How to Do a Russian Twist With Proper Form For a Stronger Core

Fitness

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You don’t need any equipment to learn how to do a Russian twist. Follow Norman’s tips from the comfort of your home, or add this into your next ab workout at the gym.

  1. Sit with your knees bent and your feet away from your butt. Norman recommends starting either with your feet completely flat on the ground, or elevated a few inches off the floor.
  2. Clasp your hands together (as pictured) and, without using momentum, start to twist, making sure to engage your core. “The movement needs to be controlled; with smooth and deliberate rotation from side to side,” Norman says, encouraging you to think about your breathing. “Exhale as you twist to the side, inhale as you return to the center.” After rotating across both sides and returning to center, you’ve completed one rep.
  3. Do 16 full rotations to complete a set.

Russian Twist Benefits

In addition to increasing core and back strength, Russian twists have plenty of functional benefits. They can reduce back pain and improve posture, balance, and even rotational mobility. “They’re also versatile, low impact, and home- or gym-friendly,” Norman points out. Add Russian twists to your workout and see the difference yourself.

What Muscles Do Russian Twists Work?

“Russian twist works in conjunction with the muscles of your lower back and hips to enable you to rotate your body with more power,” Norman says. The rectus abdominis is primarily strengthened by Russian twists, engaging the lumbar spine so your body can twist. Lower back muscles called the erector spinae help you stabilize, while the transversus abdominis (AKA the deep core) keeps you balanced. The internal and external obliques are also heavily involved, working with your back muscles to help you rotate.

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