Purpose:

To develop core strength.

Setup:

Give each athlete a medicine ball and have them sit down on the ground.

Instructions:

  1. On the coach’s command, the athlete will lift the feet a few inches off the ground, with the legs relaxed and bent at the knees.
  2. Next, they will begin to rotate the medicine ball from side to side, bringing it from hip to hip.
  3. After 10 reps they will transfer into the windshield wiper variation as described in coaching tips, and perform another 10 reps.

Russian Twist Drill: Athlete performing the Windshield Wiper variation, extending the medicine ball out with the arms while rotating from side to side.

Coaching Tips: 

  • For a variation, have the athlete extend their arms holding the medicine ball out as they rotate. This is a much more difficult exercise and is very effective at building up the core.
  • Stress the importance of maintaining proper form throughout the exercise, with athletes keeping their backs straight and avoiding hunching to maximize core engagement.
  • Encourage athletes to perform each twist with controlled movements, as rapid, jerky motions can lead to strain and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.
  • Teach athletes to synchronize their breathing with the movement, exhaling during the twist and inhaling as they return to the center.

For Younger Athletes:

  • Begin the Russian Twist without a medicine ball, helping younger athletes focus on mastering the technique and understanding the movement.
  • Gradually introduce the medicine ball as younger athletes become more comfortable with the movement, starting with a light ball and increasing the weight as they build strength.
  • Start with shorter sets, like 5 reps, to prevent fatigue and maintain good form, gradually increasing the number of reps as their endurance improves.

For Older Athletes:

  • Increase the difficulty for older, more experienced athletes by extending the arms further with the medicine ball or using a heavier ball.
  • Add variations like the windshield wiper or elevating the legs higher to challenge their core strength and stability.
  • Integrate the Russian Twist into a broader core workout circuit, incorporating exercises like planks, sit-ups, and leg raises for comprehensive core development.