The Russian Twist is a resistance training exercise to strengthen the core, particularly the musculature used during powerful shots.


The Russian Twist engages the trunk lateral flexor and trunk rotator musculature. While you can strengthen the core, the Russian Twist also improves your body control and flexibility.

Often times, the Russian Twist is part of an ab-circuit or core training workout. Since you are using the obliques and quadratus lumborum during groundstrokes and serves you want to make sure that the musculature is in great shape.

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Many professional athletes perform core training daily. If your trunk region is weak then start with a core workout 2x/week and build it up gradually. Pick 4-6 core exercises and perform 3 sets each with 8-12 reps.

Take a look – we have 4 challenging landmine exercises that will strengthen your core.

Find out why core training is important.

Russian Twist Description

russian twist

  1. Place floor mat on the ground
  2. Sit down on the buttocks, push chest forward, flex knees, and keep feet off the ground
  3. Hold resistance (plate/MB) in both hands, rotate trunk to the left side, touch resistance placed next to the left hip to the ground, rotate trunk to the right side and touch resistance placed next to the right hip to the ground

Targeted Musculature

  • Obliques
  • Quadratus Lumborum


Illu trunk muscles“. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


More Core Training Exercises

Maintaining a strong core is important for tennis players in order to produce powerful groundstrokes and serves because more energy is available to perform since less energy is being “wasted” for undesirable movements.

If you regularly want to train the core then take a look at the Dual Landmine Core Trainer – an excellent training tool to strengthen the core!

Following you’ll find some more core training exercises:

Core Stretches For You

Now, once you are finished playing tennis you may want to stretch out your muscles to improve flexibility and avoid injuries.

Here are a few exercises for you to consider:


Content crafter at Tennis Conditioning. You can find me on the ITF/WTA/ATP tour coaching tennis players or online writing about tennis, strength & conditioning, exercise science or health-related issues. Champions find a way, losers find excuses!

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