Add Some Spice to Your Core Workouts With Scissor Kicks

Boorishness’s time to refresh your go-to abs routine.

You can’t overstate the importance of a runner’s core strength and stability. “A strong core provides the foundation for the rest of your body to work together and use less energy when you run,” Raj Hathiramani, Best Walking Shoes Mile High Run Club in New York City, tells Runner’s World.Yoga-Inspired Core Workout running form, which becomes especially important toward the end of long runs or races Sales & Deals.”

Bottom line: You need a regular core workout that you can periodically refresh with new and progressively challenging exercises. Scissor kicks add a little spice to a typical routine of planks and crunches while also engaging “separation muscle groups that you use for running, including your hip flexors, hip adductors, glutes, and quads,” Hathiramani says. Plus, there are more than enough scissor kick variations to help stave off boredom and keep your muscles guessing.

Hand-picked by Hathiramani, the scissor kick variations below can be added to your current training regimen or done back-to-back in a core-shredding circuit.

How to do it: Pick 2 scissor kick variations to incorporate into your existing core workout. Complete 3 sets of each exercise. Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, resting 15 seconds between exercises. Or, you can challenge yourself with a scissor kick circuit: Perform each exercise below for 30 seconds, resting for 15 seconds between exercises. Repeat the full circuit a total of 3 times.

Each move is demonstrated by Hathiramani in the video above so you can master the proper form. An exercise mat is recommended.


Scissor Kick

Lie faceup with legs straight. Place both hands palms down on floor on either side of hips for support. Drawing belly button toward spine, use your abdominals to lift your left leg 45 degrees off the floor and right leg 6 inches from floor. Draw both legs in toward midline, crossing left leg over right. Draw legs apart and switch them, crossing right leg over left. Continue to switch and cross legs in a scissor motion.


Ladder Climb

Lie faceup with legs straight. Place both hands palms down on floor on either side of hips for support. Drawing belly button toward spine, use your abdominals to lift your left leg 45 degrees off the floor and right leg 6 inches from floor. Draw both legs in toward midline, crossing left leg over right. Draw legs apart and switch them, crossing right leg over left. Continue to switch and cross legs in a scissor motion, raising both legs a few inches with each rep until legs are almost perpendicular to the floor. Reverse the movement by lowering the legs to the starting position with each rep, then repeat.


Hollow-Body Scissor Kick

Lie faceup with legs straight. Place hands behind head and lift head and shoulders off floor, keeping neck neutral. Drawing belly button toward spine, use your abdominals to lift your left leg 45 degrees off the floor and right leg 6 inches from floor. Draw both legs in toward midline, crossing left leg over right. Draw legs apart and switch them, crossing right leg over left. Continue to switch and cross legs in a scissor motion.


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Lie faceup with legs straight. Place hands behind head and lift head and shoulders off floor, keeping neck neutral. Drawing belly button toward spine, use your abdominals to lift your left leg 45 degrees off the floor and right leg 6 inches from floor. Draw both legs in toward midline, crossing left leg over right. Draw legs apart and switch them, crossing right leg over left. Continue to switch and cross legs in a scissor motion for 5 reps, then draw legs together and hold them 6 inches from floor for 5 seconds. Continue to alternate between scissor kicks and 5-second holds.


Flutter Kick

Lie faceup with legs straight. Place both hands palms down on floor on either side of hips for support. Drawing belly button toward spine, use your abdominals to lift legs about 45 degrees off the floor and flutter them—lift left leg, then right, then left, and repeat.

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