The Abdominal Twist, aka Upper Body Twists or Seated Twists, works your abs. This focus especially on the obliques. But it also works your upper abs and lower abs, as well. Swing your arms around each exercise, while keeping your hips and head stationary.
Abdominal Twists Mental Cue
Celebrity fitness trainer, Harley Pasternack, likes his clients to do Abdominal Twists on Thursdays. Or, whatever day your 4th workout of the week falls on. This gives your obliques time to rest from the Dumbbell Lateral Flexion exercise you should have done on Tuesday (or the second workout of the week).
There is a mental cue that Harley Pasternack wants you to have through this exercise. He says that when doing Abdominal Twists:
Imagine reaching out and grabbing something on either wall, immediately sideways from you.
To perform the Abs Twist:
- Sit on a mat or other flat surface, with your knees slightly bent.
- Lean back while keeping your head and hips still.
- Exhale and reach across your body to the right, swinging your left hand.
- Go as far as your normal range of motion allows.
- Inhale, and return back to center.
- Repeat, to the other side.
- Return to starting position, this is one rep.
As shown in the video below, you can use a medicine ball to add resistance to your abdominal twists:
Popular Abdominal Twist Workouts
- The Lady Gaga workout uses the Abdominal Twist.
- The Megan Fox workout uses the Abdominal Twist.
- The Halle Berry workout uses the Abdominal Twist.
- The Katy Perry workout uses the Abdominal Twist.
- The Eva Mendez workout uses this exercise.
- This Abs twist exercise is also done during the Matthew McConaughey workout.
- The Jay-Z workout, and the Beyonce workout, both use the Abdominal Twists exercise. They use a medicine ball to do their twists.
Jay-Z and Beyonce workout trainer, Marco Borges, says:
If you have trouble balancing with your heels in the air, keep them on the ground until you are stronger. A good way to ensure your heels stay up is to find a rhythm that works for you and stick to it as you move from side to side.
Variation: Alternating Floor Oblique Twist w/Weights Video
This video shows a common Abdominal Twist variation: Alternating Floor Oblique Twists w/Weights, with a focus on proper form. Scott Herman uses weights to make the exercise harder, and says its OK to move your hips and legs throughout the exercise:
Proper Abdominal Twist Technique
Proper form for the Abdominal Twists means stabilizing your back throughout the exercise. Keep your knees glued together. Stabilize your hips, knees, and ankles. Pretend you’re sitting back in a chair, with relaxed shoulders. Rotate around your rib cage. Wrap from one side to the other, or pause in the middle for proper technique.
Five Factor Fitness Workouts
You can learn more about Abdominal Twists by reading Five Factor Fitness by Harley Pasternack. Harley Pasternack, personal trainer to the stars, wrote this book to show you the routines he uses to get celebrities in shape:
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