You don't have to go to the gym to tone and tighten your abdominal muscles for a flatter stomach and more defined waistline. Floor exercises using your own body weight for resistance can help you achieve your fitness goals for this body area. Scissor kick exercises are suitable for those who are new to exercise or for advanced bodybuilders, as varying the height of the heels from the floor increases or decreases the difficulty level.
Lie flat on the floor. Extend your arms by your sides and place your palms down on the floor.
Press your lower back into the floor as you contract your abdominal muscles.
Bend your knees slightly and lift your legs until your heels are six to 12 inches above the floor.
Straighten your legs and point your toes.
Assume the starting position. Move your right leg toward the left, over top of your left leg, while you move your left leg toward the right under your right leg.
Move both legs toward the outside for an open position.
Reverse leg positions, with the left leg over top of the right and the right under the left.
Repeat the scissor movements to a count of 20.
Keep your feet elevated from the floor approximately 1 inch for 15 seconds. Repeat the scissor kicks.
Assume the starting position. Move your right leg up to a 45-degree angle from the floor while lowering your left leg until your heel is within 2 to 3 inches from the floor.
Reverse positions by moving your left leg up to a 45-degree angle from the floor and your right heel to within 2 to 3 inches from the floor.
Repeat the up-and-down scissor kicks to a count of 20. Do two sets. As you become stronger, add ankle weights to increase the resistance.
- Do warm-up exercises, such as walking or light aerobics, before performing targeted exercises. Breathe while doing scissor kicks to keep your body oxygenated. At the end of your workout, do cool-down exercises of walking or cycling. Finish up with stretches to reduce the possibility of soreness.
- Consult your medical doctor before you begin a new exercise regimen.
For Judy Kilpatrick, gardening is the best mental health therapy of all. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications.