You may have heard that Russian twists can offer benefits. Find out what effects you can expect from doing 100 repetitions a day.
The first thing to note is that Russian twists are mainly a resistance training exercise that is done with the goal of growing and strengthening core muscles.
Let’s say one Russian twist is one turn to each side.
In that case, if you can barely do 100 Russian twists in somewhere between 2 sets of 50 Russian twists to 6 sets of 17 Russian twists before your obliques fatigue, a workout like this will likely be enough to grow and strengthen these muscles.
You do really need to push yourself to failure in the higher rep ranges to see results.
Next, if bodyweight Russian twists come down to putting your abs under 70-75% of your maximum voluntary load, doing 100 repetitions can help you grow and strengthen ab muscles if you do them in time periods of 3 to 30 seconds per set for 80-150 seconds per workout.
To get into these ranges or shorten how long you have to work out for both obliques and abs, you can do Russian twists with weights.
Lastly, Russian twists also burn a few calories, potentially make daily activities easier due to better core muscle endurance, and offer some general exercise benefits to a tiny extent.
100 Russian twists could grow your abs and obliques
One of the main benefits of Russian twists is that they can grow and strengthen core muscles like your abs and obliques.
That being said, just doing a few Russian twists each day without any method behind it will likely not give you any results.
You really need to pressure these muscles with enough resistance, do the right number of repetitions, eat enough nutrients, and give your body enough rest.
Exactly what enough means for you depends on your body and strength levels. However, there are a few general guidelines that can help you get a better idea about whether 100 Russian twists a day is right for you.
Resistance and repetitions
Something interesting about Russian twists is that they work your core muscles in different ways. More specifically, your obliques in an active way and your abs in a passive way.
This makes it so how many Russian twists you should do with what resistance depends on whether you want to grow your abs or obliques.
If you can barely do somewhere from 2 sets of 50 Russian twists (one repetition = one turn to each side) to 6 sets of 17 Russian twists before your obliques fatigue, you can likely grow and strengthen these muscles with 100 Russian twists.
You do really need to push yourself to failure in these high-repetition (25+) sets to see these results.
When it comes to static resistance training exercises, in this case the ab engagement of Russian twists, the guidelines are less precise.
One publication suggests you need to do at least 80 to 150 seconds per workout with 3 to 30 seconds per repetition at 70-75% of maximum voluntary contraction (MCV) to grow muscles (1).
Unfortunately, MCV is complicated to measure at home.
I’m not sure if it comes down to the same MCV but I would assume that if you are barely able to do Russian twists for these time frames; you would be able to grow and strengthen your abs with this exercise.
You can then adjust how fast you do your 100 Russian twists to hit these time frames.
Lastly, if/when you are strong enough to do more than the repetitions/durations above, you want to turn to weighted Russian twists or do more repetitions/time.
In resistance training exercises like Russian twists you damage the muscles you work. This may not sound good but it starts a variety of internal processes that can make them stronger and healthier.
One important thing to keep in mind about this is that your body still needs time to complete these processes.
For bigger muscle groups, for example your glutes, it is generally recommended to take an extra rest day before you work the muscles again. This helps you stay away from overtraining and could actually improve results.
On the flip side, the core muscles Russian twists work are relatively small. You can definitely give them more time to rest too but a good amount of people will be able to do 100 Russian twists a day without an issue.
Burns a few extra calories
The muscle growth and strength progress potentials of 100 Russian twists were discussed more in-depth because these are the main goals of doing the exercise.
That being said, because you are likely moving more intensely than usual, you are also burning a few extra calories.
Exactly how many this will be depends on details like your body weight, body composition, hormone levels, speed, etc. That being said, there are ways to make predictions.
Let’s say you do about 20 Russian twists (one turn to each side) per minute. In that case, some estimations about how many calories certain people burn with 100 Russian twists include:
- 125 pounds (56 kg) body weight: 14 calories
- 155 pounds (70 kg) body weight: 17 calories
- 185 pounds (83 kg) body weight: 20 calories
- 215 pounds (97 kg) body weight: 24 calories
This should make it clear that Russian twists are not the best exercise choice for burning a lot of calories.
They do help a tiny amount but to see significant results in an area like weight loss, you will have to do a lot of workouts and/or make changes in other lifestyle areas besides just doing 100 Russian twists a day.
Could make daily activities easier
Even if 100 Russian twists are currently challenging enough to cause muscle growth and strength progress, they will likely also improve muscle endurance to some extent.
Once 100 repetitions become too easy for growth and strength, Russian twists will definitely become more of a core muscle endurance exercise.
The essence for this next benefit is that Russian twists can help you improve muscle endurance in core muscles like your abs and obliques.
These muscles are responsible for keeping your body upright. Even more so when you are standing up instead of sitting down.
In turn, improving muscle endurance in your core can make certain daily activities like standing up and walking around easier and more convenient.
Is doing 100 Russian twists a day enough?
Whether 100 Russian twists a day is enough to grow and strengthen core muscles like your obliques and abs was discussed above (it depends on your strength level).
However, there are many other reasons why you would implement a workout routine. To get these other benefits, doing 100 Russian twists a day is almost always not enough.
Even if you are just looking to improve your core strength, you likely still want to do some separate exercises for your erector spinae (lower back muscles) on top of a Russian twist routine.
For general health, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends the following exercise guidelines to adults (2):
- Moving more and sitting less throughout the day
- At least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week. Preferably spread throughout the week.
- You can gain additional health benefits by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
- Muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
Doing 100 Russian twists only takes about 5 minutes to complete and generally does not get your heart beating that fast.
You definitely need to do other resistance training movements and types of workouts to get to a point where you can say you have a “healthy” exercise routine.