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Stick Twist 101 Video Tutorial

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Stick Twist
Stick Twist

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type


Required Equipment


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The Stick Twist exercise is a dynamic movement targeting the oblique muscles, emphasizing rotational strength and core stability. Using bands for resistance, this exercise engages not only the obliques but also recruits the abdominals and lower back as secondary muscles. As you twist the torso from side to side, the obliques are actively engaged, while the additional tension provided by the bands challenges the muscles further. This compound exercise not only strengthens the core but also enhances overall trunk mobility and stability, making it a valuable addition to any workout routine focused on building functional strength and improving rotational power.

How to Perform

  1. Begin by assuming a stance with your feet positioned at shoulder width. Ensure your knees are slightly flexed, maintaining a comfortable distance between your feet to avoid strain on your spine and optimize the effectiveness of the exercise.

  2. Elevate your arms to the height of your shoulders and flex them to a 90-degree angle. Your arms should not necessarily align precisely with your shoulders but rather be situated midway between your waistline and shoulders for optimal comfort. Adjust the angle of your elbows to approximately 90 degrees to facilitate the movement.

  3. Initiate the twisting action from your core muscles while simultaneously pivoting your feet. Engage your core by activating and drawing in your abdominal muscles, allowing your hips to dictate the direction of the rotational movement. Commence the twist by rotating your torso to the right side, followed by a controlled rotation to the left side. Coordinate the movement of your arms with your core rotation, ensuring they twist in unison with your torso.

  4. Maintain proper form and control throughout the exercise, focusing on engaging the target muscle groups and avoiding any sudden or jerky movements. Emphasize the activation of your obliques, while also involving the secondary muscle targets, including the abs and lower back, to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.

  5. Incorporate a slight pivot of your feet to support the rotational movement and maintain balance. As you twist to the right, shift your weight slightly onto your right foot and pivot it in the same direction. Conversely, during the twist to the left, transfer your balance onto your left foot and pivot accordingly.

  6. Optional: Integrate resistance bands into the exercise for added challenge and muscle engagement. Secure the bands under your feet and grasp the handles in each hand, maintaining tension throughout the movement. The resistance provided by the bands enhances the intensity of the exercise, further stimulating the target muscles.


  1. Control the motion of your twists: Avoid the common mistake of haphazardly throwing your body during trunk twists, as it not only reduces the effectiveness of the exercise but also increases the risk of lower back pain. Engage your abdominal muscles to maintain control throughout the movement, ensuring that your twists are deliberate and controlled. By tightening your core, you not only prevent excessive motion but also strengthen your core muscles as intended by the exercise.

  2. Maintain a single line through your body: Visualize a rod extending from the crown of your head down through your torso, encouraging proper alignment and posture. This imaginary line helps you to stand tall and maintain a vertical axis, promoting good posture throughout the exercise. By keeping your body in alignment, you reduce the risk of injury and maximize the benefits of the exercise for your obliques, abs, and lower back.

  3. Coordinate your movements: Ensure that all parts of your upper body move in sync during the twist, with your torso, shoulders, neck, and head rotating together at the same rate and range. Avoid rotating any body part in the opposite direction, as this can lead to spinal injuries. By moving everything together, you engage the target muscles effectively while minimizing the risk of strain or injury.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid using excessive momentum: Do not rely on swinging or jerking motions to perform the Stick Twist exercise, as this reduces the effectiveness of targeting the obliques and secondary muscles. Instead, focus on controlled movements to engage the muscles properly and minimize the risk of injury.

  2. Do not neglect proper form: Maintain correct posture throughout the exercise by keeping your spine neutral and your core engaged. Avoid arching or rounding your back excessively, as this can strain the lower back and detract from targeting the intended muscle groups. Keep your shoulders relaxed and down, with your chest lifted, to optimize muscle engagement and prevent unnecessary strain.

  3. Avoid twisting too far: Do not over-rotate your torso during the Stick Twist, as excessive twisting can strain the spine and lead to injury. Focus on rotating within a comfortable range of motion, ensuring that you feel a deep contraction in the obliques without compromising form or stability. Stop the twist when your shoulders are perpendicular to your hips on each side to maintain safety and effectiveness.

  4. Do not forget to breathe: Avoid holding your breath during the exercise, as this can increase tension and limit oxygen flow to the muscles. Remember to inhale deeply as you prepare for the twist and exhale forcefully as you rotate, allowing for optimal muscle activation and relaxation. Coordinate your breathing with the movement to enhance overall performance and prevent fatigue.

  5. Avoid using excessive resistance: When incorporating bands into the Stick Twist exercise, do not select a resistance level that is too challenging, as this can lead to compensatory movements and decreased focus on the target muscles. Choose a band with moderate resistance that allows you to maintain proper form and control throughout the movement, ensuring effective muscle engagement and injury prevention.

  6. Do not rush through the exercise: Avoid performing the Stick Twist too quickly, as this can compromise form and decrease muscle activation. Instead, focus on executing each repetition with deliberate control and precision, emphasizing the contraction of the obliques and secondary muscle groups. Take your time to feel the muscles working throughout the entire range of motion, maximizing the effectiveness of the exercise and minimizing the risk of injury.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.