If you often visit the gym, you have definitely seen someone doing the kettlebell windmill exercise. This is because it is the most common variation of the conventional windmill, only that it includes kettlebells.
This routine is a valuable mobility exercise that will work the midline and full-body flexibility and stability. It will do this through working especially your shoulders, thoracic spine, and hips.
Additionally, this routine is used in CrossFit and boot camp-related exercises. They are also often combined with traditional strength training exercises.
However, if you are a beginner, you might need to reconsider performing this exercise since it is recommended for experts with reasonable stability, strength, and flexibility.
Read on for more noteworthy tips on this exercise including common mistakes to watch out to avoid injuries and strains, muscles worked, performing it in the right form.
HOW TO DO KETTLEBELL WINDMILL PROPERLY
Below is a detailed guide on how to set up and perform the kettlebell windmill in the right form to enhance efficiency.
Start this routine with your hips slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Your toes on the other hand can rotate slightly to the outside in order to allow for a great range of motion.
Proceed to grip the kettlebell with your right hand and extend your right arm over your head. Ensure that your right palm is facing forward.
With your right palm still facing forward, extend your left arm downwards till it reaches to your left thigh. In this position, you will notice that the position of your hands resembles the two arms of a windmill.
Lower your upper body down to the left side and to easily do this, try to hinge your hips. Your left hand will remain facing forward while it slides down near the front of your leg towards your foot.
In the lowest position, ensure to have your torso tipped to the left but slightly rotated to the right. If you want to know whether you are in the right direction, you will some weight shifting into your right hip.
While keeping a strong and straight spine, reverse the movement. Have the weight steady and elevated over your right shoulder.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES KETTLEBELL WINDMILL WORK?
You will notice that this exercise will work out the upper body mush like the standard overhead holds do. Below are the muscles worked by this routine.
This exercise demands a lot of shoulder stability and mobility. Additionally, it will require a lot of strength across most ranges of motion that the shoulder is going to take.
The shoulder muscles together with the shoulder muscles such as rhomboids and rotator cuff muscles are in charge of isometric contractions which help with supporting the kettlebell overhead throughout this routine.
ABDOMINALS AND OBLIQUES
These two work hand in hand to avoid spinal flexion, extension and lateral under load, which can easily improve a your responds and core strength.
Lifters often allow slight lateral flexion in bent movements. However, this exercise will help avoid this by properly reinforcing the hip hinging mechanics and movements to help with spinal integrity.
GLUTES AND HAMSTRINGS
These two are largely targeted with this exercise. Stretching to the bending position will put more emphasis on the gluteal muscles and hamstrings which will eventually help in hip movement.
Additionally, while going back to the starting position, your glutes work exclusively to extend your hips back to the upright position.
KETTLEBELL WINDMILL BENEFITS
Below are the benefits you can expect by getting into this training regimen.
STERNGTH AND STRENGTH MOVEMENT
The kettlebell windmill is a compound exercise that is capable of stretching some parts muscles of the body like the hips and obliques while also increasing the shoulders, core strength and glutes.
Throughout the kettlebell windmill exercise, your core muscles, particularly the obliques work to stabilize your hips and spine throughout. Constant such performance will in turn improve your overall core stability.
IMPROVES SHOULDER STABILITY
The kettlebell windmill exercise is a routine that can boost your shoulder stability and strength. It can equally improve the coordination of the small fibres for a shoulder capsule stability.
Additionally, by performing this routine, you can also simultaneously increase the shoulder stability across very wide ranges of motion.
IMPROVED DAILY ACTIVITIES
Routines such as the this mimics a large part of day-to-day activities. For example, it is quite common for one to tilt their waist forward to pick something off the floor.
When you add in weights to the windmill as in this routine, you challenge your body to take on even more challenging tasks of day-to-day life like balancing your entire body while lifting a bucket of water on your head.
KETTLEBELL WINDMILL ALTERNATIVES
This alternative is great for a beginner looking to make a smooth transition to the kettlebell windmill.
It is more or less similar to the kettlebell windmill only that you don’t need the weight (kettlebell).
KETTLEBELL WINDMILL PRESS
This alternative will see you adding the press to it, after the bending position. You will press the arm with the weight until your arm is locked out.
COMMON KETTLEBELL WINDMILL MISTAKES TO AVOID
Stay clear of the following common mistakes to have maximum benefits of this exercise.
Avoid taking a very wide stance and keep your heels grounded to ensure maximum stability.
Don’t bend your waist or laterally twist your spine as this will divert the focus of the exercise and turn it into a side bend instead.
Avoid hyperextending your elbows as this will cause unnecessary stress on your muscles.
Avoid searching too hard for the stretch as this will lead to overstretching and eventually you will loose the correct form.
Do not shift most of your weight forward as this will shift the focus of the work.
Avoid ego lifting as this might lead to serious injuries such as the kettlebell falling on you.
Before you try out the kettlebell windmill, ensure that you are comfortable doing the conventional windmill and hip hinge routines with good form.