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Russian Medicine Ball Twist (Step-by-Step)

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Muscles Worked: Abdominals

Equipment Needed: Medicine Ball

Difficulty: Intermediate

In this exercise guide, you will learn how to do the Russian medicine ball twist, how to make it harder and easier, as well as its benefits and muscles worked.

Table of Contents:

Russian medicine ball twist

A little further down this exercise guide, you'll find detailed directions for this Russian twist exercise.

You'll also find other information, such as the muscles engaged by the medicine ball twist exercise and the benefits of it.

It is important to do this exercise on a soft surface with plenty of space to move about, such as a rubber floor or a big foam mat.

Make an effort to maintain a straight back and ensure that your form and technique are flawless before increasing your pace.

How to Do the Russian Medicine Ball Twist

The video below demonstrates how to do the Russian twist with a medicine ball correctly.

  1. Begin by laying down some soft flooring, such as rubber or foam mats.

  2. Grab a medicine ball of your desired weight and hold it between both of your hands.

  3. Cross your legs, either one over the other or both next to each other, maintain them as straight as possible out in front of you.

  4. Make a 'V' shape with your body by raising your upper torso and legs to about a 45-degree angle from the ground.

  5. Gradually rotate your upper body and arms from left to right, just moving your arms as far as you are comfortable with.

  6. Repeat the twists for as many repetitions as you like till you reach your target amount.

Russian medicine ball twist demonstration

How to Make It Easier

Despite the fact that there is not one simple method to make the Russian twist exercise easier, using the following elements in your routine will make it easier.

  • Using a lower weight medicine ball will make this exercise a little easier to complete.

  • Making this exercise a little easier can be achieved by going a bit faster, reducing time under tension.

  • Doing fewer reps can reduce total volume, making it easier.

Over time, as you get used to this exercise, you can increase the weight, reps and increase volume, making it harder.

How to Make It Harder

To make this exercise more difficult, there are a number of different options.

The Russian twist with may be made more difficult by doing the following things.

  • Making the Russian twist more difficult can be achieved by using a heavier medicine ball which will increase the load and make it more difficult.

  • You can also go slightly slower by reducing the tempo.

  • Doing more reps will increase volume and make it harder.

You can gradually add these elements into your workout as you progress with this exercise.

Russian Medicine Ball Twist Muscles' Worked

This exercise is a compound exercise, which means that it engages a variety of different muscles and muscle groups simultaneously.

It also stimulates the activity of other smaller stabilising muscles.

Russian medicine ball twist muscles worked

The following are the main muscles that are engaged during this exercise:

  • Obliques

  • Rectus abdominis

  • Transverse abdominis

The Russian medicine ball twist also engages a variety of additional muscles, including the following muscles.

  • Biceps

  • Triceps

Other smaller, underlying and stabilising muscles are also worked.

Benefits of Russian Twist

There are many advantages to doing the Russian twist exercise, just as there are to performing other exercises.

The fact that this is a compound (multi-joint) exercise means that it involves the utilisation of a variety of muscle groups.

Compound exercises make use of a variety of muscles throughout the body, and each kind of exercise provides a unique set of advantages.

It offers the following advantages.

  • May increase overall strength.

  • Could increase flexibility.

  • Abdominal muscular development may be accelerated.

  • A possible improvement in abdominal strength.

  • Possibly enhanced cardiovascular capability.


Written by Billy White

billy white

Billy White is a qualified Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer. He is an aspiring bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast, and health and fitness researcher.

He has multiple years of experience within the fitness, bodybuilding and health space. He is committed to providing the highest-quality information.


Further Reading

> Muscle Soreness: Is It a Sign of Muscle Growth?

> Which Type of Bicep Curl Is Best?


The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a physician or other competent professional before following advice or taking any supplement. See our terms and conditions.

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