How To Do A Russian Twist (With Video)


how to do russian twists

A Russian twist is a core body exercise that strengthens all parts of your abdominals, especially your obliques, for a toned waistline and stronger core. The twisting motion of the Russian twist is the key to this move. By using your muscles to rotate 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.  

By learning how to do a Russian twist you add another excellent core move to your arsenal of exercises and move beyond just ab crunches alone.

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 can be done with bodyweight alone or with an added weight like a dumbbell, medicine ball or any heavy object to train your muscles to work harder. If the Russian twist is new to you, be sure to start without any extra weight and learn the proper form.

Once you build up strength and become confident in your movement you can bring the extra weight into the picture.

Remember it is not just obliques that work in a Russian twist. It is crucial to pull your lower abdominals throughout the move in order to protect your back. Imagine zipping up a tight pair of pants. This is the same muscle contraction you should use throughout the twisting of the Russian twist.

Be sure to continue breathing and relax your hip flexors for maximum success.

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

How To Do a Russian Twist

  1. Start seated with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of the chest. Keeping the spine long and abdominals pulled in, lean slightly back and lift feet a few inches off the floor. If that is too difficult be sure to keep your feet down 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 Russian Twist Work?

A Russian twist strengthens all core muscles with a special focus on the obliques.

Benefits of Russian Twist

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

Strengthens Core Muscles

A Russian twist is an awesome exercise for strengthening the muscles of the core, especially the obliques.

Helps Prevent Back Injury

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints of those visiting their doctor each year in the U.S. Since this is often due to tight muscles in the low back. Exercises like the Russian twist will help build a stronger core to prevent back injury and lower back pain. 

Improves Athletic Performance

A Russian twist builds strength throughout your entire core which will assist you in the rest of your workouts.  A strong core means a strong body and the ability to perform better.

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 a higher intensity. Bottom line – the harder you work, the more calories you burn.

The Russian twist is excellent to incorporate into other workouts and will play a part in burning overall calories. 

Other Exercises Similar to Russian Twists

If you like Russian twist consider trying other abdominal moves to compliment your core work such as:

Incorporating Russian Twists Into Your Workouts

The Russian twist is a great exercise to practice any time on its own. However, you could also incorporate it into other workouts! Here are some ideas to make that happen.

Use Russian Twist into a 10-minute Core Workout

A 10-minute core workout can be the perfect thing to fit into a busy day or tack on to the end of a cardio workout. Try this 10-minute core workout to see what you think!

10 For 10 Core Workout

Perform each of the 10 exercises below for 10 reps moving directly from one exercise to the next without rest.  Complete all 10 moves and repeat!

10 Ab Reverse Curls
10 Bird Dog Crunch Right Arm Left Leg
10 Bird Dog Crunch Left Arm Right Leg
10 V-Ups
10 Right Oblique Crunches
10 Left Oblique Crunches
10 Plank to Single-Arm Reach
10 Basic Crunch
10 Russian Twist
10 Full-Body Roll-Ups

Use Russian Twist in a Total Body Workout

A Russian twist can be incorporated into a full-body strength training workout. It is important to strengthen all your muscles from head to toe, including your core.

No-Equipment Total Body Strength Workout

This workout strengthens all the muscles in your body and doesn’t need any equipment to get it done! Try each exercise below for 20 repetitions with just a few seconds in between to rest. No equipment is needed!

20 Basic Squats
20 Push-Ups
20 Backward Lunges
20 Tricep Dips
20 Side Lunges
20 Russian Twist

Use Russian Twist in a Cross-Training Workout

The Russian twist is a great move to add to a cross-training workout. Cross-training incorporates strength and cardio for a well-rounded, complete session

Cross Training Challenge

Do each exercise below for 1 minute with no break in between moves! Repeat the whole routine!

Jumping Jacks – 1 minute
Basic Squat – 12 Reps
Skiers –  1 minute
Skaters – 1 minute
Side Lunges – 12 Reps
Mountain Climbers – 1 minute
Push-Ups – 12 Reps
Lateral Shuffle – 1 minute
Russian Twist – 12 Reps
High Knee Run – 1 minute
Tricep Dips – 12 Reps

Workouts That Incorporate Russian Twist:

1. 9 Ways to Beat Menopausal Belly Fat

play button of chris by fireplace working out

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to an increase in abdominal fat during your menopausal years. This workout incorporates a Russian twist and will help you lose belly fat!

2. 28-Day Belly Fat Blast Challenge

woman doing a crunch in workout clothes

There are no quick fixes to get rid of belly fat. Like any other “problem area,” the only way to really get rid of belly fat is to burn fat all over your body. So if you’re looking for long-lasting change, join this challenge!

3. How to Get Rid of Love Handles

chris looking down in front of the house

Learn the five toning exercises (that include Russian twist) that specifically target love handles. This video will have you feeling the burn! Combine this workout with the advice above and you’ll watch that belly fat “waist” away.

Targets: obliques, rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus

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