Top 5 Russian Twist Benefits You Need To Know

Everyone loves to be in shape and have a fit body. For that, various exercises developed to reduce body fat and also to strengthen muscles1. No matter whether you are a male or female, you want a flat belly or abs. Plank variations and ab training exercises are best for abs, upper body, and lower body. Here, you are not only knowing about Russian twist benefits but also many more about Russian twist exercises2. So, keep scrolling till the end to know the Russian twist benefits.

There is one more upper body exercise that will give amazing benefits. Russian Twists are the best exercise for abdominal and back muscles. Not only this but other muscles are also covered in this exercise.

Including Russian twists in your daily workout routine gives you surprising results. With limited or no equipment, you can do Russian twist exercises. But do you know what are the Russian twist benefits that you will get after doing it? If not, then this article is the answer to that question.

Before getting started with the Russian twist benefits, first, know about what Russian twists are.

Russian twists
Image by Maridav on Unlimphotos

Russian Twist Exercise

One of the best core exercises with rotational movement. The movement involved in the Russian twist is quite simple but requires a lot of strength. It is usually done by athletes more often for core strength.

The Russian twist is a total core exercise with side-to-side movement which is good for core stability. Among all the abdominal exercises, this one works on abdominal muscles, shoulder muscles, and hips. The twisting motion covers all the muscles,

Russian twist benefits people in the following sports, football, basketball, swimming, tennis, golf, hockey, boxing, or track & field to build strength and maintain proper form.

The name of this exercise is because it originated in Russia at the time of the cold war. Well, how much this rumor is true, is still doubtful.

Targeted Muscle Groups In Russian Twist

The way of doing the Russian twist is such that it covers most of the muscles of the upper and lower body. The main muscles Russian twist targets are such as,

Abdominal Muscles

These are the strong muscles that lie in the abdominal or trunk part of the body. It gives support to the body during movements. The major function is to maintain posture and protect internal organs 3and the spine as well.

Oblique Muscles

Oblique muscles are part of the abdominal wall. They are present on either side. The direction of muscle fibers divides oblique muscles into two categories – internal obliques and external obliques. The function of both types of oblique muscles is to rotate the abdomen.

Rectus Abdominis Muscles

Rectus abdominis4 or ‘abs’ is the straight muscles of the abdomen that lie parallel in two columns. These muscles are mainly used in abs workouts. They are used for flexion of the thoracic and lumbar spine.

Scapular Muscles

The flat triangular bone in the posterior region of the shoulder blade is called the scapula. The group of muscles attached to it is known as scapular muscles, they help in external and internal rotational movement.

Hip Flexors

Hip flexor muscles have a significant role in walking and running. They are located in the upper portion of the thigh. They attach the lower back to the inside of the pelvic region. The flexion of the hips is happen due to the presence of hip flexor muscles.5

Erector Spinae

Three groups of muscles form erector spinae muscles or back muscles. They are extended from the lumbar to the thoracic and then to the cervical region. Their main function is to keep the spine straight and also help in side-to-side rotation as well.

Top 5 Russian Twist Benefits

Out of other abdominal exercises, Russian twists are the best training exercise with lots of benefits. Russian twist benefits in multiple ways.

Here are the top 5 Russian twist benefits that are essential to know by everyone.

1. Amazing For Core Muscles

Russian twist benefits core muscles very efficiently. The complete focus is on muscle movement during each twist. Through rotational movements, you can build six-pack abs.

This is an amazing core workout to include in your exercise routine for core strength.

2. Muscles Strengthening

To strengthen the lower body and muscles, Russian twists good to go. It strengthens all the muscles of the abdominal region, ultimately good for back and spinal stability.

While doing Russian twists, your hip muscles are also engaged which is good for the strengthening of the pelvic, thigh, and calf muscles.

3. Burn Calories

Russian twists are best to burn calories fastly. For belly fat, Russian twists are an amazingly good workout. It also helps in burning the excess fat from your body6. The twists help in burning side fats and reducing waist size.

For those who want a small size waist and flat belly, this is a great exercise for them. Using a medicine ball while doing Russian twists engages your arms and shoulders through which you can reduce the arm fat as well.

