The Saxon Side Bend was developed by Arthur Saxon, a nineteenth century strong man, to workout the oblique muscles. This oblique workout has been in use for nearly 150 years. Abs exercisers who do side bends with dumbbells will find the Saxon Side Bend far more efficient and effective for building core power. Here’s how it is done:
1. Stand up straight with feet about shoulders’ width apart.
2. Bend your knees slightly, but keep your torso and hips tight.
3. Pick up two dumbbells of equal weight and hold them close together over your head with your arms straight and your palms facing forward.
4. Without leaning backward or forward, bend to one side as far as possible, and then repeat to the opposite side.
5. Try the exercise with different weights until you find the weight that allows you to do 6 to 8 repetitions per side before fatigue.
It’s important not to use more weight than you can completely control. You should not be straining to lift the weights over your head and then let them drop to one side. If you do not have complete control over the weights throughout the full range of motion, you risk injury to your lower back. Use a smaller weight, or don’t stretch as far if there is any possibility that you would injure your spine.
How often should you do the Saxon Side Bend?
It gives the best results when it is used just once or twice a week, never three times or more. It is especially important to give core muscles a rest between workouts and to do your protein supplements or mini-meals immediately after your workout for maximum muscle growth.
Spacing your workouts with the Saxon Side Bend also keeps you from damaging fascia in your obliques or neck muscles, which can put you on the sidelines for days or weeks. The Saxon Side Bend is a much more challenging exercise than it appears to be. It is a great way to build your core, but it is an exercise you should only do if you can stay in complete control of the weights.
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