Fitness, men’s world

Fitness, men's world

Russian twist exercise – how good is this kind of workout for the muscles?

red medicine ball professional use by fitness professional for russian twist in gym

The Russian Twist exercise is a great way to build both abs and back muscles. These type of workouts encourage the growth of all of your core muscles and are extremely easy to do. The only thing you really need to train this way is yourself and a flat floor. Yes, that means you can do this exercise from the comfort of your home. However, there is only speculation about the name, with theories referring to exercises by Russian soldiers during wartime. In principle, the equipment required is absolutely none. However, you can reach for some dumbbells and exercise balls to increase the intensity. So this post can help you learn more about the pros and cons of Russian Twist. We’ve also provided a simple guide for you to complete the exercise.

Interesting facts about Russian Twist

young woman with sportswear and leggings in gym performs russian twist

Build a strong core with the so-called Russian twist. This rotational movement works your outer abs and your entire body to give you a strong foundation for all sports. For example, imagine a vertical line running through the body, dividing it neatly in half. Any movement that you make parallel to this line is in the sagittal plane. Now consider the movements you make during your workout and how many of them are parallel to this line. It’s likely most of them – from classic bodyweight exercises like lunges and squats to free weight workouts like presses and twists. Then if you mix them all together there are chances of moving sideways with side supports. These are movements that you will perform in the frontal plane. All of these are excellent exercises that will bring you into the world of good fitness. However, you don’t move your body in any other way that you do regularly, especially if you do a lot of exercise.

train your shoulders and core muscles with russian twist use your lower body with your legs straight

Imagine another imaginary line bisecting your body at the waist. Movements that involve rotating your upper or lower body parallel to this line are done in the transverse plane, and there is a chance that you will not do as many of them during your workout. Correct this with the Russian Twist exercise, which works in the transverse plane and strengthens the muscles that may be missing from your lifting and lowering movements. You can also use it to cover abdominal crunches and torso bends. Regular workouts can also help improve posture. For example, if you are about to start kayaking or canoeing, there is no better basic exercise to prepare yourself for with a paddle.

How to do a Russian twist exercise?

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First, start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Then, lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Keep your back straight at this angle throughout the exercise as it will be tempting to pull your shoulders forward. Tie your hands in front of your chest, then tighten your core and lift your legs off the floor. Turn your arms all the way to the side and do the same thing the other way. Count this as one rep and aim for 20 total, or set a timer for a minute and keep twisting until you hear the beep.

Targeted muscle building

use dumbbell for russian twist and build abdominal muscles

Muscles that you can expect to grow in Russian Twist are primarily the external and transverse abdominals, as well as the back muscles. The former are on either side of the abdomen. So the transverse abdomen is what you see when you picture abs. If this is how you want to build your muscles, Russian Twist will get you there. This exercise also strengthens your lower back muscles. With stronger back muscles, you can expect better posture and more protection from injury.

Variations of Russian Twist

young man performs russian twist exercise with medicine ball at home

The increasing intensity is another benefit of Russian Twist. There are so many ways you can make the exercise more challenging as you build your muscles. For example, if you keep your feet together you will get more stability. However, if you separate them about shoulder width apart, this will increase the difficulty of the workout. The twisted turns of the body are another option to do this exercise if the standard version is too difficult for you. You can position your feet on the floor to make it a lot easier. Ideally, you should get your feet off the floor and know that you can always lay down during your workout. This is a variation if you are having trouble getting the reps in good position. You can also try the following variations to create more resistance.

Russian twist with medicine ball and weights

Medicine ball russian twist application by blonde woman with headphones in gym in front of brick wall

This progression is probably the most common form of exercise performed in a gym or fitness center. You can do this variation with any type of weight you have on hand. For example, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, sandbags and anything that you can hold with two hands when you turn from side to side are suitable. The extra weight increases the challenge on your middle body, especially when trying to lift the weight from the side.

man uses weight to perform russian twist in gym

For extra strength, try lightly tapping the selected weight on the floor on each side as you turn. Regardless of which accessories you use, it is important to make sure that your body is not pulled out of position while you exercise. Only your upper body should rotate. So if you have trouble maintaining your body position, reduce the weight or return to the unweighted exercise.

Russian twist with exercise ball

Use exercise ball with dumbbell for modified exercise russian twist

As the old saying goes, if you want to make a physical exercise harder, introduce a giant inflatable ball. Supporting your upper body on an unstable surface during Russian Twist means that your core will have to work all the harder to maintain position and balance.

