T Nation

Saxon Side Bends/Spinal Injury

Hello T-Nation!

I would like to know if anyone knows about a specific exercise - saxon side bends - causing spinal injury? Am I correct in suspecting that kettlebell windmills are a safer alternative?

Thanks!

I would also like to point out that I realize a lot of whether an exercise can cause injury comes down to proper form. My question is more of which one (saxon bends or kb windmills) gets the best bang for your buck with the lower incidence of injury, in your experiences?

[quote]stjohnwayne wrote:
I would also like to point out that I realize a lot of whether an exercise can cause injury comes down to proper form.[/quote]
Very true.

I’d say that Saxon side bends are a more advanced exercise, since there’s more involved in the technique, and truth be told, I don’t think they’ve ever ranked super-high on my menu of core training exercises. They’re just an awkward movement that can be efficiently substituted for other options.

But I’d cross both of them off the list (or at least proceed very cautiously) for someone with any history of lower back problems.

With windmills, there are actually several ways to introduce the exercise into your program. First practice with no weight. After you’ve become familiar with the movement, over a few workouts, hold a weight in the “down” hand at your side. Work with that until you’re comfortable using weight throughout the full ROM.

The next progression would be holding a weight overhead (similar to as shown above), keeping the elbow locked and the weight perpendicular to the floor as best as possible. Finally, you could hold two weights, one in each hand, to increase the overall load without directly increasing the load on the shoulder.

With any of them, focus on kicking the hip out and back, diagonally. And keep the “down” hand touching the lead leg/shin throughout the movement. That helps to guide the rest of the body.

Thanks for that reply, I started working on the windmills like you said!