How To Do A Russian Twist

how to do russian twists

Russian twists are a core body exercise that strengthens all parts of your abdominals, including your obliques, for a toned waistline and a stronger back. The twisting motion of the Russian twist is the key to this move. By rotating with your abs from side to side, you are firing up the muscle fibers around your waist as well as pulling in the lower abs for a strong, flat tummy.

If you want to learn how to do Russian twists, you will have another great ab move in your arsenal. Best of all, your new move not only strengthens the ab muscles you get in a plank or a v-up, but adds the oblique muscles to the picture as well. The Russian twist is awesome just the way it is, but you can also hold a dumbbell, a medicine ball or another object that adds a little more weight. However, start by learning the move free of weight; this will strengthen your muscles without putting your back at risk. Once you are confident in this motion, adding the weight of the ball will really make you feel those muscles work!

It is crucial to pull your lower abdominals in during this move. Imagine you are zipping up a tight pair of pants. This is the same muscle contraction you should use the entire time you are twisting with the medicine ball. Make sure to keep breathing. Also, it takes a conscious effort to relax your hip flexors.

Try this move and then try our workout Lose Your Love Handles With These 5 Exercises.

Use the links below to quickly navigate this guide:

How To Do Russian Twists:

  1. Start seated with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of chest. Keeping the spine long and the abdominals tight, lean back slightly and lift the feet a few inches off the floor. (To modify, keep the feet on the floor.)
  2. Slowly twist the torso to the left and bring the dumbbell beside the left hip. Return to center, and then slowly twist to the right and bring the weight beside the right hip to complete one rotation.

What Muscles Does A Russian Twist Work?

Russian twists are a core body exercise that strengthen all of your core muscles especially your obliques and transverse abdominis. Learning how to do Russian twists helps create stronger abs and a healthier low back. The great thing about this move is you can make it a little easier by keeping your feet on the ground, or make it more challenging by holding a weight or medicine ball.

Benefits of Russian Twists

There are many reasons you should incorporate Russian twists into your workouts. Here are just a few:

Stronger Abs

Russian twists are an amazing ab exercise that truly challenges your entire abdominal wall but especially focuses on your obliques. The twisting and rotating that occurs forces you to use both your internal and external obliques. These muscles are extremely important for a strong overall core. While you twist with your obliques, you are simultaneously pulling in your transverse abdominus for flatter abs and a stronger back.

Stronger Low Back

As mentioned above, due to the twisting motion, the Russian twist uses all abdominal muscles which helps to strengthen those muscles that surround your lower back. This will help prevent low back injury and give you a stronger core and better posture.

Better Core Stability

Russian twists forces you to draw your transverse abdominus in to help provide stability as you rotate side to side. This transverse abdominus – also known as the “powerhouse” of your body – is responsible not only for a flatter tummy and stronger back, but also for giving you a stable trunk making you better at everything you do with your body.

How Many Calories Do Russian Twists Burn?

People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Most exercises will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working at high intensity. Russian Twist is an intense ab move that won’t burn as many calories as running or swimming, but will give you results you want in your core.

Other Exercises Similar to Russian Twists

If you like Russian twists and the results you get from them, here are a few more exercises you might want to try:

Incorporating Russian Twists Into Your Workouts

Russian twists are an amazing exercise on their own! However, you could also incorporate Russian twists into other workouts to add a core strength element or to mix-up your work. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Obliques Core Strength Workout

Here’s a short, sweet and effective workout for your core that uses Russian Twists.


Standing Oblique Burner – 15 reps per side

Oblique Crunch – 15 Reps per side

Russian Twist – 30 seconds

Hip Dips – 16 Total Reps

Side To Side Obliques – 16 Total Reps


12-Minute Cardio Workout

Cardio workouts are fun to do and make you feel great. No equipment needed. Just get ready to work hard and get that body in shape in 12 minutes!

Instructions: Warm up by marching or jogging lightly for 1 minute. Then do 4 inchworms to get the body ready for movement. Perform each move below one minute.

Repeat the sequence once more.

Full Body Strength Challenge

This workout uses Russian Twist in addition to covering every muscle group! Grab a medium pair of dumbbells and go from one move directly to the next.

Repeat twice more.

Here are 3 more workouts that incorporate Russian Twist you might want to try:

Targets: core, back

(This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
Send this to a friend