The Kettlebell windmill is another exercise that focuses on several areas of fitness in just one movement.
· Core strength
In everyday life our spines become “in-flexible” through being seated in our jobs or driving our cars for prolonged periods of time. As the windmill takes the spine into rotation through the thoracic area, it’s a great exercise for increasing flexibility in the upper back. As the thoracic spine rotates, the erector spinal muscles (the muscles that run down the spine) have to work really hard to stabilise the spine.
In addition to creating flexibility through the back, the abdominals also have to work hard to stabilise as you move through the whole exercise. Primarily the obliques (the abdominal muscles at the side of the body) work hardest as the body is in a rotated position. So a fab exercise for trimming the waistline!
There are two different ways to do the windmill, one way is to hold the weight above the head, as shown in the video. By holding your arm above your head and allowing your shoulders to work to keep your arm straight, this is a great shoulder stability exercise. Alternatively, for beginners - a low windmill can be performed, with the arm above your head not holding the weight and the hand reaching down holds the weight.
The Windmill is an exercise that is performed with precision and good form. Therefore slow and controlled as opposed to fast and explosive like a kettlebell swing. It comes under the “unilateral” bracket of exercises, so if you have weakness or muscle imbalances on your body, this exercise will help to build strength into your weaker side.
It can be performed with light weights to prepare the body for multidirectional movements, or added to a core strength programme. Either way, you are covering a lot of muscle activation and improving posture and strength by doing this exercise.
I hope you enjoyed the video and if you are interested in coming to train with us just get in touch! Kelly - CrossFit Coach and personal trainer