Lying scissor kick exercise

Lying scissor kick

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Iliopsoas
  • Synergists: Tensor Fasciae Latae, Sartorius, Pectineus, Rectus Femoris, Adductor Longus, Adductor Brevis
  • Important stabilizers (not highlighted): Rectus Abdominis, Obliques
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Lie on your back (supine) on the floor.
  2. Place your hands under your buttocks, with your palms flat on the floor.
  3. Press your lower back against the floor.
  4. Raise your feet a few inches off the floor.


  1. Breathing naturally and keeping your knees almost fully extended, kick your legs up and down as you would if you were swimming. As your right leg rises, your left leg should descend; then, as your left leg rises, your right leg should descend.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your lower back pressed against the floor. This helps to protect your lower back.
  • Placing your hands under your buttocks supports your pelvis.
  • Do not allow your legs to touch the floor.
  • Instead of kicking your legs up and down, parallel to each other, you can kick your legs around each other in alternating semi-circular motions (that is, as one leg goes up and in, the other leg goes down and in, and then the movements are reversed).
  • To make the lying scissor kick more difficult, use ankle weights to increase resistance.
  • Your rectus abdominis and external obliques will only act as stabilizers since there is no flexion of the waist.
  • The lying scissor kick is a fantastic exercise to use to burn out your hip flexors.
  • The difference between the lying scissor kick and the lying alternating straight leg raise is that there is no need to raise the legs as high in the scissor kick.  
  • Also try the seated cross scissor kick and the dead bug (with no arm movement).

Lying scissor kick video


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