Do the Twist, Comrade!
The Russian twist is a forgotten gem of an exercise. It's one of the best anti-rotational core exercises on the planet when performed correctly. Bonus: Its progression capacity is limitless.
- This core exercise requires your glutes to contract to provide stability from which to rotate. It also helps improve end-range hip extension.
- It teaches you how to disassociate your chest and arms from your hips (and even your low back to a small degree) to rotate effectively and safely. If you aren't in constant control while performing the movement you'll immediately fall off the ball, so the design keeps you on high alert and provides instantaneous feedback about where your body is and how you're moving – great for motor learning.
- The movement reinforces systemic whole-body tension. This skill can't be discussed enough. If you're trying to build a monster deadlift, squat, or bench press (or even run faster) then you'll need to quickly generate high degrees of tension to create more strength. The Russian twist will help you do that.