The Hello Dolly, as referred to by the Marine Corps, is more commonly known as the scissor kick exercise. It really doesn't matter what you call it, this exercise is challenging. The Hello Dolly is effective in toning and strengthening those hard-to-target lower abs. The exercise technique may seem quite simple, but don't be fooled. Without proper form and strong lower-back muscles, you risk strained muscles. If this were to happen, you'd have to say goodbye to Hello Dollies.
Items you will need
- Exercise mat
- Ankle weights (optional)
March in place as part of a five-minute dynamic warm-up to help warm and loosen the muscles in your hips and lower back. Swing your arms naturally and lift your knees up as high as you can for the first minute. During the next two minutes, as you lift each knee, wrap your arms around your knee and give it a little hug before lowering your leg and taking the next marching step. For the last two minutes, march with straight legs. As you kick one leg out in front of you, flex your toes upward and try to touch the upturned toes with your opposite hand.
Sit on an exercise mat for comfort. Lie back onto the mat, keep your legs together, extend them in front of you and point your toes toward the ceiling. Slide your hands, palms down, under each cheek of your butt. This helps support your lower back and makes it easier to keep your lower back flat on the mat during the exercise. Keep your head on the mat with your chin tucked.
Contract your abs and lift your feet 6 inches off the mat. Point your toes forward. Slowly, with a four count, separate and spread your legs laterally as far as you comfortably can. When you get to the fourth count, slowly bring your legs back together. Concentrate on keeping your lower back flat and your feet 6 inches above the mat throughout the exercise.
Make the exercise easier -- keep a slight bend in your knees as you perform the routine. To make the exercise a little more intense, raise your shoulders off the mat or wear ankle weights.
- Start with two sets of six reps and gradually increase the number of reps before increasing the number of sets.
- If you have had or are susceptible to lower-back problems, get the OK from your doctor before doing Hello Dollies.
- Marine Style Fitness: Exercises
- Harvey Walden's No Excuses! Fitness Workout; Harvey Walden, IV
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images