How To Do Sweeping Scissors


Chris Freytag demonstrating Sweeping Scissors

Sweeping Scissors is an abdominal exercise that strengthens the rectus abdominus as well as the transverse abdominus, helping flatten your belly and strengthen your entire core. Sweeping 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 Sweeping Scissors you will get everything rolled together in one move.

Sweeping Scissors mimics many 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 Sweeping Scissors encourages movement from the upper body and 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 Sweeping Scissors, be sure not to move so fast that you rely on the momentum of your arms to lift you up. Let the arms sweep past your ears with the lifting originating from your abs. 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 Sweeping Scissors as part of our 15-Minute Flat Ab Workout!

Here are the steps to performing Sweeping Scissors:

1) Start lying on the mat with arms over your head and legs long.

2) Sweep arms out to sides and bring head, neck, and shoulders off the mat reaching arms long and lift one leg up and in towards the chest.  Reaching arms forward on the sides of the leg. Roll back to mat lowering the leg, and repeat on the other side.

Targets: core, hamstrings

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