How To Do Scissors

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrates Scissors

Scissors is an abdominal exercise that strengthens the transverse abdominals, helping flatten your belly and strengthen your entire core. Scissors is not only a core strength move, but it is also a great stretch for your hamstrings and your lower back. Everyone is looking for new ways to work the core, to flatten the belly and to improve flexibility. If you learn how to do Scissors you will get everything rolled together in one move.

Scissors comes from traditional Pilates moves. Pilates is well-known as the best method for strengthening your core while improving flexibility. Pilates targets your transverse abdominals, these muscles wrap around like a belt in front of your hip bones and around the small of your back. Think of these muscles like your own internal corset that holds in your internal organs and helps you sit, stand and walk every day. Pilates also teaches you to stabilize your mid-section while you are mobilizing everything else. The Scissors encourages movement from the legs while focusing the mid-section on stabilizing your core. This is a skill every body, no matter the size or shape, needs.

When you perform the Scissors, be sure not to move so fast that you rely on momentum or risk hurting your lower back. Move slow and controlled, only lowering your legs as much as you feel stable. In addition, lift the leg up as long and straight as you can. However, if you have tight hamstrings be sure to bend your knees slightly.

Try Scissors as part of your regular workout routine, and then check our more great ab work in our 15-Minute Flat Ab Workout!

Here are the steps to performing Scissors:

1) Start lying on back with arms next to side and legs pointed straight into the air above hips. Press low back into the mat so abs are tight.

2) Lower right leg a few inches from the mat. As you raise right leg up begin lowering left leg the same way. Continue switching right and left for desired number of reps.

Targets: hamstrings, core


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