Side Lying Scissors – Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Side Lying Scissors - Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Are you looking for an effective and challenging exercise to target your core muscles? Look no further than side lying scissors!

Watch This Exercise Video

In this video exercise guide, we'll show you the proper form and technique for performing side lying scissors, along with modifications for beginners and tips to increase intensity.

Avoid common mistakes and get ready to feel the burn as you strengthen your abs and obliques with this powerful exercise.

Let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Side lying scissors improve core strength and stability.
  • Side lying scissors engage multiple muscle groups, including obliques, hip flexors, and inner and outer thighs.
  • Proper form and technique, as well as modifications for beginners, are important for effective and safe execution of side lying scissors.
  • Increasing intensity and preventing injuries can be achieved through adding resistance, increasing range of motion, and incorporating advanced variations and progressions.

Benefits of Side Lying Scissors

One of the benefits of side lying scissors is that they can help improve the strength and stability of your core muscles. Core activation is crucial for overall body strength and stability, and side lying scissors specifically target these muscles. By engaging your core while performing this exercise, you can enhance your posture, balance, and overall athletic performance.

Side lying scissors offer various variations that can further amplify the benefits of core activation. You can perform this exercise with your legs straight or bent, and you can also add resistance bands or ankle weights to increase the intensity. These variations allow you to customize the exercise to your fitness level and goals.

In addition to strengthening your core, side lying scissors also engage other muscle groups such as the obliques, hip flexors, and inner and outer thighs. This multi-muscle activation not only enhances your core strength but also improves your overall body coordination and stability.

As we transition to the next section about the equipment needed for side lying scissors, it's important to note that this exercise can be done without any equipment. However, incorporating some equipment, such as a yoga mat or a stability ball, can provide additional support and comfort during the exercise.

Equipment Needed for Side Lying Scissors

To perform side lying scissors, you'll need minimal equipment. Here are the essentials:

  • Exercise mat: A comfortable and supportive mat will provide cushioning for your body as you perform the side lying scissors movement.
  • Optional ankle weights: If you want to add extra resistance to your workout, ankle weights can be used to challenge your muscles further.
  • Towel or pillow: Placing a towel or pillow under your head for support can help maintain proper alignment and reduce strain on your neck.
  • Timer or stopwatch: Having a timer or stopwatch handy can help you track your workout time and ensure you're performing the exercise for the recommended duration.

Now that you know what equipment is needed, let's discuss some additional ideas related to side lying scissors. If you find the exercise too challenging or have any physical limitations, there are alternatives you can try. For example, you can modify the movement by bending your knees or using a resistance band for added support.

Additionally, it's important to consider the best time to perform side lying scissors. This exercise is most effective when done as part of a well-rounded fitness routine, so incorporating it into your regular workout schedule is recommended.

Proper Form and Technique for Side Lying Scissors

To perform side lying scissors correctly, you should regularly and accurately engage your core muscles. This exercise is designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles, particularly the obliques.

Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other. Place your bottom arm under your head for support, and extend your top arm in front of you for balance.

Begin by lifting both legs off the ground, keeping them straight and together. Then, open your top leg away from your bottom leg as far as you comfortably can. Slowly bring your top leg back to the starting position and repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

When performing side lying scissors, it's important to avoid common mistakes that can compromise your form and increase your risk of injury.

One common mistake is allowing your hips to roll forward or backward during the movement. To prevent this, focus on keeping your hips stacked directly on top of each other throughout the exercise.

Another mistake is lifting your legs too high, which can strain your lower back. Instead, aim to lift your legs just a few inches off the ground while maintaining proper form.

Lastly, remember to breathe continuously and deeply throughout the exercise to maintain optimal oxygen flow and prevent muscle tension.

Modifications for Beginners

If you're new to side lying scissors, there are a few modifications you can make to ensure you perform the exercise safely and effectively. Here are some beginner modifications and progression options to consider:

  • Start with smaller movements: Instead of extending your legs fully, begin by keeping them slightly bent. This will help you build strength and stability in your core muscles before progressing to the full range of motion.
  • Use props for support: Placing a pillow or a folded blanket under your head can provide additional support and comfort, especially if you have neck or shoulder issues. You can also use a resistance band around your thighs to make the exercise less challenging.
  • Focus on proper alignment: Make sure to align your body correctly throughout the exercise. Keep your shoulders stacked, your hips stable, and your spine neutral. This will help prevent strain on your back and ensure that you're targeting the correct muscles.
  • Start with fewer reps: Begin with a lower number of repetitions and gradually increase as you become more comfortable and confident with the exercise. Quality over quantity is key when starting out.

Tips for Increasing Intensity

To increase the intensity of side lying scissors, incorporate these tips into your workout routine.

If you're looking to challenge yourself and take your exercise to the next level, try these advanced variations to increase the difficulty.

  • First, you can add ankle weights to your legs. This will provide extra resistance and make your muscles work harder during the exercise. Start with a light weight and gradually increase as you become stronger and more comfortable.
  • Another way to increase the intensity is by extending your legs further apart. This will require more strength and stability from your core and hip muscles. Be sure to maintain proper form and control throughout the movement to avoid any strain or injury.
  • You can also try performing the side lying scissors on an unstable surface, such as a stability ball or a foam pad. This will challenge your balance and engage more muscles in your body, making the exercise more intense.
  • Lastly, you can increase the number of repetitions or the duration of each set. This will help to fatigue your muscles and push them to their limits, promoting strength and endurance gains.

