Russian torsion is a type of exercise that is used to work the abdominal muscles by performing a twisting motion on the abdomen. Exercise is considered by those who practice it to create explosiveness in the upper torso, which can help in sports such as tennis, swimming, baseball, athletics, hockey, golf, lacrosse or boxing.
To perform the Russian twist, first, one should sit on the floor with the knees bent as in a “sitting” position. The feet should be held together and slightly above the ground or placed under a stable surface. The torso should be kept straight with the back maintained off the ground at a 45 degree angle. The arms should be held together away from the body in a straight manner and the hands should remain tied together as a ball or be able to support a weight to increase the difficulty. Next, the arms should be swung from one side to the other in a twisting motion, with each swing to one side counting as a repetition. The slower moves the arms from one side to the other, the more difficult the exercise becomes, working the abdomen much better. When you move your arms during exercise, it is crucial not to stop between repetitions, otherwise you will lose the effect of working the abdomen. Constant inspiration and breathing during exercise is important because you do not need to hold your breath. There are also other variations of this exercise, such as using a stability ball or with a standing barbell.
The Mason twist is a more advanced (difficult) version of the Russian twist. It is done in the same way, except that the legs are straight and the feet are held off the ground (in the V-sit position) for the duration of the exercise.