4. Improves Slouchy Body Postures

A long sitting work makes you slouch or bend your back forward. And continue following the same hunched posture will make it your habit. Which is not good for the spinal cord.

If you have bad body posture or hunch-back issues, then the Russian twist benefits you in that case. As it engages all the muscles of the abdomen, thigh, and hip that ultimately help you correct your posture.

While doing it with knees bent and back straight will make a V shape position. This is helpful to eliminate the slouching habit.

5. Good For Spine

Russian twists are good for the spine. It gives stability and strength to the lower body. It also keeps the spine straight.

The spinal cord is like the backbone of your body. It helps in walking, standing, bending, or any other body movements. Hence, it is going to be essential to protect it.

How To Do A Traditional Russian Twist

Russian twist works only when you do it correctly. So, check out how you have to do Russian twists.

  1. The starting position is to sit on the floor or mat with bent knees and feet pressing firmly on the floor or mat.
  2. Lean your upper body slightly to make a 45-degree angle.
  3. Try to keep your back straight and engage your entire muscle mass.
  4. Slowly twist the upper part along with the arms from the left to the right direction.
  5. Repeat this 15-20 times and then come back to the neutral position.

Variations with a Russian twist increase its benefits. Try out these variations only when you get mastery of the seated Russian twist exercise.

1. Weighted Russian Twist

This is the advanced form of seated Russian twist done with the help of a dumbbell, medicine ball, weight plate, or sandbag. The use of weight enhances the challenge more than the traditional Russian twist.

2. Punch Twists

This is another variation of the seated Russian twist where punching motion is used. Here each twisting motion and punching motion goes altogether.

3. Decline Bench Russian Twist

Decline twists are similar to weighted Russian twists in the way of doing. But here the use of the weight is not that essential. And in the decline bench twist, a decline bench is used as equipment.

4. Leg Cross Twists

Leg cross Russian twists effectively work on core and calf muscles. To do a leg cross twist, the starting position is the same as you do in Russian twists. The only difference is the cross movement of legs over one another with each side movement.

 3 Mistakes To Avoid

If you do Russian twists in the wrong way then you will not get its benefits. Russian twist benefits only when you do it in the correct posture and manner. And for that, you have to avoid some mistakes.

1. Hunching Back

Most people do this mistake a lot of time while doing Russian twists. As a result, they don’t get the benefits of Russian twists. This is because, in the hunchback position, the twist doesn’t target the muscle properly.

2. Doing Too Fast

Russian twist benefits you only when you twist slowly. While doing it at a low pace, it covers every muscle.

3. Not Maintaining Proper Form

Another mistake is not maintaining a 45-degree angle between the upper body and thigh, just like making a V shape. For that, you have to keep your back in a straight line position.

Final Note

Now, you know all about Russian twist benefits. So, don’t waste more time and start this zero-equipment workout to strengthen your muscles. You can do it in 3 sets with 15-20 repeats in the beginning. Then increase according to your strength.

This is how you can go with Russian twist benefits.

  1. Voloshin, Arkady S., et al. “Dynamic loading on the human musculoskeletal system—effect of fatigue.” Clinical Biomechanics 13.7 (1998): 515-520.

  2. Beckman, Emma M., and Justin J. Holland. “Group training exercise.” ESSA’s Student Manual for Exercise Prescription, Delivery and Adherence-eBook (2019): 297. ↩︎
  3. DiGirolamo, Douglas J., Douglas P. Kiel, and Karyn A. Esser. “Bone and skeletal muscle: neighbors with close ties.” Journal of bone and mineral research 28.7 (2013): 1509-1518. ↩︎
  4. Akram, Javed, and Steen Henrik Matzen. “Rectus abdominis diastasis.” Journal of plastic surgery and hand surgery 48.3 (2014): 163-169. ↩︎
  5. Andersson, Eva A., Johnny Nilsson, and Alf Thorstensson. “Intramuscular EMG from the hip flexor muscles during human locomotion.” Acta Physiologica Scandinavica 161.3 (1997): 361-370. ↩︎
  6. Bailey, Covert. Smart exercise: burning fat, getting fit. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1996. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


Laveleena Sharma

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