Build abdominal muscles with exercises and exercise ball

To do this, lie with your upper back on an exercise ball and keep your feet flat on the floor. Hold a light dumbbell or kettlebell above you with your arms straight. Rotate your torso on one side until your arms are parallel to the floor, then rotate it back to the other side.

Russian twist with lower body

lower body russian twist training with shoulders on the floor in the gym

This variation shifts the focus of the exercise to your abdominal and abdominal muscles. First, lie down with your back and arms flat on the floor with your legs straight up. Press your shoulders on the floor, turn your legs to the side, keeping them straight. When your feet are close to the ground but not touching it, straighten your legs back up and then to the other side.

Step-by-step guide to Russian Twist

instructions for russian twist exercise do it yourself from home

  1. First, lie down on the floor and either put your feet under something that won’t move or have a partner hold them. Your legs should be bent at the knees.
  2. Then lift your torso so it creates an imaginary V shape with your thighs. Your arms should be perpendicular to your torso and fully extended in front of you with your hands folded. This is the starting position.
  3. First, rotate your torso to the right until your arms are parallel to the floor as you exhale.
  4. Hold this position for a second and return to the starting position as you exhale. Now go to the opposite side and do the same techniques that you used on the right side.
  5. Do this for the recommended number of repetitions.
  6. Variation: As you progress, you can hold a weight with both arms for resistance.

Other useful tips

Blonde woman in office doing russian twist exercise with weight in hands

  • If you are feeling too much pressure in your lower back, you can lean forward a little until you are more comfortable.
  • The most important thing about this exercise is your posture. You should rate this on speed.
  • Your back should always stay straight at a 45 degree angle.
  • If you develop a curved spine during this activity, your abs will not be used optimally and your lower back will be unnecessarily stressed.
  • For this reason, try the following approach: exhale as you twist, and inhale as you return to the center.

Cons of Russian Twist

workout as a russian twist with weight in the fitness center

A person’s awareness of their muscles follows a simple process. You start with what you see in the mirror: biceps, chest, shoulders, and six pack abs. However, you also quickly notice that there are even more interesting things on the other side: large back muscles, trapezius muscles, and triceps muscles. At some point, not long after your legs stop growing, you will find that these muscles respond to your daily workout as well. But the real test of your consciousness comes when you worry about everything in between, like your transverse muscles. You might notice your own if you are slim enough. Or, you might see a picture of a fitness model and wonder what’s going on with those finger-like muscles on the sides of his waist. It’s as if the creature on the face from the movie Alien is part of its anatomy.

example of russian twist with both hands and feet positioned above the floor

You can also guess why most people use Russian Twist. An athlete could do this exercise to develop rotational strength for sports such as hockey, golf, baseball, or other sports that involve throwing or hitting. In the worst case scenario, the Russian Twist exercise can put enormous strain on your lumbar spine. For one, your lower back can only rotate 10 to 15 degrees. On the other hand, leaning back with an unsupported upper body automatically puts the lumbar spine in a vulnerable position. Twisting from this position increases the risk, especially with a heavier weight. That said, you can try the suggestions listed above to see if they suit you. Otherwise, there are plenty of other exercises you can do to train your core.

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Bosu Ball for an effective workout – The balance trainer has many advantages for your fitness

optimize the advantages of the bosu ball workout with balance trainer for better fitness

A Bosu ball is a great addition to any workout in the gym. It can help you improve your balance. In addition, this training device is good for the workout of muscles and nerves, as well as for unstable conditions that you experience in everyday life. In this way you can not only improve your coordination, but also support a number of other types of training. The Bosu Ball can be used with the flat base on the floor with the dome up or as a balance board. So this is a more practical and useful version of the traditional exercise ball invented by David Weck.

Training intensity with Bosu Ball

do squat exercises with two pieces of bosu ball

By using the Bosu Ball to lift dumbbells, you are forcing your muscles to stabilize and guide the weights through the full range of motion. This will take your usual training routine to a more difficult level. The Bosu Balance Trainer can also provide additional challenge and intensity for other common exercises such as push-ups, lunges, and squats. The training is carried out on the rubber ball and on the back flat side with the upper soft part of the ball on which it is balanced. Maintaining balance and performing the exercises is equally difficult regardless of the position of the ball. The Bosu Ball can also be used for abdominal crunches, jumps, aerobics and many others.

diversity

mountaineering exercise during strength training for men achieves optimal results

Fitness experts agree that adding variety to your workout is a great way to incorporate various benefits. You will also get additional entertainment and motivation for your training. Getting your body to adjust to changes in your routine will keep you in balance. This allows you to cope with difficult tasks that you encounter in other fitness situations. So a Bosu ball is the perfect way to change your usual stretching and strength exercises.

