Effective Twist Exercises: We all think that crunches are going to give us those perfect washboard abs, right? But, the fact is that crunches alone can’t do anything to melt away layers of fat from your abs.
The first step to getting a strong core is getting rid of all the belly flab. Twist exercises do exactly that. They target the fat and at the same time work on your core muscles. Twist exercises not only work on your upper and lower abdominals but also on the oblique muscles.
So, raise the volume of your music, and let’s start twisting our way to awesome-sauce abs! This post lists 10 twist exercises and how to do them to shed the flab and get a slim waist. Let’s begin.
1. Russian Twists:
This is a full abdominal twist, which involves balancing, strength, and isolation. It strengthens the core and cinches the waist by working the oblique muscles.
Target: Obliques, hip rotators, lower abs, and upper abs.
- Sit on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Lean back a little and lift your feet off the floor. You may place your hands on the mat for support.
- Once your body is balanced, bring your hands together (as shown in the picture) and roll your shoulders back. Look at your hands in front of you. Tighten your core and squeeze in your glutes. This is the starting position.
- Twist your upper body to the left. Try to touch the mat with your hands.
- Come back to the starting position and twist your upper body to the right. This completes one rep.
- Do 3 sets of 12 reps each.
Criss-cross, also known as bicycle crush, is a crunch exercise that involves a twist. So, you get the benefits of both exercises. It targets your core muscles, strengthens them, and gives you good cardio at the same time. A great way to attack that ab-flab!
Target: Obliques, mid abs, lower abs, upper abs, hip flexors, quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
- Lie down on a mat. Bend your knees and lift your legs off the floor. Place your hands behind your head, with your thumbs behind the ears. Lift your head and the back of your shoulders off the floor. Avoid tucking your neck in.
- Engage your core and relax your shoulders. This is the starting position.
- Extend your right leg and simultaneously twist your upper body to the left so that your right elbow touches your left knee.
- Come back to the starting position.
- Now, extend your left leg, twist your upper body to the right, and try to touch the left elbow with the right knee. This completes one repetition.
- Do 3 sets of 15 reps each.
The windmill is a great twist exercise for your abs, obliques, and glutes. You can either do it without weights or with them. Make sure you start with a lighter weight to prevent injuring your back. Also, if you have a lower back injury, do not do this exercise.
Target: Obliques, lower abs, shoulders, upper back, and glutes.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and turn one foot out to stand in an L-shape position.
- Transfer your weight to the foot that’s straight, with your hip slightly pushed out.
- Pick up a kettlebell with one hand and hold it up by extending your arm.
- Place the other hand, palms open, on the inside of your thighs. This is the starting position.
- Now, inhale and lower your body by keeping both your legs straight, your arm still extended up. Try to touch the foot that’s turned out with your other hand. Look at the kettlebell as you lower your body.
- Pause for a moment, then get back up to the starting position. Exhale as you do so.
- Do the same on the other side.
- Do 2 sets of 8 reps on each side.
4. Plank Hip Twists:
This exercise is an absolute must to include in your workout regimen. It targets your lower belly fat, totally hits the muffin top area, and works on your core muscles. It cinches the waist like a corset.
Target: Obliques, upper abs, lower abs, lower back, and glutes.
- Get on your all fours.
- Make a fist, bend your elbows, and place them on the mat. Now, you are in a plank position. Tighten your core, squeeze your glutes, and keep your head, neck, spine, and hips in the same line. Avoid dropping your hips down or picking them. This is the starting position.
- Now, twist your hips to the right and left without moving your upper body.
- Keep breathing and holding your core tight and glutes squeezed.
- Do 3 sets of 12 reps each.
5. Skater Lunge:
Take the regular lunges up a notch by adding a literal twist to them. Skater lunges are great for burning calories, targeting the waist area – especially the side fat – and shaping the hips and legs.
Target: Obliques, hip rotators, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
- Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart. Roll your shoulders back, push your chest up, and look forward. This is the starting position.
- Place your left foot diagonally behind your right foot. Extend your right hand behind, then bend your left elbow and bring it close to your chest.
- Now, hop and place your left foot back in its original position. Only this time, place your right foot diagonally behind your left foot.
- Hop again and place the right foot back in its place.
- Do this at a moderate pace.
- Do 3 sets of 12 reps each.
You can also bend down to touch your foot when you do this exercise. Avoid bending down if you have lower back injury or pain.
There’s no doubt that getting rid of belly flab is tedious and requires strict dedication. Thankfully, adding twists to your workout routine can help speed up the process. You will work all the ab muscles and get rid of the side fat and the front belly bulge quickly. So, go ahead and start doing these 10 ab twist exercises at least thrice a week. Don’t forget to eat healthily, stay hydrated, and sleep well too!
Q- Can Russian twists help with love handles?
A- Yes, Russian twists can help reduce love handles. Love handles are typically found at the sides of the waist. Also known as muffin top, this area is quite tough to get fat rid of. Doing Russian twists (3 sets of 20-25 reps each) with or without weight can help burn the calories and tone up your obliques.
Q- What muscles do ab twists work?
A- Ab twists typically work on the oblique muscles that run from the pelvic area to the middle back. They are a part of the ab muscles, but they are on the sides of the waist. Ab twists also work on the lower abs, mid abs, and upper abs.
Q- How many Russian twists should I do?
A- Do 3 sets of 20 reps of Russian twists thrice a week. You can also add variation by using weights. However, avoid Russian twists if you have lower back pain.