The scissor kick — also referred to as a flutter kick — is a move that works both the abs and lower body. While it’s an effective move that targets multiple muscle groups at once, it also requires a significant amount of core strength to perform correctly.
What do scissor kicks do for the body?
Scissor kicks, like most other core exercises, help with stabilization as well as balance and control of the body. Research shows that core stability is important when it comes to everyday movement and injury prevention.
More specifically, scissor kicks target your abs, glutes, quads and hips. The move requires you to use your core to move your legs up and down in a controlled movement and this skill can be transferred to simple everyday activities like picking up a laundry basket or gardening outside.
These four moves will help strengthen the muscles that will support you when performing scissor kicks.
Leg raises are similar to scissor kicks, however, keeping your legs together instead of moving them individually makes it easier to lower and raise them. Begin in the same starting position as the scissor kick, with your legs straight up toward the ceiling. Slowly lower them in a controlled manner squeezing your core until your feet are hovering about six inches above the mat. Hold this position for 30 seconds, and remember not to arch your back! If you feel your back arching, raise your legs back up slightly toward the ceiling until you find the angle at which you can hold for 30 seconds while keeping your back on the mat.
Lie on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your elbows bent with your hands behind your head. Engaging your core, lift your legs and upper back off the floor. Then, keep your right leg straight as you bring your left knee towards your right elbow. Alternate sides, focusing on your obliques and rectus abdominal.
Lie on your back with your legs lifted into a table-top position. Then, bring your knees into your chest, lifting your hips off the ground while keeping your knees bent. Make sure not to use momentum when bringing your legs toward your chest; instead focus on crunching the low abs to lift your hips off the ground.
Lie down on your stomach, looking down at your mat, with your hands under your shoulders. Squeeze your abs and keep your legs together as your press your body off the floor into a plank position, supporting your weight on your toes and palms. Pull your belly button to your spine to ensure proper core engagement, and hold for 30 seconds.