flexibility

exercises abdominal backs challenge muscles with bosu ball and abdominal press in the gym

The rounded top of the Bosu Ball offers excellent support for the back and stomach when exercising for weight loss. Simply pull yourself over the soft dome and relax your muscles so that they stretch in a unique, beneficial way. This is difficult to recreate with traditional routes. With the flat side up, you can also use this exercise tool as an incline board for calf extensions and more. Maintaining a balanced fitness regimen is important, and a bosu ball is an inexpensive, space-saving option to add variety to any gym.

exercises for balance and balancing on a bosu ball for better results and body awareness

The beauty of a Bosu Ball is that you can use it to do all kinds of exercises – from leg exercises that you balance on, to core exercises, to upper body and cardio – in each of these scenarios it just adds an extra element of instability, which requires that you employ more of the tiny muscles in your core that are helping you control your body and keep it in balance. Ultimately, you will get a more intense core workout, regardless of which muscles the exercise is technically aimed at. You will also improve your balance by using a tool that calls for stability.

try out exercises with a bosu ball as a balance board

The Bosu Ball can also help improve proprioception. This means knowing where your body is in space. Better body awareness will help you gain better control of your movements, position, and ultimately both your posture and your ability to perform exercises with the correct form. With the following exercises you will improve your posture and body control and strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.

6 exercises to try with the Bosu Ball

plank exercises that you can try with a bosu ball

As with any new exercise or piece of equipment, after you’ve improved your stability a little, it’s best to start with the basics and make more complex moves. Before doing anything else, just stand on the blue side of the hemisphere to get a feel for it. Yes, you will feel unsteady, but over time you will be able to stand on it more steadily. Try some of the exercises below that we have put together for you.

Plank exercises

  1. First, put the blue side on the floor.
  2. Bend over, then grab the sides of the black platform.
  3. Extend your legs behind you and place your toes on the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels.
  4. Squeeze your entire core, glutes, and quadruplets, and put your bum under a little to keep your lower back straight. Make sure you don’t drop your hips or wander your butt towards the ceiling.
  5. Position your head so that your neck is in a neutral position and your eyes are on your hands.
  6. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Climber exercise with Bosu ball

mountaineer exercise with bosu ball balance traine

  1. Repeat steps 1 through 5 from the previous exercise.
  2. Once you are on a high plank, slowly pull your right knee towards your chest.
  3. Extend your right leg back to the starting position and immediately pull your left knee towards your chest.
  4. Continue like this for 30 seconds, switching sides.
  5. Move slowly at first, then increase your speed as your stability improves.

Pushups

do push-ups on a bosu ball while balancing with your arms

  1. Repeat steps 1-5 from the previous exercises.
  2. Then slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the ball. While doing this, keep the core in a flat position.
  3. Push through your palms to straighten your arms and raise your body back up onto the high plank.
  4. Do 5 repetitions to increase your strength and stability.

Spiderman exercise with Bosu Ball

spiderman exercise with bosu ball perform with knees and legs as climbing muscles

  1. Repeat steps 1 through 5 of the first three exercises for this workout as well.
  2. Once you are on a high plank, slowly pull your right knee towards your right elbow and focus on pushing your sloping surfaces.
  3. Then straighten your right leg back to the starting position and then pull your left knee towards your left elbow.
  4. Continue like this for 30 seconds, switching sides again for maximum effect.

Squats

doing squats with bosu ball as a fitness exercise and training

  1. This time, place the flat side of the Bosu hemisphere on the floor.
  2. Step slowly onto the soft, blue surface and stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. The further away these are, the more stable you are. Make sure, however, that your feet are firmly seated on the Bosu Ball.
  3. Bend your knees and push your hips back as you lower yourself into a squat. Keep your core engaged, your chest raised, and your back flat.
  4. Push your heels through to get back to the starting position. Push your butt up as you do this.
  5. Do 10 repetitions.

Lunges

Lunge steps with the bosu ball balance trainer for better balance and coordination during fitness training

  1. Again, lay the flat side of the hemisphere on the floor.
  2. Slowly step on the blue side and stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
  3. Place your hands on your hips (as shown) or behind your head.
  4. Step back with your left foot, land on your left foot, keeping your heel off the floor.
  5. Bend both knees to create two 90-degree angles with your legs.
  6. In this position, your shoulders should be directly above your hips and your chest should be erect.
  7. Your right shin should be perpendicular to the floor and your right knee should be above your right ankle. Your butt and core should be busy.
  8. Push through the heel of your right foot to get back to standing and bring it back to meet your right foot on the Bosu Ball.
  9. Do 5 reps on this side, then switch legs and do 5 more reps.

