Primary Muscle Group: Obliques
Secondary Muscle Group: Abdominals
Equipment Needed: Barbell
The Benefits of Barbell Twists
The standing barbell twist exercise targets your abdominal muscles, specifically focusing on your obliques. This is a great exercise for beginners as it’s easy to do, providing you have enough free space around you, and requires light weight. The exercise can also be adapted to be standing on sitting which makes it more user friendly and accessible to the majority of people.
If you are looking for some exercises that will help develop a stronger core or want to improve the visibility of your abs then take a look at our Free Workout Plans and our Full Workout Plans
The Risks of doing Barbell Twists
The barbell twist is a great exercise for beginners that are starting to train abdominals but its also important to note that less experienced people may not have full control over their core which could lead to an improper technique. An incorrect form on this exercise could really damage your lower back when twisting so its extremely important to make sure you have full control of the movement by taking it slow until you are comfortable with the exercise.
So before giving Barbell Twists a go, here's exactly how to do them without risking pain or injury.
How To Do Barbell Twists
How To Do Barbell Twists
1) Grab a light barbell and rest it on the traps behind your neck. DO NOT rest the weight on your neck!
2) Stand up straight, with your feet shoulder width apart & your feet firmly on the floor.
3) Whilst you keep your back straight & your abdominal muscles tight, slowly twist your torso to the right and then back to the left.
4) Remember to keep your head looking straight forward and don’t twist your head with your torso.
Variations: You can do this exercise seated or standing.
For Perfect Technique
• To avoid injury, NEVER rest the barbell on your neck! It’s important to place it on the traps and to make it more comfortable you can use a Barbell Pad.
• Keep your Abs tight through the full set, this will help avoid injury and help target the obliques.
• Make sure that you have enough room around you to get the full range of motion.
Once you have mastered the Barbell Twist exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do a Dumbbell Side Bend
1) Firstly, grab a set of dumbbells & Stand straight up with one dumbbell in each hand & your palms facing inwards.
2) Keep your feet firmly on the floor with a shoulder width stance. Keeping your back straight and your eyes facing forwards, bend down to the right as far as you can, then back up again.
3) Without pausing at the top, bend down to the left.
How To Do Russian Twists
1) Firstly, start by sitting on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
2) Then lean back so your upper body is at a 45-degree angle to the floor making sure you Keep your back straight at this angle throughout the exercise. Avoid to hunching your shoulders forward.
3) Link your hands together in front of your chest, then brace your core and raise your legs up off the ground.
4) Rotate your arms all the way over to one side, then do the same in the other direction.
The Barbell twists exercise targets your abdominals, specifically on your obliques and is a great exercise for beginners.