The standing twist is a great ab exercise that can also be incorporated as a warm-up. Generally, it fires up your abdominal muscles, improves flexibility, and promotes a healthier body.
Also known as the standing trunk twist, it requires little to no equipment and can be a total body workout. Further, it promotes stronger muscles and are also a healthy exercise for your back and spine.
Even though it is a simple move, the results are amazing. Not only will it help you cut back fat and make love handles disappear, but also give you a flat belly.
You can both feel and look your best with standing trunk twists. Moreover, the entire trunk rotates in a way that stretches your muscles and reduces stiffness in your lower body thus, you don’t feel any body ache.
HOW TO DO A STANDING TWIST
Here is the step-by-step procedure of how to perform the exercise.
- Start by standing upright with your feet together.
- Stretch both hands to the side so they are straight and parallel to the ground.
- Powerfully rotate your trunk or lower body to one side, keeping your feet firmly rooted on the ground for balance.
- As you reach the end of the rotation, quickly change direction and twist to the other side. Then with another quick change, turn to the opposite side again.
- Repeat the movement with fast repetitions.
STANDING TWIST MUSCLES ENGAGED
During the twists, the muscles primarily activated are: Internal obliques and external obliques, rectus and transverse abdominis, spinal erectors and other back muscles, quadratus lumborum, and hip flexors.
All these muscles include your abs, lower back, obliques, shoulders or upper back. Constantly working these muscles will strengthen them over time.
STANDING TWIST BENEFITS
IMPROVED RANGE OF MOTION
Improving your body’s range of motion in your spine is crucial for everyone whether you are an athlete, a gym-goer, or if you want to keep your body feeling young and fit.
Range of motion means the ability of your body to move around in either the sagittal, vertical or frontal axes.
Having a good range of motion is important as it allows to rotate, bend and move your body without feeling pain. The exercise helps you easily loosen up your body to rotate around its different axes.
Even though is important to have improved mobility in all of the different axes, the vertical one is especially helpful. The vertical axis, also known as the transverse plane, divides your body into left and right halves.
The move will help improve mobility in this axis.
The exercise is easy to fire up and strengthen your entire core and upper body. It can be done on their own or as a warm-up exercise.
Twisting your spine around helps your body get more flexible. Particularly your lower back, shoulders, and hips will experience increased flexibility.
Increased flexibility results in Improved athletic performance, fewer body aches and pains and shorter recovery periods.
Generally, the standing twist stabilizes your body since stability mainly comes from your trunk. The trunk or torso balances the body by coordinating movements with your pelvis.
Your torso and pelvis work together to enable you to walk forward, backward, and generally move around.
To move in this way, you must bend and straighten your joints. This can also be referred as flexion for bending and extension for straightening.
By helping to strengthen your torso, the move stabilizes your body and makes it better at flexing and extending.
IMPROVES ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
A poor range of motion and an inflexible torso would be detrimental to any athlete’s performance. In sports, as an athlete, you will need to be able to easily rotate your body by having a good range of motion and a flexible torso as well.
Therefore, as discussed, the move will increase your athletic performance by making you be quicker on your feet and give you an easier time moving around on the field or court.
IT MAY HELP WITH SCOLIOSIS
Finally, the standing twist can help with a condition known as Scoliosis. This is when the spine curves sideways between 10 and 45 degrees.
It can either help prevent scoliosis from getting worse or even improve the curvature of the spine altogether. So, incorporate the move in your workout if you suffer from moderate scoliosis to help ease some of the strain on your back.
Generally, this exercise is a great way of promoting a healthier body.
STANDING TWIST ALTERNATIVES
Russian twists are a form of variation that targets the oblique muscles. You will twist your core while seated on the floor with your knees bent. It offers similar benefits as our case exercise.
Lunging twists are a bit extra as they add some cardio to the regular twist. In addition, to challenging the lower body even further, they also help with weight loss.
TORSO TWIST MACHINE
The torso twist machine is excellent for working the core. You can add the optimal amount of weight for more strength building benefits.
Do not use too much weight on the machine as you will likely use your hips instead of your torso to generate force.
STANDING TWIST MISTAKES TO AVOID
TWISTING YOUR KNEES
Do not twist from the knees because you may risk injury and lose on the benefit of a solid core workout. Ensure that you twist from your trunk in that the movement comes from your ribs rather than your lower body.
You must pay attention to form as well. Always ensure that your arms are fully extended, your core is tightened, and your back is straightened with your shoulders back.
The standing twist is a low-impact workout that gives your abdominals quite the challenge. They also make you stronger and healthier.
Once you master the form and basics, then you can level up to more challenging variations for even better results. So, incorporate the move as early as your next ab day.