How to Do Scissor Kicks for the Obliques

Sculpt your obliques with simple scissor kicks.

Sculpt your obliques with simple scissor kicks.

Your external oblique muscles wrap around the sides of your body, reaching from the front of your abs to your lower back. Although they’re mainly responsible for turning your torso, they’re also responsible for giving you those love handles that make it difficult to wear that deliciously clingy little black dress. So drop the donuts and get on the ground, girlfriend. Scissor kicks can be easily squeezed into commercial breaks, phone chats and bedtime routines.

Lie on your back on a flat surface, like a cushioned exercise mat. Stretch your legs straight and flat on the floor. Rest your hands at your sides.

Lift both legs off the ground, keeping them straight from hip to heel. Elevate them just a few inches from the floor if you're a beginner. As you improve, you can lift them slightly higher off the ground.

Flutter your legs back and forth. The movement is similar to doing the flutter kick in a swimming pool, but you don’t bend your knees. When your left leg moves toward the ceiling, your right leg moves toward the floor and vice versa.

Kick, kick and kick some more -- for about 30 seconds. After a brief 10-second rest, repeat the sequence two more times. Although your obliques might be complaining now, they’ll thank you when bikini season rolls around.


  • Slide your hands under your buns if you’re struggling with the move -- this allows for a extra pelvis stabilization. Also, keep your abdominal muscles pulled tight throughout the exercise -- the movement should come from your core muscles, not from your legs.


  • While performing scissor kicks, your lower leg should never touch the ground and your higher leg should never extend more than 45 degrees from the ground. Working outside of these parameters makes the exercise practically pointless.

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About the Author

Krista Sheehan is a registered nurse and professional writer. She works in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and her previous nursing experience includes geriatrics, pulmonary disorders and home health care. Her professional writing works focus mainly on the subjects of physical health, fitness, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.

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