Rotary Torso Machine

Isolation exercise, Machine




Required equipment

Main muscles

  • Abdomen: External oblique abdominal muscle
    (Musculus obliquus externus abdominis)

Training plans

Rotary Torso Machine is a suitable substitute for similar exercises in or as a supplement to various training plans.

Rotary Torso Machine: Basics and alternatives

: Involved main muscle groups Rotary Torso Machine

Involved main muscle groups:
Rotary Torso Machine

The abdominal twist machine, also known as the rotary torso machine, offers a guided variation of seated and standing abdominal twists. By rotating your upper body left and right against the machine’s resistance, you target your lateral abdominal muscles.

Since this is a machine-based exercise, it’s typically only available at the gym. Most home gyms don’t have this equipment. There are different versions of the machine, with the most common being a seated abdominal twist machine.

The key advantage of this machine is the ability to handle heavier weights due to its guided execution. You don’t have to hold the weight in your hands, which removes stabilization work, allowing for more focused isolation of the lateral abdominal muscles. However, this means your core gets less intensive training or none at all.

Correct Execution

As there are various designs of the rotary torso machine, make sure to familiarize yourself with its operation before starting. Many gym machines have a brief instruction on the frame.

Handles and stabilizing pads for the arms may differ, as can leg positions. Most machines have a pad in the middle that you squeeze between your knees, while others may have pads to secure your upper and lower legs.

The following instructions cover the machine version shown in the video.

Regardless of your gym’s machine design, the focus remains on the lateral abdominal muscles when performing the abdominal twist.

Video Tutorial

How-To Use the "Rotary Torso" Machine

Step-by-Step Instructions

First, set the machine to the neutral position using the lever on the side of the seat.

Sit down, scoot your butt all the way back, and ensure your lower back touches the backrest. Start with a low weight setting.

Tuck the leg pad between your knees to stabilize your body.

Using the same lever, turn the upper part of the machine in one direction, only as far as your natural range of motion allows without pain. Don’t use the machine to stretch your core or spine.

Wrap your arms around the two large pads and grab the handles.

Now, evenly turn your upper body in the opposite direction.

After finishing one side, use the lever to move the top of the machine in the other direction and complete your set.

Common Mistakes

Ensure you sit firmly in the machine and maintain your sitting position throughout the movement. Press your butt into the seat, keeping your lower back against the backrest.

Avoid using excessive weight, even though heavier weights may be tempting. If you need to gain momentum to start the movement, use less weight. The movement should be uniform throughout the entire range of motion, in both directions.