If you're not twisting during workouts, you should be. Incorporating twists into an exercise routine targets core muscles like the obliques to tone love handles and create a defined waist. It's not just your muscles that are benefiting: doing twisting moves helps boost your calorie-burning potential, says Julie Erickson, founder of Endurance Pilates and Yoga. Moves that "rotate the torso, hips, and the shoulders . . . encourage greater blood flow and stimulation of particular areas within the body, affecting digestion, metabolism, and circulation," she says (get Julie's full detox yoga and Pilates workout here!).
Want to whittle your waist? Get on board by adding a few of these twisting moves to your workout.
To do the seated Russian twist:
- Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels about a foot from your bum.
- Lean slightly back without rounding your spine at all. It is really important, and difficult, to keep your back straight, so don't let it curve.
- Place your arms straight out in front of you with one hand on top of the other. Your hands should be level with the bottom of your rib cage.
- Pull your navel to your spine and twist slowly to the left. The movement is not large and comes from the ribs rotating, not from your arms swinging. Inhale through your center and rotate to the right. This completes one rep. Lift your feet off the ground for a more advanced variation.
- Do 15 to 20 full rotations.
Read on for three more oblique-targeting twists.