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Different Versions of the Medicine Ball Twister and How to Do Them

The Medicine Ball Twister, sometimes called the Medicine Ball Russian Twist, should be included in your routine as part of core strengthening and toning exercises. These exercises lie somewhere between cardio and weight training, but are amazingly beneficial in both ways! The key to getting the most out of this exercise, however, is starting with a great cardio workout that jump starts the process of weight release and fat burning.

Once you've found a solid cardio routine that you feel comfortable with, stick to it and add in exercises like the Medicine Ball Twister to increase your stamina. As you've probably heard a thousand times before, you cannot lose weight from a certain area of the body, such as the abdominals, simply by targeting that area. You must combine consistent, challenging cardio that maintains a target, fat-burning heart rate with exercises to tone and strengthen.

Medicine balls typically come in 4-, 6-, and 8-pound increments. Choose a weight with which you can comfortably perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise without pain or overexertion. It is best to perform the floor exercises seated on some form of padded surface to relieve lower back stress.

1. Classic Medicine Ball Twister

Grip the ball firmly between your hands and sit with your legs extended but bent. Lean back until you are at a 45-degree angle with your feet flat on the floor. With your elbows slightly bent, flexing abdominals, twist your body to the left until the ball is at your side. Repeat to the right side. Twist from the waist, not the shoulders!

Beginner's position: Keep the feet on the floor, hip-width apart, and the body in the same position. Advanced position: Lift the feet off the floor a few inches and use your core strength to hold your body in place. Lean back and cross your ankles for more difficulty.                                    

2. Twist-Crunch

Start with the advanced position of the Medicine Ball Twister, your knees bent and together in the air in a " crunch" position. Twist as before to the left while simultaneously bringing both knees toward the body, angled slightly to the right. Perform a full set on the left before repeating on the right side, angling your knees to the left. 

3. Twist-Bicycle

Use the "twist-crunch" position. Twist to the left, while bringing the left knee toward the body and fully extending your right leg. Point the toe. Repeat to the right side, extending the left leg and bringing your right knee to the body, effectively "pedaling" in air. Repeat for a full set.

4. Twist on Angled Weight Bench

Using a traditional weight bench, lower the bench near the upper body at a 20-30 degree angle. Your body will be at a declined angle. With your feet hooked firmly under the pads, sit up with the ball in your hands. Lean back to a 45-degree angle and twist to the left, then to the right. Then return to the center sitting-up position.

5. Twist with Partner on Angled Weight Bench

Position your body on the bench with feet firmly hooked under the pads, sitting up with the ball in your hands. Lean back to a 45-degree angle, twisting left and tossing the ball to your partner standing at your left. Still twisted, your partner will return the ball. Turn back to center. Continue repetitions on the left side for a full set, then switch to the right side.


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