Standing russian twists are one of my favorite full body, core-focused exercises that work on both stability and strength. They’re great for developing rotational ability through the torso, which is especially important for baseball players who are working on their pitch or swing.

Athlete Performs Standing Russian Twists


Standing russian twists are far more intense than a seated russian twist due to the weight of the barbell and a greater range of motion. Expect to use most muscles of the trunk including the rectus abdominis, latisimus dorsi, and muscles of the deep back muscles including spinalis and erector spinae.ย 

While these muscle don’t draw the same attention as biceps and shoulders do – they’re what keep you safe as an athlete against big hits, holds, and pushing. Work on standing russian twists to avoid injury and stay durable.

How to do standing russian twists?

To perform standing russian twists, you’ll need to set up a landmine barbell. Hold the other end of the barbell in both hands and step back into position. Step the feet just outside of hip width distance and start with both arms long, holding the barbell to one side. Keeping both the legs and arms straight, brace the core and lift the barbell up and over for a half-circle until you end up on the other side.

Common Mistakes

I often see athletes fall under the weight of the bar and start to bend the arms. Fight to keep them straight as you tighten the core and rotate from side to side.


Standing russian twists are a great supplemental drill to any upper body or full body workout. Superset these with another drill for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Check out this upper body workout.

Athletes work on Barbell Russian Twists

If you do get to a level of strength where you can easily deadlift about 2.2 x your own bodyweight, this might be where I encourage an athlete to switch things up and vary the stimulus with new variations like a sumo or conventional deadlift or a box squat.

When it comes to developing brute strength, simple progressive overload is the way to go. If youโ€™re looking to step your game up next season, remember that absolute strength starts in the off-season. Join hundreds of other athletes who have been successful using the Athletic Strength Formula program.

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