Russian Twists

Exercise / Abs

How To Perform Russian Twists Safely

Let us take a look at performing Russian twists safely. This exercise is perfect for developing your core, but it is important to do it right.

Start by sitting down with your torso straight up and your legs together and flat on the floor. From this position lean backwards about 60 degrees. Bend your knees and bring your feet in halfway towards your hips. Lift your feet about 5 – 6 inches off the floor. Put your hands together and in front of you a few inches from your torso. This is your start position.

Engage your core and move your hands together over towards one side until above the hip. Hold this position for a second (really squeeze the oblique), move back to centre and repeat on the other side. This will constitute one rep (having done both sides). Do as many reps as the workout stipulates.

What not to do:

  • Over rotate your torso
  • Swing uncontrollably side to side

The basis behind this exercise is core strength and stability. Once your core is engaged, the rotation either left or right will be minimal. Do not over rotate and risk injuring your lower back. Focus on the core working either side and in the neutral position.

CAUTION: Do not over rotate your torso. Keep your core engaged and strong throughout. Keep your movements short and powerful from side to side.

Some Extra Tips

  • Don’t move fast and try to gain momentum
  • Make sure you can maintain this position without any rotating for at least 20 seconds before contemplating adding resistance
  • Slow and contracted rotations is key
  • Lock in your lower back when you engage your core
  • Do not try and touch the weight or your hands to the floor.

Russian Twist Variations

  1. Variation 1: With A Medicine Ball. Only do this variation once you have learnt the basic techniques behind the Russian twist. This variation adds extra resistance to your core, thus developing its overall strength.
  2. Variation 2: Arms Straight With Feet Spread. This is a different one. For this variation you will have your legs on the floor, back 60 degrees and your hands together and arms stretched out. From this position proceed to rotate left and right as mentioned above.