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Scissors – A Simple Abdominal Exercise

The scissors exercise is familiar to everyone from school physical education lessons. Despite its simplicity, the exercise is very effective in strengthening the abs and forming a beautiful body.

On which types of muscles does the exercise affect?

Scissors have a complex effect on the entire rectus abdominis muscle. The exercise works great for the lower part, which is usually difficult to develop. Exercising regularly will strengthen your abs and flatten your abdomen.

scissors exercise_working muscles

Muscles involved in the exercise

Remember, neither scissors exercise nor other strength training alone will help you burn excess fat. If, in addition to strengthening the abdominal muscles, you want to achieve weight loss, be sure to combine scissors with a cardio load.

Proper exercise technique

How to do the scissors correctly? Let’s begin from the starting position.

  1. Lie on the floor with a gym mat or towel on it. It is not recommended to do the scissors on a sofa or other soft surface, such a mistake could result in injury

  2. Straighten your legs and lift them about 10–20 cm. Place your palms on the floor and place them under your buttocks. This way you can lift your buttocks and release excess tension from your back. You should feel the lumbar spine relax and press firmly against the floor. That’s all, now start doing the exercise

Start swinging your legs. The left leg should move to the right, and at the same time, the right leg should move to the left. Next, the movement is repeated in reverse, imitating the movement of the scissors.

Your legs must remain straight, not touching the floor. Extended your feet forward. Do not bend your knees, it’ll significantly reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.

scissors exercise_exercise technique

Scissors technique

Do two sets of one minute each. Rest no more than 30 seconds between sets.

The main mistakes

The most difficult part for beginners is keeping the legs elevated throughout the entire scissors. The difficulty is caused by the fact that the abdominal muscles are not strong enough and cannot cope with the load.

If this happens on the second set, try increasing your rest time or reducing the number of reps.

If the problem arises with the first approach, simplify the exercise. Remove your hands from under your buttocks, lift your upper body and rest on your elbows. Thus, it’s much easier to do the scissors exercise. Over time, your abs will strengthen and allowing you to do the standard version of the exercise.

Exercise variations

Go ahead and try other variations of the scissors, when you master the exercise.

  • Stretch your arms along the floor, straighten your legs and lift them 10-15 cm from the floor surface. As you exhale, lift your left leg, keeping it straight. As you inhale, lower it down. Repeat with your right foot

  • There are also the so-called static scissors. Just raise your straight legs and maintain this position for a minute

  • The exercise can be performed with weights. If two sets of one minute each is too easy, then put on your feet special weights of 0.5 kg. They’ll stress the muscles additionally making your results even more impressive. You shouldn’t lift your lower back off the floor

To achieve the best results, do the scissors 3-4 times a week, along with other abdominal exercises. An integrated approach is very effective. You’ll see that your belly has noticeably tightened already after 2 months.

I'm a professional fitness instructor and nutritionist, runner, husband and father. I do my best in providing the right guidance when it comes to the grounds of sexual health, nutrition and common fitness.

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