Muscles Targeted: The scissor cross exercise is a great movement for targeting your abdominals and overall core. This exercise will test your abdominal endurance by maintaining a perpetual crunch with your legs outstretched and moving in a crisscross motion. This crisscross motion in combination with the 45-degree angle of your legs provides an effective stimulus where the abdominals will contract and try to stabilize. By maintaining this motion, your core will work harder allowing your muscles to strengthen which will result in many benefits that include strengthening your core area and helping your posture. The scissor cross exercise will create a deep burning sensation in your abdominals which is the goal when you’re trying to develop strength and the endurance in the core muscles.
Exercise Advice: Put a padded mat on the ground and place yourself in a supine position. While keeping your legs straight, lift them up slightly and position them at about a 45 degree angle. Spread your legs apart as far as your flexibility allows and crisscross your legs back and forth by moving the left foot over the right foot and vice versa for a determined number of repetitions.
Things To Avoid: This core exercise requires strict form and technique in order to achieve the best results. When performing the scissor cross exercise, it is important to avoid straining the neck region and also the lower back. If you feel any pain or discomfort in these areas, stop the movement. When doing the exercise be sure to keep the palms of your hands facing down and your back pressed against the floor. This will allow a sturdy platform or foundation with which to execute the exercise. Also, be sure to keep your arms completely still during the exercise. Remember to keep breathing throughout the exercise, as your muscles will need oxygen to maintain proper strength. Beginners will tend to feel the hip flexors tire out after a few reps. Keep your core tight and engaged, and be sure not force your head and neck to move out of position, which tends to happen as compensation when the hips and core become fatigued.
Reps and Sets: With core exercises like the scissor cross, it is best to perform the motion until you feel your abdominal muscles start to burn and become activated. This sensation will be reached at different times with each person, depending on their current fitness level. Beginners should focus on doing only 5-10 reps to start out with. Be sure to pay close attention and use strict form at all times. Intermediate and advanced individuals can perform 20-60 reps for a total of 5-10 sets. If any discomfort or pain should be felt, you might want to try any of the exercises listed below, which will help prepare and strengthen your core muscles for the scissor cross exercise.
Other Exercises To Use: The Face Up Supine Bridge will target your hips flexors creating more flexibility, endurance and range of motion. Your core is made up of an array of muscles that allow you to have proper posture. These key muscles start in the hips and move into the lower abdominal area.
Elevated Leg Curl Ups focus on the mid-core with the help of hip flexors and the lower back. It is an excellent prelude movement for doing the scissors cross. This exercise utilizes all of the muscles to warm-up and prepare your body for a great core workout.
The Starfish Crunch also requires a crisscross motion, but with more of an exaggerated movement by touching a hand to the opposite leg. This creates flexibility and strength in the hip and shoulder joints with the core being stimulated to the maximum!