10 Amazing Benefits Of Seated Russian Twist

Look no further if you have always craved strong core muscles and obliques.

Reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu Singh, BPT Dr. Sudhansu Singh Dr. Sudhansu SinghBPT facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Moksha Gandhi BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
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One of the best benefits of seated Russian twists is it whittles away the side fat. This exercise targets the obliques, which are the muscles running from the ribs to the pelvic area. These help you burn the fat called muffin top or side belly fat. Doing 3 sets of 30-50 reps of seated Russian twists every day can help you achieve a toned and strong core and abs. Continue reading to learn more about all the benefits of seated Russian twists.

protip_icon Workout Blueprint: Seated Russian Twist Exercise
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Benefits: Improves posture, mobility, and balance.
  • Equipment Needed: Mat, medicinal ball, dumbbell, plate.
  • Space Required: Small area
  • Assistance Required: No
  • Who Should Avoid: Anyone with lower back pain or spine problems.

Abdominal Exercises Are Important

Woman looking at her toned abdominal muscles
Image: Shutterstock

You can choose from various kinds of exercises and activities to lose weight and make your body healthier and fitter. Most people tend to accumulate weight around their abdomen and hips, especially women. This can be dangerous. The fat deposits in the abdominal area are directly connected to the development of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes.

Various abdominal exercises will help to dissolve the fat around the area. The seated Russian twist is one such exercise.

If you play sports frequently, this is a very good exercise as it gives increased flexibility and enhances the strength of the oblique muscles.

Seated Russian Twist Exercise

This exercise involves all the core muscles. A twisting motion helps to work the muscles. The exercise is rumored to have originated in Russia during the Cold War, hence the name. Find out below how to do Russian twists.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Though you must push yourself to get better, it is not advisable to over-exert yourself when doing seated Russian twists. Avoid using too much weight or moving too fast when performing this exercise.

Directions To Do The Exercise

Woman doing seated Russian twists at home
Image: IStock
  1. Sit on the floor with both your knees slightly bent and heels in contact with the floor. The heel should be around a foot or so from the butt.
  1. Lean back until you feel the abdominal muscles engage to stabilize your body. Ensure that the back is straight and not curved.
  1. Hold both your arms straight out in front of you so that you can see them. Make sure your hands are positioned on top of each other. Remember that your hands need to be in level or on par with the bottom of your rib cage.
  1. This may be a bit difficult, but can be mastered with time. Take a deep breath and try to pull your navel slowly and steadily towards your spine and then twist slowly to the left side. The movement is bound to come from the ribs rotating, and not from any of your arms swinging. Inhale through the center of your body and gently rotate to the right. This exercise completes one rep.
  1. It is important to start the exercise with the feet on the ground to stabilize your body. Once it is stabilized, you can do the difficult version with the feet off the ground and a medicinal ball, dumbbell, or plate.
  1. Rotate as far as possible and touch the ball on the ground. It is important to rotate the entire torso with your arm. Along with the weight, turn your shoulder and eyes too.
Woman doing seated Russian twist with weights
Image: Shutterstock
  1. After touching the ground, change direction and take the weight to the other side.
  1. Do as many reps as required. The back angle determines how much you can work out for your abdomen. It is also important to keep breathing through the exercise.
  1. As you practice the seated Russian twists it is important to breathe in a pattern so you don’t face any issues. Exhale as rotate and inhale when you get back to the central positions for improved breathing.

A blogger shares her love for Russian twists and states in one of her blog posts, “For me, there are many great exercises that really work for my abs, but it’s those hard-to-reach obliques that really need attention for me, and for this, my favorite exercise is, without doubt, the good old-fashioned seated Russian Twist (i).” She also suggests modifying the exercise by lifting your feet off the floor and adds, “My personal preference is to perform the exercise this way as I feel the stomach working harder this way.”

Caution: If you are a beginner to this exercise, learning how to properly perform a seated Russian twist from a trainer can aid in reduced risk of back pain. Avoid overdoing this exercise as well.

protip_icon Quick Tip
An alternative to the seated Russian twist is the oblique crunch. You can practice the oblique crunch without weights or with a stability ball if needed.

10 Best Benefits Of Seated Russian Twist

  1. Russian twists are great as they provide increased calorie burn. Increasing the intensity and/or adding weights to the exercise helps burn more calories. This, in turn, helps take care of love handles or muffin tops.
  1. This core exercise is a good workout for the abdomen. It engages all the abdomen muscles. There is more to doing the seated Russian twist than getting a flat stomach or six-pack abs. The exercise works on more than just your abdomen.
  1. It strengthens the rectus abdominis, internal obliques, and the external obliques.
Woman looks at her toned abdominal muscles
Image: Shutterstock
  1. It reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart attack by burning calories and using up stored fat in your tummy area.
  1. It may provide improved spinal mobility and rotational movements of the body. It also strengthens the lower back.
  1. The seated Russian twist helps with oblique muscles strengthening on the sides of the abdomen.
  1. Strengthened abdominal muscles helps prevent slouching and aids in posture improvement and spine flexibility. This projects confidence and trims your silhouette.
  1. It also helps with balance improvement and promotes athletic performance.
Woman with improved posture after doing Russian twists
Image: Shutterstock
  1. A trimmed abdomen and a strong core also help in your everyday activities, like bending to put your shoe on, picking up something from the floor, sitting in a low chair, etc.
  1. It also helps improve the balance of the individual.
  1. The seated Russian twist, once mastered, is one of the simplest exercises that can help work out the entire abdomen and keep you in shape. Set aside a few minutes each day to practice this twist, and you will soon feel a lot more confident about your body.

