Russian Twist

A drawing of a female performing a Russian Twist. The abdominal muscles are highlighted to show that those are the muscles working when performing this exercise.

The Russian Twist is a great way to train both core stability and rotation.

Additionally, for most wrestlers, it’s not a particularly demanding exercise. The benefit of this is that there shouldn’t be any concern that it will cause you to get too sore and negatively impact your performance.

Here’s a quick video of me performing the Russian Twist:

In this video I’m using a Medicine Ball for added resistance. Before you start adding external resistance, remember- master the bodyweight version first.

Focus on maintaining your balance with your feet off the ground while twisting to each side in a controlled manner.

If you find yourself having difficulty maintaining your balance, simply put your feet on the ground.

Once you’re comfortable with that, then progress performing the exercise with your feet off the ground. When that is comfortable, you can start adding external resistance.

Another way to progress this exercise is to add a speed component. Obviously, your ability to rotate quickly can mean the difference between finishing a takedown, hitting a successful switch, and/or effectively throwing your opponent. So training your core to rotate explosively is important.

Here’s a video demonstrating the Speed Russian Twist:

For this variation I suggest you find something to hook your feet under. I’ve found that decreasing the stability allows for faster speed.

You can also perform this exercise on a Decline Situp machine if you prefer. I have a few wrestlers I work with that like this variation. Since I think this adjustment still keeps it in the “less-demanding” category, it’s fine to work in as you see fit.

However, if you’re looking to get the most out of the Russian Twist (by training core stability as well as rotation), I suggest performing it with your feet off the ground rather than anchored under something.

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion
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Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.

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Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.

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Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.

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