Russian twists are a popular core exercise that can be performed with or without weights, making it a versatile addition to any workout routine. But this exercise isn’t just about the abs. It involves a rotation of the torso that engages multiple muscle groups in one dynamic movement. Here’s a look at which muscles Russian twists target.

1. Obliques

These muscles located on the sides of your abdominal wall do the majority of the work during Russian twists. Twisting targets both your internal and external obliques, facilitating strength and improving those side abs or “love handles”.

2. Rectus Abdominis

The rectus abdominis, or the “six-pack” muscle, is also engaged during Russian twists. It supports the control of the motion and aids in safeguarding the spine.

3. Transverse Abdominis

This deep core muscle wraps around your spine and is heavily engaged during Russian twists, playing a vital role in maintaining core stability and balance.

4. Hip Flexors

In variations of Russian twists where the feet are lifted off the ground, your hip flexors engage to maintain the position and stabilize the lower body.

5. Lower Back Muscles

The lower back or the erector spinae also play a role in stabilizing the upper body during the twisting motion.

Russian twists, therefore, are a superb full-core workout. By engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, they enhance core strength, improve stability, and aid posture. Remember to perform this exercise – and indeed, any rotational exercise – with care to prevent injury. Proper form is vital, and if you’re a beginner or suffering from back issues, it’s always advisable to start without weights until you are comfortable with the motion. So, if you’re interested in training your core effectively, Russian twists might be the perfect addition to your regimen!

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Anthony Emecheta

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[…] and stability. Moves like twists, turns, and lifts engage the deep abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis. By continuously activating these muscles, dance can help tone […]

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