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Fitness, men's world

Star muscle building – How do Hollywood actors train for their roles as superheroes?

film superhero and trained actors for the roles of superman batman and aquaman

Movie stars are known for their ability to completely overhaul their bodies when the role calls for it, and star muscle building has become a trend. Sure, the celebrities also have trainers and nutritionists on call. However, it’s mostly up to them to get the job done. When we look at her bulging biceps and six-pack bellies, we can quickly see that this wasn’t an easy task. From Ryan Reynolds’ intense workouts to Ben Affleck’s early morning workouts, here’s how the Hollywood guys keep themselves in great shape.

Muscle Building the Stars – Jason Momoa

jason momoa at comic con as aquaman with a muscle building of the stars and strict training program

Jason Momoa was already fit when he captured the hearts of women all over the world as Khal Drogo in the cult series “Game of Thrones”. However, he had to make some diet changes to show off his muscles for the role as Aquaman in the DC Comics movie of the same name. Trainer Stuart Walton shares what Momoa ate in preparation for his take on the Aquaman hero. You might be surprised to learn that he was not banned from food. Instead, the couple worked to influence the actor’s intake of macronutrients. Before an intense workout, he loaded carbohydrates into his body. Fresh fruit for early morning sweat sessions or rice and quinoa before training in the evening were part of his menu. When it comes to eggs and fat, the superhero who lives in the ocean loved sashimi (mainly barramundi and salmon) as well as steak, avocados and olive oil.

Hugh Jackman

50-year-old hugh jackman is in top shape for his role as wolverine

Hugh Jackman has always been fit, but his metamorphosis into Wolverine is often hailed as the ultimate superhero transformation. The 50-year-old Aussie fasted every day to get himself up. Jackman also followed the 16: 8 diet, where all meals were adjusted for an eight hour period and the remaining 16 were fasted. Seventy percent of his body was his diet, and that was what made his biggest change. The actor started training six months before filming. He followed a progressive overload plan to strengthen the core exercises. According to Men’s Fitness, it’s about starting light, using just a small percentage of your max, gradually increasing the weights and decreasing the repetitions so that you hit the plateaus in just a few weeks.

Ryan Reynolds

Film star ryan raynolds at the premiere of the film deadpool 2

Ryan Reynolds isn’t a fan of superheroes, but according to his trainer Bobby Strom, the actor doesn’t have the same physique every time. To prepare for his role in the film Green Lantern, the 42-year-old Canadian began training a year in advance. Strom kept the father of two on his feet by switching his exercises for the role of Deadpool every day. However, the first 20 minutes of each session was devoted to the abs.

ryan raynolds plays in the film deadpool and has built up his muscles especially for the role

The trainer stated that he cooked for the actor six days a week. He made healthy Bolognese sauce that was 97 percent fat-free beef. The trainer sautéed it in a pan with broccoli and its own marinara sauce, along with black pepper, a little cayenne pepper and a little garlic. No salt or sugar, served over brown rice or high quality brown rice noodles.

Chris Pratt

chris pratt trains at the mtv music awards for his role as a superhero in guardians of the galaxy

Prior to his debut as Star-Lord on Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt was known as Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation. When the 39-year-old decided on the role, he weighed around 120 kilos and lost around 30 of them in an impressive six months. The secret of Pratt’s transformation was loads of calories, water, and intense weight training. In addition to running, swimming, boxing, kickboxing, and even a triathlon, Pratt’s nutritionist increased his daily caloric intake to a whopping 4,000 calories and made the actor drink water throughout the day.

Chris Hemsworth

chris hemsworth at the premiere of the blockbuster thor ragnarok with a black suit

To be honest, Chris Hemsworth always looks like a superhero, but to play the god of thunder in Thor, the 35-year-old had to up his exercise routine as well as his diet. In one interview, Hemsworth admitted that, like many actors, he often ate almost every two hours while his diet consisted mostly of protein. He ate endless amounts of chicken breasts, steaks, fish, vegetables, and brown rice. The father of three also got his way with longtime trainer Luke Zocchi and made sure his training schedule was changed. His workouts were about being varied. Whenever the actor was exercising his arms, he was also working in boxing jumps between sets. By doing more cardio, you will shock your body and avoid problems in certain areas.

