Russian Twist: A Comprehensive Guide to Improve Your Core Strength

How to Ab Twist/Russian Twist Properly: Correct Form, Mistakes, and Variations - A Step-By-Step Guide - Boardgains

Russian twists are an effective exercise that target the muscles in the torso, particularly the obliques, and help to improve core stability and balance. The twisting motion of the Russian twist works the muscles in your midsection, which helps to sculpt a toned and flat belly. At Boardgains, we love incorporating this fun and challenging exercise into our fitness board game. Here, we'll cover all you need to know about this exercise, including its benefits, proper form, common mistakes, and tips for maximizing your results.

What is the correct way to do russian twist and what are some modifications? 

How To Ab Twist/Russian Twist: 

  1. Started seated with knees bent and feet flat on the floor 
  2. Keeping the abs tight, lean back slightly and lift the feet a few inches off the ground. 
  3. Slowly twist the torso to the left and bring your hands beside the hip. Return to center and repeat on other side. Each twist left & right counts as 2 reps. 
  4. Continue twisting from side to side for desired reps

    Rep Count: Twisting left & right counts as 2 reps

    Modification: Keep feet on floor (Watch Video)


    Benefits of Russian Twists

    1. Stronger core muscles: The Russian twist targets your core muscles, which are essential for good posture and balance.

    2. Improved balance and stability: The exercise engages your stabilizer muscles, which help you maintain balance and stability.

    3. Increased flexibility: The twisting motion of the exercise increases your flexibility in your hips and lower back.

    4. Improved sports performance: A strong core can help improve your sports performance by providing stability and balance during activities like running and jumping.

    5. Better posture: A strong core can also help improve your posture, reducing the risk of back pain and injury.

    How to Perform a Russian Twist

    1. Start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight and your abs engaged.

    2. Hold a weight or medicine ball in front of you, with your arms straight and your hands together.

    3. Twist your torso to one side, keeping your arms straight and your eyes on the weight.

    4. Return to the starting position and twist to the other side.

    5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

    Tips for Performing a Russian Twist

    1. Keep your back straight: Avoid hunching or rounding your back during the exercise.

    2. Engage your abs: Keep your abs engaged throughout the exercise to help support your back.

    3. Use a light weight: Start with a light weight or no weight at all and gradually increase as you get stronger.

    4. Breathe: Inhale as you twist to one side and exhale as you return to the starting position.

    5. Don't rush: Perform the exercise slowly and with control to maximize the benefits.

    Variations of Russian Twists

    1. Weighted Russian twist: Hold a weight or medicine ball as you perform the exercise to increase the intensity.

    2. Feet off the ground: Lift your feet off the ground as you perform the exercise to increase the difficulty.

    3. Twist and reach: Twist to one side and reach the weight towards the floor before returning to the starting position.

    4. Bicycle Russian twist: Perform the exercise as you would a bicycle crunch, bringing your opposite elbow to your knee as you twist.


    1. Avoid the exercise if you have back pain or injury.

    2. Stop the exercise immediately if you feel any pain or discomfort.

    3. Consult with a doctor or fitness professional before starting a new exercise program.


    Russian twists are an effective exercise for targeting your core muscles, improving balance and stability, and increasing flexibility. By following the correct form and gradually increasing the intensity, you can improve your core strength and overall fitness. Remember to listen to your body, start slowly, and consult with a professional if you have any concerns.


    1. How often should I perform Russian twists?

    It's best to start with 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps, 2-3 times a week, and gradually increase as you get stronger.

    1. Can Russian twists help me lose belly fat?

    Russian twists alone won't help you lose belly fat, but they can help strengthen and tone your abs.

    1. Is it safe to perform Russian twists during pregnancy?

     It's best to consult with a doctor or fitness professional before performing Russian twists during pregnancy. It's important to avoid any exercises that could potentially harm you or your baby.

    1. Can Russian twists help with lower back pain?

     Russian twists can help strengthen your lower back muscles, which may help alleviate lower back pain.

    1. Can I perform Russian twists without any equipment?

     Yes, Russian twists can be performed without any equipment. You can simply hold your hands together in front of you and perform the twisting motion. However, using a weight or medicine ball can increase the intensity and provide greater benefits.

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