7 Exercises to Teach You to Twist

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

Plank with Twist

1. Lie on your right side in a straight line, propped up on your elbow, which should be positioned directly under your shoulder

2. Bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle behind you for support and raise your hips off the ground. You should be supported by your elbow, right leg on the ground and left foot

3. Raise your left arm straight up into the air, then slowly exhale and lower it down and twist so that your left arm goes underneath your body

4. Inhale to raise your arm back to the starting position

5. Repeat 10-15 times on each side

6. Note 1: Be sure not to let your hips drop when bring your arm down. Engage your core to keep your hips high off the ground

7. Note 2: This is a modified version of the exercise. To make it more difficult, keep both legs extended and balance on your elbow (or hand) and feet

Weighted Torso Twist

1. Stand with your feet about hip width apart, holding a 1-5 lb. weight right in front of your belly

2. Keeping your feet still and your hips facing forward, exhale and slowly twist to your right bringing your weight as far to the side as possible while keeping it close to your body

3. Slowly return to the starting position and pause in the middle before twisting to the left

4. Really think about your breath and engaging your core on each exhale

5. Repeat 10-12 times in each direction

6. Note: Once you’ve mastered this version, you can begin adding heavier weight

Alternating Knee Raise with Twist

1. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart 

2. Begin by raising your right knee and twisting your upper body in that direction over the raised knee

3. Lower your right leg down and repeat on the left side making sure you are twisting your upper body over your raised leg each time

4. Repeat 12-15 times on each side

5. Note: Once you have mastered this movement, you can hold a light free-weight to make it more challenging

Wood Chop

1. Begin with your knees shoulder width apart, holding a light free-weight in front of you with your arms extended straight down

2. Lower into a squat while simultaneously dropping the weight on the outside of your right knee

3. Exhale as you come up and bring the weight to across your body and up over your left shoulder, keeping your arms straight the whole time

4. Repeat 10-12 times on each side

Carseat Twist

1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, holding a light free-weight with your arms at a 90 degree angle

2. Exhale and slowly bend forward, hinging at the hips and reach the weight out in front of you, twisting slightly to the right as you move forward (like you’re putting the baby in a carseat!)

3. Bring the weight back towards your body and come back to a standing position and perform the exercise again, this time twisting slightly to the left

4. Repeat 10-12 times on each side

Front Lunge with Twist

1. Begin in a standing position with your feet about hip width apart

2. Step forward into a front lunge, making sure to keep your knee behind your toes

3. Once you are in a lunge position, twist your upper body over the front leg, keeping your posture upright

4. Twist back to facing forward before pushing through your heel and returning to your standing position 

5. Repeat on each side 10-12 times

6. Note: to increase difficulty, hold a light free-weight in your hands, goblet style

Plank with Alternating Elbow Touches

This is an advanced exercise! Do not perform if you are not cleared to do planks. 

1. Begin on the floor in a plank position with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your toes on the ground

2. Exhale and bring your left knee towards your right elbow as far as you can, keeping your upper body as still as possible

3. Return your knee to the starting position and switch by bringing your right knee towards your left elbow

4. Repeat 10-15 times on each side

If twisting is new to you start with no weight and the simpler movements. Build your strength as you continue to practice these exercises and become more confident in your everyday twisting movements! 

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