Russian twists are well known for targeting abs and obliques.
Note that these (as with most ab exercises) are best placed towards the end of your workout.
How to perform Russian twists
Start with a dumbbell, kettlebell, medicine ball, weight plate, or any other weighted object you feel comfortable with.
Next, sit on the floor, keeping your legs bent at the knees. If you need to, find something to rest your feet under so that they don’t move around too much.
Bring your upper body up to make a ‘V’ shape with your torso and thighs. This is the Russian twist start position.
From here; clutch your desired weight in both hands and hold it straight out in front of you. Now twist your body from one side to the other, taking the weight with you.
A pro tip to make the exercise more difficult; position yourself with your legs raised between 45-65º off the floor.
Russian twist: Common mistakes to avoid
Ultimately you want to avoid using momentum since this tends to lead to sloppy sets. For best results, make sure you work this exercise through a full range of motion.
And last but not least, you should also keep the muscle you are working (abs and obliques in this instance), in mind throughout the exercise. Mind muscle connection will, without a doubt, help you to ensure targeted end results.
Reps and sets
As with all exercises, your Russian twists should be worked into your overall bigger picture. How many reps and sets you perform with each exercise depends entirely on where you are physically and your desired outcomes.
Beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point. Don’t overcomplicate things early on, worry about laying a solid foundation and the rest will come with experience.
More advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals.
Beyond Russian twists...
More abs & core exercises coming soon...
Just so you know, this list of abs & core exercises is a work in progress and is by no means extensive. We will continue to grow this entire database for you over time, so be sure to check back for updates. Alternatively, you can join our mailing list below and you’ll be the first to know about all new content we produce.