Few stretching positions can claim to be as beneficial as the windmill. When you add weight to the equation, serious strength and mobility gains can be expected. However, this is a move many struggle with at first. We’re here to simplify the process, giving you a step-by-step guide to nailing the Kettlebell Windmill. Here are a few benefits of the exercise, how exactly to perform a Kettlebell Windmill as well as possible variations you can try now that you’ll be acing your windmill exercises!
Kettlebell Windmill 101
Benefits of Doing This Move
The Kettlebell Windmill is an exercise move that targets deeply both the shoulders and core. It requires excellent joint mobility to perfect but can be mastered (like most things) with consistent practice. Performing the windmill, especially when utilising kettlebells, will:
- Improve mobility and stability of your shoulders,
- Strengthen oblique core muscle groups, and
- Improve hamstring as well as hip flexibility,
Getting into Position for the Kettlebell Windmill
- Stand with your feet just outside hip-width apart. Both your feet should be angled at 45 degrees towards the direction in which you intend on dipping.
- Pop your back hip out and straighten your leg. Remember to keep it firm. Relieve pressure on your front leg by bending it slightly.
- Keeping your back leg rigid and straight. Raise your upper arm towards the ceiling and keep it straight.
- Bend your torso towards your front leg, Keep your back leg and upper arm straight. Once at 45 degrees, extend your lower arm downwards towards your front ankle.
A full windmill extension is completed when you’ve dipped down and come back up again to your starting position. Check out this perfect form video from our expert personal trainers:
Stretch and Hold
As an excellent starting point to perfecting the move, this windmill variation involves stretching the body in a windmill position using the kettlebell as extra weight. People new to the move might not be able to stretch all the way down. Thus, they can practice by dangling a kettlebell from their lower arm. Holding a kettlebell above your head in the extended windmill position is also a great stretch and hold move.
Body Weight Windmills
Practise the Kettlebell Windmill without weights at first to get your body used to the awkward movement. Move into an extended position, with your front arm down, Then return to the starting position. Use your core muscles to raise you up and, as you rise, sway your straight front arm in towards your torso. Dip back down and do it all over again.
Loaded Lower Arm
Once you’ve stretched a bit, and done a few body weight windmills, the next progression is to add weight. Place the kettlebell on the inside of your front ankle. When extending the windmill, grab the kettlebell with your lower hand. Lift yourself back into starting position and remember to sway your front arm inwards as you rise. Keep your upper arm extended. Extend the windmill again and return the kettlebell to the floor. Lift yourself into starting position. This is one repetition.
Loaded Upper Arm
This kettlebell windmill variation starts with your grabbing a kettlebell and raising it above your head with your intended upper arm. Get your feet into position and dip your torso down, extending your lower arm downwards. Hold, then return to starting position while trying to keep your upper arm pointing straight upwards as you support the weight of the kettlebell.
As you can see from the above description of the Kettlebell Windmill, working out with kettlebells is a great way to maintain and develop strength while – at the same time – improving your cardiovascular strength. Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Online Kettlebell Course will instruct you in the art and science of what it takes to become the best kettlebell trainer you can be! For more information, click here or visit our website.