The Russian Twist is a core-strengthening exercise that targets the obliques, lower back, and abdominal muscles. It involves twisting your torso from side to side while holding a weight or other resistance. This exercise is effective for improving rotational strength and stability in the core.

Instructions for Russian Twist

  1. Setup:
    • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
    • Lean back slightly to engage your core muscles.
    • Hold a weight or medicine ball with both hands in front of your chest, arms extended.
  2. Execution:
    • Lift your feet slightly off the ground, balancing on your sit bones.
    • Maintain a straight back and keep your chest up.
    • Begin the movement by twisting your torso to one side, bringing the weight or ball beside your hip.
    • Exhale as you twist.
    • Pause briefly at the end of the movement to feel the contraction in your oblique muscles.
  3. Return:
    • Inhale as you slowly reverse the twist, bringing the weight or ball across your body to the opposite side.
    • Keep your feet off the ground throughout the set for an added challenge.
  4. Repeat:
    • Continue to twist from side to side for the desired number of repetitions or a set time interval.


  • Maintain good posture with your back straight and chest up.
  • Engage your core muscles throughout the exercise to stabilize your spine.
  • Start with a light weight or no weight at all and gradually increase the resistance as you become more comfortable with the movement.
  • Focus on controlled, deliberate twisting motions rather than using momentum.

Benefits of Russian Twist

  1. Oblique Strength: The Russian Twist is highly effective at targeting and strengthening the oblique muscles on the sides of your core.
  2. Core Stability: It engages the entire core, including the rectus abdominis (front), transverse abdominis (deep), and lower back muscles, promoting overall core stability.
  3. Improved Rotational Power: This exercise enhances your ability to generate rotational power, which is valuable for various sports and functional movements.
  4. Balance and Posture: Performing Russian Twists can help improve balance and posture by strengthening the muscles that support your spine.

Alternate Exercise

If you’re looking for an alternate exercise to target the same muscle groups, you can try the Standing Cable Low-to-High Twist.

Russian Twist
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