Scorpions (How To, Muscles Worked, Alternatives)

Scorpions are one of my favorite dynamic warm-up movements for opening up the hips. Whether you need to prep the hips the squat day or to just work on mobility, Scorpions are a great addition to warm-up or mobility routine.

For those that may recognize the name from yoga, these are a modified (more beginner friendly) version of the Scorpion Yoga pose.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to properly do Scorpions, explain what muscles they work and provide a few alternatives.

How To Do Scorpions

Equipment Needed

  • None

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Lay flat on your stomach, arms straight out to the side
  • Lift one leg towards the ceiling (visualize placing your foot flat on the ceiling)
  • Now reach the foot across the body toward the opposite hand
  • Replace the leg and foot back to the starting position
  • Repeat with the opposite leg
  • Continue to alternate back and forth until all reps are completed.

Coaching Points

Don’t get lazy with this movement. It’s easy to go through the motions with Scorpions and you’ll miss out on the benefits.

Focus on reaching the foot up and extending the leg (as much as possible) first and then reach it across the body.

Muscles Worked

Scorpions main focus is opening the hips and stretching the hip flexors. Scorpions also will help to engage and activate the glutes as well. Finally, they’ll also help to loosen the muscles of the low back and obliques.

Scorpion Alternatives

If, for whatever reason, you’re unable to do Scorpions – here are a few alternatives that may work instead.

Reverse Lunge and Reach

Reverse Lunge and Reach is a great dynamic bodyweight movement that does a great job of opening up the hips, stretching both the hips flexors and quads. This exercise can work as a great substitution for Scorpions.

Leg Swings

Standing Leg Swings, both side to side and front to back, are another good alternative for Scorpions. Doing Leg Swings all four directions not only can loosen the hips, but can also help warm up the hamstrings and groin as well.

More Links and Info

For more exercises to incorporate into your warm-up, check out the Warm-Up Section of the Exercise Library. You’ll find dozens of warm-up movements there, all with complete step-by-step instructions and all for free.

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