Trunk Twist

The Trunk Twist (sometimes referred to as the Standing Trunk Twist) provides a great way of warming up, and exercising your obliques. Your obliques are located at the sides of your waist, and can be strengthened just like any other muscle group.

How to perform the Trunk Twist

  1. Stand with your feet at shoulder width and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Place your hands in front of you with palms facing away from you (as if you're about to push something away).
  3. Twist your torso to the left, until your face (and hands) are facing in the opposite direction. (Don't force yourself to go too far - you don't want to injure yourself.).
  4. Now twist all the way around to the right.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you've completed the desired number of reps.
Number of Reps 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps for each side. Try more reps if you can.


Once you get comfortable with performing trunk twists, try these variations.

  • Hold the movement for a second once you're fully twisted (i.e. once you've twisted right around). Try to feel the squeeze in your obliques at this point.
  • Hold a broomstick horizontally behind your neck while performing the trunk twists. Hold the stick in your hands, with the center behind your neck (i.e. half of the stick should be sticking out to the right, the other half out to the left). As you twist to the left and right, the broomstick will pivot around your neck.
  • Hold a medicine ball while doing the twists. A medicine ball (also known as an exercise ball, a med ball, or a fitness ball) is a weighted ball roughly 14 inches in diameter

Muscles Used

Standing trunk twists involve various muscles, particularly the obliques, abdominals, hip and leg muscles, and spinal erectors.

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