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"The Russian twist is a challenging abdominal exercise that incorporates all the muscles of the core: the lower back, abs, obliques, diaphragm, and inner thighs," says Jodi Sussner, director of personal training for Snap Fitness 24/7. "Unlike crunches in which you rest your back on the floor between reps, the Russian twist forces you to hold your spine off the floor the entire time."
How to do it: Sit with knees bent, feet lifted from floor, and torso at a 45-degree angle. Hold fists together (or for more challenge, hold onto a medicine ball or light free weight), elbows tucked into sides. Twist torso from side to side, abs engaged. During twist, exhale as you pull abs in to support the spine. Do 2 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps on each side.
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