Scissor Kick

Scissor Kick

If you’ve been looking for a new killer abdominal exercise, we think you’ll get a kick out of this dynamic martial arts maneuver. 

As versatile as it is effective, the Scissor kick uses bodyweight resistance to target the hip flexors and transverse abdominis deep within your stomach. The transverse abdominis act as stabilizers for the dynamic kicking movement made by the hip flexors. 

Performing this exercise pulls to abdominal wall inward and engages the obliques and rectus abdominis. 

Martial Arts Origins

The scissor kick is a classic martial arts move that is used as a classic warm-up in many dojos worldwide. 

Typically, when we think of martial arts, we tend to associate the term with styles of fighting throughout East Asia. 

The truth is, the term Martial Arts is derived from Latin, meaning “arts of Mars” or the Roman God of War and refers to the combat styles of Europe dating back to the 1550s. 

It seems man has always been at war. The documented history of human warfare dates back to the dawn of humanity, during the Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic eras. The first cave paintings depicting primitive bow-and-arrow battles in Eastern Spain, as well as Germany and Sudan, are estimated to have been created between 10,000 and 6,000 BC. 

Wrestling is perhaps the first organized martial arts combat sport. Belt wrestling scenes were depicted in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt around 3000 BC. 

Asian martial arts were first documented more than 4,000 years ago during the Xia Dynasty when the Yellow Emperor Huangdi formed organized fighting disciplines and systems. 

Modern martial arts methodologies, as we know them today are largely based on a blend of ancient Indian and Chinese martial arts which cherry picks various philosophical and strategy-based wisdoms and traditions. 

Indeed, throughout the ages, the disciplines and methodologies of ancient India, China, Korea, Japan, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and many other ancient European civilizations contribute to make up the martial arts practiced today. 

How to Perform a Scissor Kick

Step 1: Lye on a mat face up.

Step 2: Fully extend your arms to the sides, palms down and keep them stationary as you visualize pulling your belly button into your spine.

Step 3: Lift your legs about 6 inches from the mat, keeping a slight bend in the knee. This is your start position.

Step 4: Raise your left leg to a 45-degree angle as you lower your right leg to 2-3 inches above the mat. 

Step 5: Switch leg positions firing a swift and powerful explosive movement, mimicking a scissor motion. 

Step 6: Repeat for the recommended time allotment or a number of repetitions. 


  • Stabilizes the core
  • Improves functional fitness
  • Strengthens and shapes the midsection
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Increases flexibility and agility
  • Strengthens hip joints
  • Reduces back pain


The scissor kick is an intermediate level move. If you are just starting out, you can begin with one of these exercises:

  • Low scissor kick: Putting your legs in a lower position takes the pressure off your lower back. If you are not able to keep your lower back from arching, lower your legs. 
  • Bicycle crunches: Following a similar movement pattern, bicycle crunches can be easier to execute. 

After you’ve mastered the classic scissor kick, you can progress with these modifications:

  • High scissor kick: As your fitness level increases, keep taking your movement higher and increase the range of motion through the legs. 
  • Tempo scissor kicks: Slowing orolding the movement at various stages of motion work the muscles in a deeper way. 
  • Weighted scissor kicks: Use weights for an added strength challenge. 

Find Your Deeper Meaning as You Tone

The truth is, martial arts is a broad term denoting a codified discipline and tradition of combat methodology that can be practiced for various reasons including law enforcement, military, self-defense, competition, entertainment, fitness, or mental and spiritual development and rehabilitation. 

What’s your reason?

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