Remember to listen to your body and progress at your own pace. If any exercise feels too challenging or causes pain, modify or decrease the intensity to avoid injury. Stay consistent and gradually increase the difficulty over time to continue challenging yourself and achieving your fitness goals.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

To ensure you get the most out of your side lying scissor exercise and avoid common mistakes, it's important to focus on correct form and injury prevention techniques.

Proper form is crucial for targeting the right muscles and maximizing the effectiveness of the exercise. By using the correct technique and following injury prevention strategies, you can minimize the risk of strain or injury and achieve better results.

Correct Form Importance

Avoiding common mistakes is crucial when it comes to maintaining correct form during side lying scissors exercise. Proper alignment and muscle activation are key to getting the most out of this exercise. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Alignment: Make sure your body is in a straight line from head to toe. Your hips should be stacked on top of each other, and your shoulder should be directly above your bottom shoulder. This ensures that you're targeting the right muscles and avoiding unnecessary strain on your joints.
  • Muscle activation: Engage your core muscles throughout the exercise to stabilize your spine. This won't only protect your lower back but also intensify the workout for your abs and obliques.
  • Control: Focus on slow and controlled movements, rather than rushing through the exercise. This will help you maintain proper form and enable you to fully engage the targeted muscles.
  • Breathing: Remember to breathe throughout the exercise. Inhale during the preparatory phase and exhale as you perform the movement.

Injury Prevention Techniques

To prevent injuries during the side lying scissors exercise, it's essential to be mindful of common mistakes. Proper form and technique are crucial for injury prevention.

One common mistake to avoid is using excessive momentum. This can put unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints, increasing the risk of injury. Instead, focus on controlled and deliberate movements, engaging your core and stabilizing muscles throughout the exercise.

Another mistake to avoid is allowing your hips to rotate or shift during the movement. This can lead to imbalances and strain on your lower back. Keep your hips stable and aligned throughout the exercise.

Lastly, be sure to listen to your body and avoid pushing through any pain or discomfort. If something doesn't feel right, stop and consult a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Calories Can You Burn by Doing Side Lying Scissors?

You can burn a significant amount of calories by doing side lying scissors. This exercise targets your core muscles and can help improve your overall strength and stability.

Side lying scissors variations can be performed to add variety and challenge to your workout routine. By engaging your core and performing the exercise with proper form, you can maximize calorie burn and achieve a more toned and lean physique.

Incorporate side lying scissors into your fitness regimen for an effective calorie-burning workout.

Can Side Lying Scissors Help in Reducing Belly Fat?

Side lying scissors can be effective for reducing belly fat. This exercise targets the oblique muscles, which are located on the sides of your abdomen. By engaging these muscles, you can strengthen and tone them, which may lead to a reduction in belly fat over time.

Additionally, there are various variations of side lying scissors that you can incorporate into your routine to keep it challenging and prevent boredom.

Are There Any Alternatives to Side Lying Scissors for Targeting the Same Muscle Group?

Looking for alternative exercises that target the same muscle group as side lying scissors? Well, there are a few variations you can try.

One option is side plank leg lifts, where you lift and lower your top leg while in a side plank position.

Another alternative is side plank hip dips, where you lower and lift your hip while in a side plank.

Both of these exercises engage your obliques and can help strengthen and tone your core.

Can Side Lying Scissors Be Done During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, it's important to exercise safely and modify certain exercises to accommodate your changing body.

Side lying scissors can be done during pregnancy with some modifications. By using a pillow or bolster under your belly for support, you can maintain proper alignment and reduce strain on your lower back.

Additionally, listen to your body and stop if you feel any discomfort.

Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise routine during pregnancy.

How Long Should You Hold Each Repetition of Side Lying Scissors for Maximum Benefit?

For maximum benefit, hold each repetition of side lying scissors for about 1-2 seconds. This ensures that you engage the targeted muscles effectively and maintain proper form throughout the exercise.

Remember to keep your core engaged, your back straight, and your legs straight throughout the movement.

To add challenge, you can try variations such as adding ankle weights or using a resistance band around your thighs. These variations will further activate your muscles and increase the intensity of the exercise.


In conclusion, side lying scissors is a highly effective exercise for strengthening the core and targeting the oblique muscles. By using proper form and technique, along with modifications for beginners and tips for increasing intensity, you can maximize the benefits of this exercise.

Remember to avoid common mistakes and use the necessary equipment for optimal results. Incorporate side lying scissors into your workout routine to improve your overall fitness level and achieve a stronger, more toned body.

workout guru author


Serg Bayracny

Years ago, the spark of my life’s passion ignited in my mind the moment I stepped into the local gym for the first time. The inaugural bead of perspiration, the initial endeavor, the very first surge of endorphins, and a sense of pride that washed over me post-workout marked the beginning of my deep-seated interest in strength sports, fitness, and sports nutrition. This very curiosity blossomed rapidly into a profound fascination, propelling me to earn a Master’s degree in Physical Education from the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow, followed by a Sports Manager diploma from the Jagiellonian University. My journey of growth led me to gain more specialized qualifications, such as being a certified personal trainer with a focus on sports dietetics, a lifeguard, and an instructor for wellness and corrective gymnastics. Theoretical knowledge paired seamlessly with practical experience, reinforcing my belief that the transformation of individuals under my guidance was also a reflection of my personal growth. This belief holds true even today. Each day, I strive to push the boundaries and explore new realms. These realms gently elevate me to greater heights. The unique combination of passion for my field and the continuous quest for growth fuels my drive to break new ground.

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