How to Do a Mad Russian Exercise

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The mad Russian exercise, also called a seated Russian twist, is an advanced abdominal exercise that works your lower abs, obliques and lower back simultaneously. This exercise uses rotation to activate the muscles of your core, but you can also add a dumbbell or kettlebell for an extra challenge. Get the most out of this exercise and prevent injuries by following correct mad Russian form.

Target your entire core with this rotational abdominal exercise.
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Things You'll Need

  • Dumbbell or kettlebell
Step 1

Sit down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor in front of you. Straighten your back up as if someone is pulling up on an imaginary string tied to the top of your head. Grasp your hands together in front of your chest or hold onto your head. If you want to add resistance, hold a weight in front of your chest.

Step 2

While keeping your spine straight and tall, lean your entire torso backward and balance on your tailbone. If you can, lift both of your feet off the floor to engage your lower abs.

Step 3

Twist your torso all the way to your left side as you keep your balance. Make sure to go through your entire range of motion. If you’re holding a weight, keep it stationary in front of your chest.

Step 4

Smoothly rotate all the way to your right side. Once you have twisted to both sides, that counts as one repetition. Complete up to three sets of 10 to 15 twists, or work your way up as your core becomes stronger.

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