Every effective strength training program should include strengthening your abs as a vital component. Your form is likely to deteriorate quite fast during your heavy barbell exercises if you don’t have a strong, solid core.
Make sure you’re getting in the core workouts you need to stay on top of your game rather than allowing your core become the limiting factor in everything from your deadlift to your overhead press. The Russian twist is a really good candidate for ab exercises despite the huge variety available.
The Russian twist is an easy, effective exercise that targets the obliques, which are typically not employed in most core workouts. These are the lengthy muscles that help your torso turn to the sides and run down the sides of your body.
Abdominal Exercises Are Important
To lose weight and improve your body’s health and fitness, you can select from a variety of exercises and activities. Most people, especially women, have a tendency to gain weight around their hips and midsection. This might be hazardous. Abdominal fat accumulations have a direct impact on the emergence of cardiovascular conditions like heart attacks and strokes.
Different abdominal exercises will aid in reducing the fat in the region. One such exercise is the seated Russian twist.
This is a great exercise if you play sports frequently because it increases your flexibility and strengthens your oblique muscles.
Engage Your Lats
People are frequently instructed to pull their belly button toward their spine when learning how to brace their core. That can be a helpful cue, but it does not tell the complete story of how to make a strong abdominal brace. For a powerful core brace, you must use all of your core muscles, pressing down on both the upper half of your torso and the sides of your core.
Activate your lats. When performing the Russian twist, you must keep your lats contracted in order to prevent rounding of the back. Start by keeping your shoulders back and down throughout the exercise to maintain that firm 45-degree angle with the ground. Your lats will have to work extra hard during this exercise, especially if you’re bearing an external weight.
Strengthen Your Obliques
In the face of so much training in the sagittal plane (think: squats and deadlifts), your obliques, the sides of your abs, may very well get overlooked. However, maintaining strong obliques is essential for supporting your heavy lifts. By strengthening the sides of your abs, you may prevent your lifts from swaying from side to side.
Additionally, if you’re an athlete who prioritizes appearance, developing more muscular obliques might significantly help you achieve the six-pack look you might be going for.
Improves Power PotentialYour core plays a key role in how force is distributed throughout your body. When your core is solid enough to adequately transmit force, you are likely to lift heavier and more successfully. The Russian twist emphasizes establishing stability and maintaining a rigid torso while moving. By performing exercises that need stability in the face of dynamic movement, such as those that are power-based, your core muscles will become better able to support your body.
Teaches Upright Posture
You must maintain a stiff, erect posture with your torso throughout the Russian twist. Your body will learn to maintain an upright posture throughout dynamic activity if you remain locked at a 45-degree angle. When you add load to this movement, it gets even more challenging.
You can learn to maintain a firm isometric grip during dynamic activities by using the Russian twist. Squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses are examples of loaded movements that require a stiff torso. This can convert into strong carryover into heavy barbell lifts.
Depending on your needs and level of experience, there are many ways to change this movement to make it easy or harder. If you frequently have difficulties holding your balance, you can make this maneuver more manageable by keeping your feet down.
Raising your feet will increase your core involvement and make the balance component harder. This technique is made more challenging by straightening your legs and lifting a weight continuously.
To make this technique more difficult, you can utilize a weight plate, kettlebell, or dumbbell. However, the Russian twist is a bodyweight workout and may be done without any special apparatus.
You can change how your feet and legs are positioned to up the difficulty without any additional equipment. In order to ensure that you are under tension for the longest possible period of time, you can also add tempo training to the mix. No equipment is necessary.
Isometric Core Strength
You might not immediately think of isometric training when considering the Russian twist because you will be twisting, which is dynamic rather than isometric. Your torso, however, will remain rather solid even though you are twisting side to side.
You will develop a significant amount of isometric core strength by maintaining your erect posture rather than slouching or leaning to one side or the other. Even without twisting, maintaining a 45-degree angle with the ground while performing all of your reps is a significant core effort.
The Russian twist revolves around rotation, much as its name implies. Consider this technique, however, as a controlled maneuver to teach you how to deliberately rotate your torso and then cease moving it rather than as a forceful rotation.
You’ll spend a lot of time under intense isometric stress because you’ll be holding your body at a 45-degree angle throughout your reps. This will teach you to rotate precisely when coupled with your dynamic twisting motion. You’ll exert just the right amount of control to keep your torso in the proper position as your upper body moves.
Variations of the Russian twist exerciseYou can experiment with some of its modifications once you have mastered the Russian twist for beginners. Gym balls and weights are two examples of the equipment used in these versions.
Lower body Russian twistAs the name implies, this variant concentrates on your lower abdominal muscles and obliques. Lay on your back while keeping your arms flat on the floor to perform this exercise. Place your legs parallel to a wall. Make a T using your body. Start by angling your legs to one side until your feet are almost touching the ground. Do not let your feet touch the ground. On the opposite side, repeat.
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Punch Russian twistThis is a good alternative to the basic Russian twist because it uses the striking motion rather than a weight. In this, a punching action follows each twisting move.
Standing Russian twistYou can develop a stronger core and toned abdominal muscles by performing a standing Russian twist. Place your feet hip-width apart for this. Twist your torso to the left while keeping your lower body steady. This Russian twist variation can be performed with or without a weight; just keep going for the predetermined amount of reps.
Leg cross Russian twistThis seated Russian twist concentrates more on the muscles in your hips and core. Get into the starting position for this exercise by bending your back at a 45-degree angle. Cross your left calf over your right one as you turn to the left. Cross again on the other side, then uncross.
Weighted Russian twistThis approach to a beginning Russian twist uses weights and is the most common. For this workout, you can utilize a dumbbell, kettlebell, sandbag, or weight plate. In this sitting Russian twist, your core is rotated from side to side while you hold a single weight in both hands. Compared to the standard form of this exercise, this one puts more of a strain on your core.
How to do Russian twists?
Now that you are aware of what Russian twists are, you should master the proper technique and incorporate them into your at-home or gym routine.
The basic Russian twist steps are as follows:
- With your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, take a comfortable seat on the floor.
- In order to create a 45-degree angle with the floor, gradually lean back.
- During this and all subsequent movements of the Russian twist exercise, keep your back straight.
- Raise your legs off the ground while encircling your chest with interlaced fingers. Engage your core while performing this./li>
- Turn your arms in that direction.
- On the opposite side, repeat.
Use the Russian twist for 3–4 sets of 15–20 repetitions.