Summer body’s are built in the winter and this is true of abs too! There are so many different exercises for abs, but in this article we’re going to talk about the Russian Twist. This really is one of the best ab exercises out there to stimulate and engage your core. So let’s find out where the name comes from, how to do it and the benefits.
Why Is It Called The Russian Twist?
Well it’s a short answer…no one actually knows the origin of this exercise or why it’s called the Russian Twist. Sorry to disappoint you if you were hoping for a history lesson.
How Do You Perform The Russian Twist?
Sit on the floor with your legs slightly bent to make sure they’re not resting on the floor. Your upper body should be off the ground help at a 45 degree angle. Your arms should be extended in front of you and keep your hands together.
Note: To increase resistance you can hold a dumbbell or medicine ball in your hands.
The aim then is to rotate leading with your arms from side to side in a twisting motion. The main thing to remember when performing the Russian Twist is control. Slowing it down maintains the tension through your core for longer and will therefore engage your core more. It is important to remember not to stop! Stopping will remove the tension from your abs and will essentially count as resting.
In terms of rep range you should be looking to complete anywhere between 12 to 24 repetitions. Each twist to one side counts as a rep, so completing 24 repetitions means 12 reps on each side.
The Benefits of the Russian Twist
The Russian Twist is one of the best abdominal exercises for engaging your core for an extending period of time. The benefit you get from the exercise really comes down to you and how prepared you are to work yourself.
The slower you complete each repetition the greater the benefit you will get as you will be increasing TUT (time under tension) which is incredibly important for muscle development, increased strength and growth.
Another key benefit is that you can add weight. Using a medicine or dumbbell will increase resistance and as you improve you can increase the weight to maintain difficultly. This gives you great versatility to keep making this exercise a challenge, meaning you can keep pushing yourself and it never becomes easy.
It is worth keeping track of the weight you are lifting so you can push yourself to increase it each week. You can easily add 5 sets or so of Russian Twists on to the end of your workouts to get a quick-fire ab workout in at the end of each gym session. This is also a great exercise to perform at home.
Take Home Message
The Russian Twist really should be part of your ab workout routine. It is a great exercising for engaging your core and resistance can be easily increased by holding a dumbbell or medicine ball. If your New Year’s Resolution was to get abs then this exercise is a must for you. If you want a 6-pack on the beach this summer then the Russian Twist needs to be an exercise you’re doing. Happy training!