A medicine ball is an old exercise tool that is being used as a more mainstream exercise aid. It is a weighted ball that helps with your exercises by adding more resistance to your usual exercise routines. One exercise that is great for working out your core is doing the medicine ball twister, also known as a Russian twist. There are numerous ways to perform this exercise, including with a partner. If you’re interested in trying out the medicine ball twister, here are a few exercises to try.
The Basic Exercise
Start by holding the medicine ball at the level of your belly button, but with your arms behind your hips and away from the rest of the body. You can start either on your right or left side. Twist your body until the ball is on the other side of the body. Repeat the process for as many reps as you feel comfortable with. For best results, make sure to keep your core muscles tight and rotate with your back foot.
With a Partner
The medicine ball twist can also be done with a partner. The exercise itself is very similar to the original. In this case, stand back-to-back with your partner. Your knees should be bent just slightly and your feet should be lined up with your hips. Hold the medicine ball in front of you at torso level. Twist to your right as your partner twists to the left. Pass the medicine ball over to your partner as you both return to the starting position. Then, twist to your left as your partner twists to the right. Take the ball from her and return to your starting position. Repeat as many reps as is comfortable for you both.
There are a number of different variations of the medicine ball twist that you can try. These variations do not require a partner.
- Single Leg Twist – This exercise is similar to the basic exercise with one addition: lift your back leg off the ground once the weight is off it.
- On the Ground Twist – With this medicine ball twister variation, lay on your back while bending your knees. Place the medicine ball between your thighs and twist your body from side to side. As you twist, stop as close as you can to the floor with your legs without touching it.
- Twist with Ankles – This variation is similar to the previous, except instead of placing the medicine ball between your thighs, you place it between your ankles.
- No Medicine Ball – Each of these variations can also be performed without a medicine ball. However, without the additional weight, you do not receive as much benefit. This variation is a good one for beginners to warm their way up to doing them with the additional weight.
- Pull Up Bar Twists – This final variation also does not use the medicine ball. You can perform these twists with similar results while hanging upside down from a pull up bar or similar device.