Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes

Fatima Fokina

The seated oblique twist with a medicine ball, sometimes called the Russian twist, is an effective exercise for strengthening the abdominal muscles. It also strengthens your back and arm muscles.

The seated oblique twist can be done in the gym or at home with a medicine ball. It can be performed as part of a core workout or as part of a total body workout.

Whether you’re just getting started or want to push yourself a little further, make sure to incorporate these exercises into your routine. You’ll be amazed by how much your upper body strength improves in such a short time.

How to do the seated oblique twist (with medicine ball) the right way

Seated oblique twists target a range of muscles, including the obliques, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, hip flexors, erector spinae and scapular muscles.

Here are the steps you can follow to do this exercise correctly:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. You can also raise them off the floor.
  • If you are having trouble holding the position and your feet shift about, try tucking them beneath a stable object.
  • Try sitting at a 45-degree angle and tightening your abs.
  • With a medicine ball in both hands, twist slowly from your torso to your right and touch the medicine ball to the floor beside you. Pause to hold the position.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles and quickly but smoothly twist your torso to the center position.
  • Then take the medicine ball to the other side of your body and put it on the floor.
  • Repeat until you’ve completed the required number of reps.
  • Sit up and bring the ball in front of you. Place the ball on the ground with care and avoid twisting excessively.

Tips and techniques for seated oblique twists with medicine ball


Here are some tips and techniques to remember when you start doing the seated oblique twist with a medicine ball:

  • Once you get the hang of the exercise, press your feet into the floor or extend them straight out.
  • Continue to breathe slowly and deeply. Exhale as you twist, and inhale as you come back to the center.
  • Keep your stomach and back muscles engaged throughout the workout.
  • Cross your lower legs for more stability.
  • Avoid slouching or curving your spine by keeping it straight.
  • Allow your attention to be drawn to the actions of your hands.


The oblique twist is a simple exercise that strengthens the many muscles in your midsection. It works the rectus abdominis, external obliques and internal obliques, as well as the transverse abdominis (which lies deep below all those other muscles).

Adding weight or resistance — whether it’s a medicine ball or a stability ball — increases the tension on those core muscles, making them work even harder than they already are.

Strengthening these muscles is important because they help you maintain good posture and balance.

Strengthening your core can help protect your spine, promote good posture, and improve balance. If you sit at a desk, for example, your strengthened core will help you sit with better posture.

This can help prevent lower back pain and lessen overall exhaustion and muscle soreness. Athletes in sports that require rotational power or throwing may see improvements in their game from this exercise.

Common mistakes

Listed below are two common mistakes to avoid while doing the seated oblique twist with a medicine ball:

1) Sloppy Form

Sloppy form can cause back pain and injury. If you have a rounded back and a lot of twisting in your lower back, do the exercise without using weights until you get the form right.

2) Holding in your breath

Holding your breath can cause dizziness, so breathe in and out normally throughout the exercise.

The seated oblique twist is a great way to work your core muscles. However, if you’re not careful, you can end up with back pain and injuries similar to low back injuries or a herniated disc.

How many calories does a seated oblique twist burn?

Medicine ball exercises are generally considered to be more challenging than traditional free weight exercises because they require great strength and balance.

A seated oblique twist is a great core workout that works the obliques, spinal erectors and abdominals.

But how many calories do you burn? A healthy adult will burn 100 calories for every 10 minutes of activity at moderate intensity. This means that you can expect to burn approximately 80 to 100 calories while performing this exercise for 10 minutes.

Bottom Line

Seated oblique twists are a great exercise for any level of fitness as they build core strength and endurance. If you want to improve your performance in sports, add this exercise to your regular workout routine.

Working your core muscles also helps prevent back pain and relieve chronic back ailments. Make sure to practice seated oblique twists slowly until your body adapts to the exercise and you become familiar with the movements.

You can then gradually increase your speed until you have reached a pace that challenges your abilities but doesn’t lead to injury.

Q. Have you tried the seated oblique twist?

Yes: I do them 2-3 times a week

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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