In Part Three of our Kettlebells guide, we discussed The Clean & Press, another extremely effective total body exercises we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. In this article we’ll concentrate on the Windmill. Where the Clean and Press was a total body exercise, the Windmill is another exercise which works many muscles. The basic exercises are listed below:
As with all Kettlebells exercises, the Windmill is one which can be a little risky if one dives straight in without warming up or perfecting the technique. So, warm up satisfactorily and then spend some time making sure the techniques is correct by practising the Windmill with no weights. Even when you feel you are ready to use some weight, use a small one to begin with; this exercise works muscles which you may have forgotten you had if you are not a regular gym goer.
The focus is on the abdominals when you’re performing the Windmill but that’s not all – it also works your leg muscles (hamstring and glutes), your lower back and your arm muscles (shoulder and triceps).
- Begin by standing with you feet shoulder width apart with your toes pointing slightly outwards.
- One hand (let’s start with the left) should be holding the weight of your choice and this hand should now be lifted straight up towards the ceiling and the elbow locked out; your right hand should be hanging loosely by the other side.
- Make sure your balance is steady as this will be important in the next few moments.
- Now, the exercise begins by looking up at the weight and, keeping the arm straight, lean slowly over to the right side.
- Maintain your balance with your free hand on your leg and keep bending over from the hip, making sure your left leg is locked out.
- Ideally, and perhaps when you are more used to the exercise, the exercise should reach it’s target when your right hand can touch the ground. Almost certainly, on your first go this won’t be possible so just reach as far is as comfortable. It is Ok to bend your right knee as you get lower to the ground.
- On the return part of the exercise, bend your hips and use your legs and abdominal muscles to bring yourself back up to the starting position.
There are a couple of warnings associated with this exercise – firstly the weight spends some time directly above your head so use caution with the seize of the weight for obvious reasons. Secondly, make sure you do not bend backwards at all, this can damage your back. Check out the video:
When you are completely comfortable with the technique, a variation of the Windmill is to use a weight in either hand. This does add another level of difficulty to the exercise though so, again, use caution.
We are gradually building up the basics of Kettlebells exercises and you should be able to see by that they are an efficient alternative to regular weights routines.