellent waist toning exercise as well.
Make sure to exhale while twisting to the side and inhaling when you return to the starting position before doing the same movement to the other side.
You can do this exercise while holding a weight in your hands but it may be hard to maintain stability on the ball so only do it if you can maintain proper form at all times.
The regular Russian Twist exercise is done on the floor or on a mat. You can do this with a weight or without although there is no problem of stability here.
You begin the exercise by sitting on the floor with both legs bent and feet on the ground. Place your hands before you in the air in one line with your shoulders. Either hold them out straight or grab a weight between them.
Lower your upper body back until your back is at a 45 degree angle to the floor. Already, you will be feeling the strain of holding yourself in this position. Make sure your back is straight, don’t let it sag.
Now, rotate your arms from side to side, twisting your upper body. Make sure to not lift or move your feet and to keep your arms at the same height. Exhale and inhale throughout the exercise.
This is a standing variation of the exercise which involves using a barbell.
You take a standard barbell and place a weight on one end of it. You place the other end of the barbell into a corner so it will act as an axis and lift the weighted end in both hands.
Stand straight and keep the barbell in front of you. Stand with your feet slightly apart and your knees bent a little.
While holding the barbell, twist your upper body to one side, taking the weighted end of the barbell with you, keeping it in front of your upper body sort of like a pendulum. Feel the twist in your abs before going back to the starting position and continuing to the other side in a similar way.
The Russian Twist in all variations, is an awesome abdominal exercise. You should definitely do it and often during your regular workouts. By doing this exercise you will have worked your entire midsection.
Along with a proper and complete diet and fitness abs program like the Truth About Six Pack Abs, for instance, this exercise can indeed help you to burn off belly fat and get the flat abs you’ve always wanted.