Russian Twist is an exercise that works well for developing your obliques as well as your general core strength. Doing it with a resistance band is a great option here because you can eliminate one of the most-common mistakes easily while getting more load on your obliques and train them more effectively than doing it with your body weight or with a free weight (or a ball).
In the first part of this article I’d like to show you how to perform the Russian Twist correctly using a resistance band and also give you some additional advice how you can get the most out of this exercise.
Russian Twist With Resistance Band
Let’s jump right into how you do the basic Russian Twist with resistance bands.
Advantage Of Using A Resistance Band
As mentioned in the beginning, I’d like to point out some advantages using a resistance band for this exercise first:
- Get The Hip Flexor Out! I’d say 70% of all the times you see someone doing this exercise, they put a lot of work on their hip flexor instead of the core. This is not only causing stress on your lower back (if you’ve done the Russian Twist you know what I mean). With a resistance band you can dig your feet in and stop using your hip flexor.
- More Oblique Work! The resistance of the band requires you to pull more at the end of the movement using your obliques (core muscles on the side). With your body weight only or a ball between your hands, most load is done getting out of the turn, using the opposing side of your obliques instead of really squeezing.
There are also more reasons to favor resistance bands over traditional free weights, like reducing the stress on your joints, getting more peak contraction, and many more. But we’re talking here about doing a Russian Twist, but we have more details about doing strength training or bodybuilding with resistance bands as well.
How To Do Russian Twist The Right Way
So how do you perform Russian twists with resistance bands? You need to wrap the band around your feet and grab one side of the band with each hand and pull it up so your arms are in a 90-degree angle to your upper body and right in line with your shoulders and head. Now lift your legs off the ground. The higher you go the harder the movement will become.
Make sure that you have some nice stretch here with the band already, enough to feel it but not so much that you can’t hold the band in this position for the time of one set.
Your back needs to be in a 45 degree to the floor and your knees slightly bent.
From the starting position you will now move your hands to one side with the aim of touching the floor. If you can’t reach the floor, don’t worry. Either stop at a point you can still keep a good form or grab a lighter band. The main point is that you feel it in your obliques.
Important Do’s & Don’ts!!!
No Slack – make sure that the resistance band is stretched all the way through this exercise and there’s no slack in it.
If you can’t hold it long enough and feel that your arms get tired too early, rather drop to a lighter band and do more reps than giving up early. Your core muscles need to be trained with proper volume.
Back Position – take focus on maintaining a straight back, especially your lower back shouldn’t be rounded at all and stay straight all the time. Often times when the resistance band pulls too much you’re about to rotate your shoulders towards the band and start rounding your back, so focus on maintaining the correct back position to avoid putting more stress on your lower back.
Alternative Ways To Do Russian Twist With Resistance Bands
Feet On The Ground – In case it is yet too hard for you to keep your feet in the air, you can simply put them on the ground and stabilize your form in this way. It will also make the exercise easier and you can focus on the movement of your upper body and your ab contraction.
Use A Fix Point – If you have problems doing this version of the Russian Twist as shown above and feel that the band around your feet is a problem, you can also use something like a door anchor or wrap it around something and do the Russian Twist with your feet free on the floor.
This is also a version you want to try if you want to add more resistance to the band and the next-heavy band is too hard for you.
Time Under Tension – compared to weights where you have the same force applied to any position of the movement, bands will add more resistance the further you stretch them – this will lower the time under tension your muscle has during a set in the starting position. Focus on doing the exercise controlled and try to hold it for a second or two in the fully contracted position and don’t let the band snap back but slowly go back to the starting position.
Full Core Workout
Simply doing Russian Twists is not a full core workout as there are multiple muscles working in your core – we have here a full core workout with different exercises that will give you the strongest pump you can ever think of – check it out here.