But if you face any difficulty performing the seated Russian twist, you may try a few other alternatives.

Alternative Exercises To Seated Russian Twist

1. Plank Rotations

A girl doing plank rotation exercise
Image: Shutterstock
  1. Begin in a forearm plank position with your elbows directly below your shoulders.
  2. Rotate your hips and torso to one side as you allow your arm to extend towards the ceiling.
  3. Return to the plank position and repeat on the other side.
  4. Do 2 sets of 10-15 reps.

2. Side-lying Leg Lifts

A girl doing side-lying leg lifts
Image: Shutterstock
  1. Lie on your right side and place your left leg on top of your right one.
  2. Rest your head on your right arm and place your other hand on your hip.
  3. Lift your top leg without moving your upper body.
  4. Lower it back down as you keep your core engaged.
  5. Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps on each side.

Infographic: Why You Need To Add Seated Russian Twists To Your Workout

If you are looking for an exercise that can effectively work on your sides, front, and back muscles, look no further. Seated Russian twists are straightforward to do but generous in the benefits they offer. Check out the infographic below to learn more about the benefits of adding seated Russian twists to your workout regime.

why you need to add seated russian twists to your workout(infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The core strength benefits of the seated Russian twist are not just limited to a strong core. It also helps lose that excess flab at the side of your waists, commonly known as love handles. It aids in strengthening and toning your obliques, abdominis, and pelvic floor muscles, adding strength and flexibility to your torso and lower back, and building muscle endurance. Maintaining the correct posture and following the rep numbers and timings is key in doing this exercise effectively. Including the Russian twist in your daily workout routine would help in your daily movements and activities as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Russian twist effective?

Yes, Russian twists are very effective when it comes to targeting the oblique muscles present at the side of your belly.

Do Russian twists burn love handles?

Yes, Russian twists help burn love handles or the excess fat at the side of your belly.

What muscles does a Russian twist work?

Russian twist works on the obliques, abs, and lats.

How many Russian twists should I do?

Start with 3 sets of 10-12 Russian twists. Gradually increase it to 3 sets of 25 Russian twists.

Are Russian twists good for obliques?

Yes, the Russian twist exercise is good for slimming and shaping the obliques.

Do Russian twists make your waist bigger?

No, the Russian twist doesn’t make your waist bigger.

Are Russian twists better than sit-ups?

Russian twists are better for the obliques and work the abs, whereas sit-ups are more focused on the abs.

Can Russian twists alone give you abs?

While Russian twists are an excellent way to strengthen and tone your core muscles, you also need to do cardio exercises and follow a good diet if you want to get flat abs.

Key Takeaways

  • The seated Russian twist is a core workout that strengthens the entire core while working the oblique muscles.
  • This exercise enhances better balance and stability while giving you an improved posture.
  • It aids belly fat reduction and tones abdominal muscles.
  • Due to its low-impact nature, the seated Russian twist is appropriate for individuals of all fitness levels.
  • A weight or a medicine ball can be used throughout the workout to add resistance and push the muscles even more.
  • In addition, it may be performed without any equipment, making it a practical choice for people with restricted access to gym equipment.
  • Improved physical performance in other workouts and activities can result from regular practice of the seated Russian twist.

Master the Russian twist with this step-by-step video guide. Learn proper form, variations, and tips to maximize your core strength and sculpt your obliques effectively. Get ready to twist and tone by checking out the video below!

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. Sudhansu Singh is a Physiotherapist, Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, and Neuro Physiotherapist with 8 years of experience. He is a member of the Federation of Indian Manual Therapists (FIMT) and an active member of the Delhi Council of Physiotherapy and FIMT Australia Association.

Read full bio of Dr. Sudhansu Singh
Charushila Biswas
Charushila BiswasHealth & Wellness Writer
Charushila is an ISSA certified Fitness Nutritionist and a Physical Exercise Therapist. Over a span of 6 years, she has authored more than 400 articles on diet, lifestyle, exercises, healthy food, and fitness equipment. She strives to inform, educate, and motivate her readers via authentic, straightforward, and fact-checked information.

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Ravi Teja Tadimalla
Ravi Teja TadimallaSenior Editor
Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a senior editor and a published author. He has been in the digital media field for over eight years. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University.

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Moksha Gandhi
Moksha GandhiHealth & Wellness Writer
Moksha is a health and wellness writer and a certified diet and nutrition coach. Her passion for science and writing has helped her excel in crafting evidence-based articles. Her previous experience in writing science-based research papers ensures that her articles are grounded in research and provide practical tips that are reader-focused.

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