The Russian Twist or seated oblique twist is an important abdominal exercise that strengthens various areas of the abdominals, specifically the rectus abdominis (six pack muscle), the internal obliques (cover the six pack muscle), and the external obliques (cover the internal obliques).
The abdominal muscles are one of the basic core muscles in the body, together with the trunk. Every movement performed by the body engages the core muscles, so it is always better when they are kept strong so you can live a stress free and painless free body. Strong internal and external oblique muscles prevent backache and can build strength and speed in competition-based events like sprinting and racquet sports.
Step By Step
- Sit on a mat or flat cushion on the floor for extra comfort. Performing on a hard surface puts strain on the back. Bend your knees and make sure that your feet remain on the floor.
- With any abdominal exercise, it is important to pull in the abdominals so tense them to further work them and keep them stronger over the long term. Sit up at an angle of about 45 degrees.
- Remember to breath throughout the exercise. Breathing correctly allows you the concentration to perform the oblique exercises correctly. Exhale during the exercise and inhale when resting after the rep.
- Grab hold of a medicine ball with handles (if possible). Aim to hold the medicine ball straight in front of the body.
- Keep the abdominals tense throughout, and use your abdominals and the weight of the medicine ball to twist your torso to the right side to touch the floor.
- Keep the abdominals tense, breath correctly, and twist the medicine ball to the other side and the floor. That is one rep.
- In order to build strong abdominals, especially the oblique muscles, the muscles need to become slightly stressed in order for tears to take place internally. With the right protein-rich foods, the muscles grow in strength, strip off fat, and you will achieve a toned sexy body.
Benefits of Seated Oblique Twists
- This exercise tones the side abdominals which many people forget to train when they perform crunches. It will develop the enviable V side muscles as seen on athletes.
- A stronger abdominal and core prevents backache.
- Builds strength and speed in other areas, especially sprint work and racquet sports.
It is important to note that when any body weight exercise is being performed, like a seated oblique twist, rest days are important to refuel the muscles. Nutrition is also important, especially on training days. Always try to beat your target number of repetitions. For beginners, try to perform 5 to 10 reps. Sticking to the same number of reps will not build a strong body over the long term.
The body is designed to build in strength, so performing the correct exercises and fueling the body with protein rich foods like eggs, red meat, fish, and nuts/seeds will help your body to grow. Rest is essential. If the body ever feels overworked through training or even basic work, it can break down and become ill.