16. The Scissors
The Scissors looks a little more challenging than it actually is. If you can figure out jack knife and rollover, this one is not that hard. This exercise with lengthen/mobilize the hamstrings and hip flexors, increase spine mobility, and requires core control. Not appropriate for those with osteoporosis, glaucoma, vestibular dysfuntions, some neck/shoulder injuries or lumbar/thoracic spine tightness. The modifications are a great place to start before working up to the real deal scissors.
Classical start: lie flat on back with arms at side
Recommended start: lie on back in table top position (hips and knee at 90 degree angle)
1. Exhale straighten knees to ceiling and peel spine off floor one vertebrae at a time (see rollover for more details). Inhale place hands at top of pelvis (fingers can point towards knees/glutes or away from spine, which ever is more comfortable for wrists).
2. Exhale scissor legs with knees straight toes pointed (right leg towards torso, left leg away from torso) Inhale switch/scissor legs. Repeat six times on each side.
3. Bring both legs together and exhale to roll back down to start position.
To decrease neck tension: soften sternum/flex at thoracic spine, bear most of the weight through tops of shoulder blades rather than neck.
To improve lumbar stability: keep pubic bone tipped towards nose (also helps to keep weight off wrists).
To improve overall efficiency of the exercise: reach legs towards ceiling
Modifications: use a foam roller, arc, two small four inch balls, franklin roller, wedge, etc. to prop pelvis up off of the ground, rather than hands.