How to do a Russian Twist


Want to learn how to do a Russian twist? This is a very straightforward exercise, and although you can do it using light weights, you can also do it without any equipment. Targeting your obliques and core, the Russian twist is a good exercise for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Keep reading for a complete step-by-step guide.


The Russian twist is rumoured to have gotten its name because Soviet soldiers allegedly favoured it during training routines. It’s straightforward and effective at working your obliques and core, but like many exercises, it’s important you do it properly to preserve spinal health.


  1. Sit on the floor or mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Your lower body should be in a similar position to the classic sit-up or crunch position.

  2. Sitting up, angle your upper body 45 degrees backward. Keep your back neutral and your shoulders in their natural position in order to maintain good posture and avoid strain.

  3. Link your hands together in front of your chest.

  4. Gently lift your feet a few inches off the ground, being sure to keep your back neutral and at a 45-degree angle throughout.

  5. Rotate your arms to one side of your body, and then rotate them to the opposite side. Your torso will also rotate slightly, but keep your eyes and neck forward. It might help to pick a spot on the opposite wall as a reference point.

Do's and Don'ts

  • DO use a light weight to make it more challenging.

  • DON’T let the weight touch the floor on either side.

And that’s it! People generally do these for about a minute, but feel free to do fewer reps if you prefer. The Russian twist is generally safe, but as with any movement which involves rotating the torso and spine, it’s important you keep your back straight and don’t rotate into an unnatural position.


The Russian twist is a straightforward exercise, but it’s important to do it properly, and it’s not for everyone. If you’d like personalised advice or a workout plan tailored to your fitness goals, our friendly personal trainers at your local Gym are available to help.

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