Exercise: Scissor Kick

When you need an easy-to-do exercise to help shape your abs, the scissor kick is one of those that can be done virtually anywhere. As long as your comfortable on the floor, you can get a bit of an abdominal workout by shifting your legs back and forth. It’s one of those beginner exercises that I suggest people try who have been as lacking in fitness as myself. It’s a good warm-up routine to get into before trying some of the more grueling workouts.




Why Do I Like the Scissor Kick?

Outside of convenience, the scissor kick is a good way to get a bit of muscle firmness before you try your hand at some of the more extensive workouts. I am a firm believer in starting slow and finding your physical limitations. As the scissor kick is relatively easy for nearly anyone regardless of body shape, it can start to tone abs and obliques – which can prevent cramping should you try a set of crunches in the near future.

Muscles Worked
According to experts, and my own personal experience, the primary muscle group worked is your abs. Essentially, it’s caused by the balance you try to keep while moving your legs in succession. Your obliques are also contributing to the workout by keeping your legs straight and balanced. Hip flexors experience a bit of movement, but not on as much of a scale as you might think.

Focus of the Activity
Like many other traditional exercises, the scissor kick relies on repetition. However, you’ll feel strain on your abdomen throughout the entire workout. If you’re not used to doing core work, it may be best to start with three sets of five reps each every day until you can start adding more. Of course, you’ll want to include other exercises as well. It’s a zero-impact activity that concentrates on keeping your core tense while moving your legs. Nearly anyone can start off with this workout regardless of their size. Just make sure you don’t try to lift your legs too far if you’re not ready for it. It is possible to get a cramp in the hamstrings or other muscle groups.

How to Do This Exercise

  1. Lay flat on your back. This is where a yoga or exercise mat comes into play. While you can do this exercise virtually anywhere, the mats may help you keep more comfortable on a flat and hard surface. Some people will tuck their hands underneath their butt. I stretch my arms out flat on the floor away from my body.
  2. Lift both of your legs off the ground while slightly bent. You don’t need to go too far, perhaps about six inches off of the ground.
  3. Lift your left leg up in the air until it’s about 45 degrees of your body.
  4. Lower your left leg while simultaneously bringing up your right leg in the same manner.
  5. This is one repetition.

Essentially, you’re making a “scissor” motion with your legs in the air – hence the name of the exercise. Don’t worry if you can’t get your legs at a perfect 45 degree angle. Just get them up as high as your comfortable with. Each time you do this exercise, it will become easier and easier.

Here is a video I found on YouTube that demonstrates how the scissor kick is done. I make no claim to it and only use this video for demonstration purposes only.


When you’re first trying to get your body into shape, the scissor kick is one of the easiest exercises you could add to your workout. Start with lower repetitions until your ready to increase them. Although you want to push yourself to find your limits, pushing too hard could be detrimental to your fitness. Work your body smarter, not harder. Set personal records and try to beat them each week…even if it’s just adding one more repetition to the set.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael is a work at home father who has completed a wide assortment of writing regarding various topics. Currently, he is working to achieve a weight loss goal and improve health in order to cross the state of Colorado on bicycle.

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