Russian Medicine Ball Twist [Guide w/ Video]

Read this guide to learn how to do the Russian medicine ball twist.


russian medicine ball twists
Photo of a Russian twist with a medicine ball.

Below is a video showing you how to do the Russian twist with medicine ball exercise.

Further down this guide, there is step-by-step instructions to this Russian twist exercise, there are also example workouts and other information such as medicine ball twist muscles worked, benefits etc.

Make sure to do this exercise on soft flooring with enough room to move around, like a rubber floor or large foam mat.

Try to keep your back straight.

Make sure you get your form and technique right before you pick up any speed.

How To Do Russian Medicine Ball Twists Step-by-Step:

  • Begin on the floor on some soft flooring such as rubber or foam mats.

  • Hold a medicine ball of your desired weight in your hands.

  • Cross your legs, one over the other but keep them straight out.

  • Bring your upper body and legs up at around a 45° angle - so your body is making a 'V' shape.

  • Slowly rotate your upper body and arms left to right, only go as far as you comfortably can.

  • Repeat the medicine ball Russian twists for your desired number of repetitions.

russian medicine ball twist
The Russian Medicine Ball Twist Exercise

How To Make The Russian Medicine Ball Twist Easier?

There isn't a single simple way to make the Russian twist exercise easier, however, doing these following things in your workout will make it easier:

  • Using lighter weight will help make this medicine ball twist easier.

  • Going a bit slower or less reps while doing this exercise can also make it easier.

making Russian medicine ball twist exercise easier
Going a bit slower or reducing the number of reps will make it easier.

How To Make The Russian Medicine Ball Twist Harder?

There are a couple of ways to make this exercise harder. Doing the following things can make the Russian twist with medicine ball harder:

  • Using a heavier medicine ball will increase load making this exercise harder.

  • Going slightly faster by increasing the tempo, or increasing the amount of reps will make the Russian twist harder.

making russian medicine ball twist harder
Increasing weight, increasing tempo or increasing reps will make this exercise harder.

Russian Medicine Ball Twists Muscles Worked:

This exercise is a compound exercise, meaning it works multiple different muscles and muscle groups.

It also activates other smaller stabilising muscles.

The primary muscles worked from this exercise are as follows:

  • Obliques (side abdominal muscles)

  • Rectus Abdominis (front abdominal muscles)

  • Transverse Abdominis (inner side abdominal muscles)

The Russian medicine ball twist also activates other muscles too:

  • Biceps (front arm muscles)

  • Triceps (back arm muscles)

  • Other stabilising muscles.

russian medicine ball twist muscles worked diagram
Areas highlighted in red are the main muscles worked.

Russian Medicine Ball Twist Benefits:

The benefits of the Russian twist exercise, like other exercises, are vast.

Because this is a compound (multi-joint) exercise, it requires the use of various muscle groups, as shown in the image above.

Compound exercises utilise various muscles within the body, these type of exercises have their own specific set of benefits.

It has these benefits:

  • May improve overall strength.

  • May improve flexibility.

  • May increase abdominal muscle growth.

  • May increase abdominal strength.

  • May improve cardiovascular ability.

russian twists abs image
This exercise can improve abdominal strength and tone.

Russian Twist Medicine Ball Workout Examples:

Below are some great examples of workouts you can include in your training regime.

Example 1:

  1. Deadbug: 2 Sets / 12 Reps / Hold for 3 seconds

  2. Plank: 2 Sets / Hold for 30 seconds

  3. Russian Medicine Ball Twists: 2 Sets / Do this for 30 seconds

Below is another variation including this exercise.

Example 2:

  1. Deadbug: 2 Sets / 10 Reps / Hold for 2 seconds

  2. Reverse Crunch: 2 Sets / 8 Reps / Hold for 2 seconds

  3. Russian Medicine Ball Twists: 2 Sets / Do this for 30 seconds

You can make, change and adapt workouts to your style, program and experience.

Check out our other exercises in our exercise guides on

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