Russian Twists have long been touted as one of the best ways to achieve a well-defined core – especially the obliques. However, many trainers and physical therapists have recommended against it due to the way it places excess compression on the lumbar spine along with the movement of disc fluid.
So, what’s the best Russian Twist alternative? Well, we have them all right here for you, so you too can get that defined core without placing your spine at risk!
Table of Contents
- 11 Best Russian Twist Alternatives (Substitutes for Core Strength)
- Do You Need To Do Russian Twist Substitute Exercises?
- Frequently Asked Russian Twist Alternative Questions
11 Best Russian Twist Alternatives (Substitutes for Core Strength)
A good Russian Twist substitute will be one that engages the obliques effectively without placing the back in a compromising position. There are plenty of other excellent alternatives that we're going to cover so you can still achieve that tapered waist and a strong core!
1. Swiss Ball Side Crunch
If you have a Swiss Ball at home or at the gym, this is a fantastic alternative if you already have a solid amount of balance. Keep the ball against a wall or something that will not move.
2. Oblique Crunches
We love oblique crunches because they’re easy to do and yield great results. You don’t need any equipment, either!
3. Dumbbell Side Bend
If you're looking for an exercise that works not only the obliques but also the glutes and hammies, this is an all-in-one. You’ll need at least one dumbbell for this exercise. This is a fantastic standing Russian Twist alternative exercise.
Learn More - How Much Do Dumbbells Cost?
4. Ab Wheel V Rollouts
This is a more advanced exercise and requires an ab wheel. However, it’s an absolutely incredible one that will strengthen just about your entire upper body and core while boosting flexibility.
Required Equipment - Best Ab Rollers Reviewed
5. 45-Degree Side Bend
This exercise is ideal if you’re looking for a more advanced oblique exercise and have access to an extension machine.
Suggested Equipment - 8 Best Roman Chairs On The Market
6. Reverse Crunches
With no equipment necessary, most people should be able to do reverse crunches anywhere! However, if you would like to make them more challenging, you could add ankle weights.
See Also - How To Clean Gym Mats
7. Bodyweight Side Crunch
If you’re just starting out or simply don’t have a lot of core strength yet, this is a fantastic Russian Twist substitute. It doesn’t require much coordination or any equipment, either, and are the perfect Russian Twist alternatives for pregnant women.
Also Check Out - 9 Easy Anywhere Ab Exercises
8. Bicycle Crunches
Bicycle crunches are another great alternative to Russian twists that require no additional equipment.
9. Cable Woodchoppers
For this exercise, you’ll need a cable machine. Cable Woodchoppers are excellent for really building the obliques and adding serious definition.
Suggested Equipment - Best Cable Machines For Garage Gyms
10. Kneeling Pelvic Tilt
This is an excellent beginner exercise and requires little-to-no core strength. While it's not quite as intense as the others, it's an exercise that strengthens the deep abdominal muscles, which can be a bit more challenging to train.
11. Side Plank Dips
Side Plank Dips are an excellent way to tone not only the obliques but also the deltoids, lats, and glutes! If you spend a good portion of the day sitting, this is an effective way to "elongate" those tight muscles.
Do You Need To Do Russian Twist Substitute Exercises?
You may be wondering, "Are these kinds of exercises even necessary?" Well, if you want defined abs and a lowered risk of injury, the answer is "yes"! Focusing specifically on the obliques is necessary for everyone, from the casual gymgoer to pro athlete!
Did you know that by strengthening your obliques, you not only move around easier but help reduce lower back pain while improving posture and balance? These benefits not only make everyday life easier but in the gym, as well. Not to mention, they just make your abs look better, and who doesn't want that?!
You don’t have to do these exercises at home – in fact, some of them require equipment or space you may not have at home. However, some people do prefer doing ab work at home just because they can take their time and some gyms’ stretching areas seem to always be full.
Frequently Asked Russian Twist Alternative Questions
Do Russian Twists burn belly fat?
Spot reducing is pretty much impossible, so no one exercise will burn just belly fat. However, working your muscles burn fat in general and help develop the muscles underneath for a leaner appearance.
Why does my back hurt during Russian Twists?
Russian Twists are effective in strengthening the abdominals, but the risk of irritating the spine or doing them wrong is just too great for some. You may be swinging your legs from side to side, moving side to side from your lumbar spine, or simply not keeping your core "locked in." If you already have back issues, Russian Twists aren't recommended.
What muscles do Russian Twist alternatives work?
All of them work the obliques; however, there are some that are going to work additional parts of the body, as well. They can help you achieve that complete "defined ab" look, as many people tend to leave out the obliques when working the abdominals.
Are Russian twists harmful?
If you have lower back injuries or conditions, they could be harmful! Not only that, but due to the excessive rotations the exercise demands, they can also damage the disks in the spine over time.
Now that you’re practically an expert in the best Russian Twist alternatives, which exercises are you going to incorporate into your routine? Try out a few that sound like they’d work best for you, and we’re sure you’re going to enjoy the results. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again soon!
- What Is DMAA Pre-Workout? (Should You Avoid It?) - November 13, 2022
- What Is Stim Free Pre-Workout? (How It Works & Benefits) - November 6, 2022
- Do Pre-Workout Gummies Work? (Guide To This New Supplement) - September 28, 2022
Last Updated on May 29, 2022