Twist for balanced strength

The muscles at the sides of your waist, known as the oblique muscles, are responsible for twisting your upper torso while your hips stay in place. This standing twist exercise will help you work out these muscles and develop balanced strength on both sides.

1 To begin, hold the handles of some rubber tubing (available at most sporting-good stores). Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place the balls of your feet over the tubing to stabilize it. Place your hands near your hips, with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.

2 With your arms and feet in the same position described above, contract your abdominal muscles and twist your torso to one side. Keep your hips, knees and toes facing forward as you turn your upper body to the side. Return to the front again and rotate to the other side. Inhale when you face forward; exhale when you twist to the side. You can gradually speed up the motion, but make sure that you maintain proper alignment throughout the exercise. Do 16 to 20 repetitions to each side, rest for 30 seconds and repeat for a second set.


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