Michael B. Jordan

michael b jordan as ryan coogler in his roles in the film black panther and creed

Before Michael B. Jordan took on his role as the villain in Marvel’s superhero blockbuster “Black Panther”, he had to build serious muscles to play the title character of “Creed”. Jordan’s trainer, Corey Calliet, revealed that the 32-year-old actor combined cardio with circuit training four days a week to burn fat and be in shape so he can play the son of Rocky Balboa’s boyfriend, Adonis Creed.

In preparation for his role as Erik Killmonger, Jordan took his training to the next level. He recently stated in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen Show that he strictly adhered to six meals, two to three workouts, and a gallon of water a day. Unfortunately, having to drink so much water also meant going to the toilet frequently at night. Jordan’s nutrition plan was too high for him to enjoy himself. It was difficult for him to go to a club or to a party or to make new contacts when he needed to get in shape.

Chris Evans

chris evans plays in the superhero film avengers as captain america and builds his muscles intensively for it

To get in the shape of Captain America, Chris Evans worked three hours a day, a few months before filming, with UK top coach Simon Waterson. He put the 37-year-old on a high-weight, low-repetition regime filled with squats, deadlifts, incline bench presses, and pull-ups. Evans also used a lot of body weights and built in a few plyometrics to get his fast-twitch muscle fibers up.

muscle building of stars with strict diet for roles as captain america chris evans

In terms of food, the actor stuck to a not-so-flavourful diet of lean protein, rice, and vegetables. So the hard part was mainly eating everything all the time. It sounds funny, but it’s not what a true devotion from a real American hero is.

Henry Cavill

henry cavill as superman at the premiere of batman vs superman down of justice with smocking

To make him look like he was faster than a racing bullet in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Henry Cavill turned to strength coach Michael Blevins. The trainer worked out a plan for the man of steel that consisted of four phases: preparation, replenishment, orientation, and maintenance. The bulky part involved lifting weights in a complex manner that simultaneously built muscle, strength, and speed. The 35-year-old actor did this in a repetitive manner, which also increased his stamina.

muscle building the stars achieve with a lot of weight training and dieting nutrition plan

There is a misconception that cardio negatively affects star muscle building. Having a larger work capacity allows you to train harder and longer. Building muscle without conditioning is like having an impressive engine without a gas tank – it’s worthless. Cavill also increased his food intake during the months he was in Superman shape. He was taking in 5000 calories a day while filming Man of Steel. The movie star had to eat protein first, then a little carbohydrates while holding his hunger pangs off.

Tom Hardy

movie star tom hardy uses many fighting techniques and strength training for his roles as villain and superhero in venom and bane in batman

Tom Hardy is no stranger to his roles as Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises” and Max Rockatansky in “Mad Max”. For his role as Eddie Brock in “Venom”, however, the 41-year-old decided to switch his training program. According to some sources, Hardy practiced martial arts, boxing, and jiu-jitsu with professional MMA fighters five days a week. The trainer Mark Mene and the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association of the Royal Marines also supported him. As for the actor’s diet, he should consume lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and lots of green leaves. With all of this, however, Hardy said that his superhero transformations could come at a cost.

Ben Affleck

ben affleck at the premiere of batman vs superman in a black suit

The famous muscle building of the stars also includes Ben Affleck, who also had to train hard for his role in “Batman vs. Superman”. This happened when he was making “Gone Girl” which, as many can imagine, was not easy. Before starting his daily 14-hour workout, the 46-year-old got up at 4:00 a.m. The Affleck superhero remodel took about 15 months, ranging from 90 minutes to two and a half hours a day with a schedule of six days of training and then a two-day break. So the actor did a lot of bodybuilding and wanted him to get strong and add mass at the same time. He used heavy dumbbells and other weights as the basis for training. The father of three also followed a diet plan that consisted of 35 percent lean protein, 45 percent carbohydrates, and 20 percent essential fats.

Robert Downey Jr.

robert downey jr trains for his role as iron man with the fighting techniques of bruce lee and stays in top form

When Robert Downey Jr. had to play Iron Man again in The Avengers, the 54-year-old actor turned to his beloved Wing Chun technique. This martial art became famous through Bruce Lee. In connection with the training of Wing Chun, Downey went into fitness mode together with the trainer Brad Bose. Downey reduced his cardiovascular system and increased the weight he was supposed to lift. So he was able to build up about 11 kilos of muscle mass. However, in order to maintain his mass, the father of three had to go on an equally intense diet. He ate every three hours while his trainer fed him 30 percent protein, 30 percent fat and 40 percent carbohydrates. He consumed over 5,000 calories a day for nine months. If you don’t eat that much, your body won’t accept the weight.

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