Side Planks destroy my waistline – especially if they’re pulsed (continued up and down) or weighted. I understand that no matter what size you are, a waist that’s smaller than you’re your chest and hips is a desirable look to achieve. Side planks can build bulk exactly where I like to slim.
What do I do instead?
No-weight Russian side twists!
I didn’t know they were called this when I started doing them, which was back with Denise Austin’s Super Stomachs / Rock Hard Tummies.
Whether standing upright or sitting/laying on the floor, the focus is about creating a twist between the upper and lower body. I don’t use weights because the more resistance, the more bulk – that’s a foundational fitness truth. Instead, I seek to create endurance fatigue. This means that it should be an easy activity that only becomes difficult because I’m doing it for an extended period of time, without a break.
Standing Russian Twist
The image to the right shows the motion of a standing Russian twist with a kettlebell. You can use lightweight if you desire, but I often do the exercise with nothing but my arms. I really like how this image shows the muscles being activated by this simple twisting motion.
Seated Russian Twist
This next image is a basic diagram of the twist performed while seated in a standard “sit-up” position.
Seated Russian Twist Variations
This next image provides a great breakdown of options for the seated Russian Twist, including:
- Modified Version with the feet on the ground is good if you have low back problems or just starting out.
- Regular Version with the feet being held in the air – The lower body will also do a slight twist.
- Advanced Version with feet off the ground, alternate legs between the