Seated Russian Crunch

Starting Position
  • To perform the seated Russian crunch, start by lying on the floor face up with your knees bent.
  • Cross your arms over your chest and lift your shoulders off the ground as if doing a crunch to about 45 degrees.
  • You should be comfortable enough to maintain your neutral position and breath normally
  • If you can't breath normally, try a more rudimentary exercise
  • Twist your right shoulder up toward your left knee hold that position.
  • Twist your left shoulder up toward your right knee and hold that position.
Prime Movers
  • Hip flexors, abdominals.
Physio Tips
  • Squeeze your chin toward your chest as though there were an orange there to activate neck stabilizers and prevent neck strain.
  • Pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth will assist in activating deep neck flexors to help stabilize your neck.
  • Try the Russian twist on the exercise ball by starting in a crunch position on the ball.
The seated Russian crunch exercise is a little more advanced for a floor exercise. It forces you to stabilize your spine while incorporating a functional movement pattern. This is something required in activities such as vacuuming, golfing, paddling a kayak, swinging a bat, and throwing a ball.

If you are new to the Russian twist, practice just holding the "sit-up position" for 10 seconds. Then introduce short rotation movements just from 11 o'clock to 1 o'clock. Do these slowly, controlled, with normal breathing. As your ability improves you can push further into the rotation.

If you find this exercise difficult go back and practice abdominal hollowing in different positions - on your back, and in standing, and get a feel for your neutral position. Doing some basic crunches will also assist in simply achieving the starting position.

1ballsHold each position for 1 seconds and repeat 10 times.

2ballsHold each position for 3 seconds and repeat 10 times.

3ballsHold each position for 3 seconds and repeat 30 times.

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