Friday, January 7, 2011

Moves We Love -- Getting Twisty With It

So a Russian, a Priest and a Rabbi walk into a gym...JUST KIDDING! But the move we're loving this Friday is called the Russian Twist. Why do we love this move, what the heck is it, and why must you try it? Read on:

  • The What: A basic version of the Russian Twist can be done seated on the floor. Start in a seated position, legs bent at the knees and then raise your feet a couple of inches above the ground; so you'll be balancing on your tailbone, folks. Now grab a 5 or 10 pound weight and hold it in your hands; keeping your legs pointed forward you'll rotate your torso first to the left, bring the weight until it is just above the ground, move back to center, and then rotate to the right, then back to center. The entire time you want to keep your abs contracted nice and tight.
  • The Why: This is a great ab exercises as it not only works your front but your obliques as well. It incorporates balance which strengthens those little muscles sometimes hard to isolate. Further your hip flexors and lower core muscles come into play to keep you centered on that tiny tailbone!
  • Even Better: The Russian Twist can be modified in a number of ways; the standing one (which is good for anyone who needs to be careful not to overstrain their hip flexors) where you hold your weight and slowly rotate your torso side to side. There is also the Lunge Russian Twist where you start in a standing position, lunge your right leg in front and dip down, gain your balance and then rotate your torso (with weight) to the right, back to center and step out of the lunge. Repeat with the left leg and rotate torso to the left. This one is great as it then targets those thighs and glutes too!
Let's hear it for the Russian Twist! Incorporate this move (start out with 1-2 sets of 30, which will be 15 on each side, and then work up to 3 sets.) seated, standing, or with the lunge and reap the rewards.

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