A torso twist on an exercise ball boosts intensity and calorie burn.
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The number of calories burned by doing a torso twist depends on the type of twist. A torso twist that is performed as a dynamic stretch will not tax your body in the same way as doing a trunk rotation with a medicine ball. In addition, a few sets of one exercise won't produce a significant calorie burn. By incorporating torso twists in a circuit or as an exercise in a high-intensity interval training session, you can create a fat-burning workout.
The Mechanics of a Twist
An exercise that simultaneously stretches and strengthens your obliques, begin the torso twist by standing with feet a little wider than hip-width apart and toes slightly turned out for more stability. Place a broomstick across your shoulders to keep them down and relaxed. Rest your hands on the top of either end of the stick. Exhale and rotate your trunk to the right, keeping your glutes contracted and pelvis facing front throughout the exercise. Inhale and return to center. Repeat the twist to the left side. Perform 30 reps on the right and left sides for three or four sets. You can also perform this exercise from a seated as well as supine position on the floor.
If a 123-pound person does warm-up calisthenics for 30 minutes, she can burn 126 calories, according to вЂњLow-fat Living Cookbook: Skillpower Not WillpowerвЂќ by Leslie L. Cooper. A heavier person at 150 pounds burns 143 calories. A one-minute torso twist burns about four calories. If you add 5 lbs. of resistance to a trunk rotation, such as a medicine ball, cable machine or elastic bands, you can burn about 10 calories per minute. You can also boost the intensity and calorie burn by doing a trunk rotation on an exercise ball. These numbers don't reflect the extra calories you burn due to the growth in lean muscle mass. However, one exercise isn't going to make much of a difference in your calorie burn for the day.
A Circuit for Obliques
If you perform torso twists as part of a circuit with anywhere from eight to 12 other exercises, you can achieve an effective calorie-burning workout. Even a 15-minute circuit designed to target and strengthen your obliques will crank up your metabolism, according to вЂњThe Men's Health Big Book of 15-Minute WorkoutsвЂќ by Selene Yeager. For example, perform a circuit that consists of: oblique V-ups, standing side bends with dumbbells, standing torso twists holding one dumbbell with both hands, seated trunk rotations with a medicine ball, wood chops with a dumbbell and jackknifes from a side-lying position. For each exercise, do 10 reps to the right and left sides. Repeat the circuit twice, resting for a minute between circuits.
Run and Twist
Combine a cardio workout and calisthenics into a circuit for endurance, which is an effective way to do a torso twist and burn calories. Olympic rower Tom Bohrer does an outdoor circuit in which he runs for three minutes and then performs 20 to 30 reps of a set of exercises, such as pushups, walking lunges, burpees and toe touches, according to his article вЂњCircuit CityвЂќ in вЂњRowing News.вЂќ After a five- to 10-minute warm-up of light aerobic activity, he does two or three intervals of running coupled with calisthenics and then winds up the workout with five to 10 minutes of cool-down exercise. Add a body-weight torso twist to the calisthenics part of the circuit and achieve the calorie burn of a 30- to 40-minute cardio session.