Kettlebell windmills are excellent for mobility, stability, and strength. It is also an exercise which adds some variety to your routine, taking advantage of stretching over power and ballistics.
After completing this exercise or a few weeks, you will find that you have a better range of motion in your core and shoulders. You will also benefit from strength in those areas too.
When you compare this exercise to others where the kettlebell is over your head, like an overhead press, you should notice that this exercise is about mobility and stability.
It is not a purely strength-building exercise, though it will build strength too. This is not about raw power and force.
Rating of Difficulty
This is a difficult exercise to do. You need to stretch over and touch the ground with your free hand while holding the kettlebell above your head with your other hand.
You need to keep your legs straight while doing this. If you do not have great flexibility and mobility, then you are going to find it hard to touch the ground.
This is going to affect your balance when you are completing this exercise. Not only that, but you are holding a weight too.
We would recommend starting with no weight and simply perfecting the movement first.
What Muscles Does This Workout Target?
This exercise will work your shoulders, thoracic spine, and hamstrings, as well as working your core. As well as adding strength to your muscles, this workout helps to improve your stability and balance.
You will also find that you have increase mobility when adding this to your weekly routine.
How Often Should I Perform This Workout?
We would recommend adding this to your workout three times a week. It is great for adding shoulder and back strength, but it is equally important for adding mobility and flexibility to your body.
Start without a weight, and you will still see benefits.
Step by Step
Prepare your area. Make sure that your area is clear, and that there are no dangers present.
Ensure that you are wearing the proper clothing and that you are fueled for your workout.
Place the kettlebell on the floor in front of you.
- Stand over the kettlebell so that the kettlebell is in between your legs. Make sure that your feet are spaced equally around the kettlebell. You should have enough room between your legs for you to be able to swing the kettlebell between your legs and hike it up.
- Grab the kettlebell with your right hand on the top of the handle. Pick it up and swing it back through your legs. Use that swinging motion to swing the kettlebell up to chest level. Move the kettlebell around so that your elbow is bent, pointing outwards, and the kettlebell is restful on the soft part of your forearm. You can use your knees and legs to lift the kettlebell upward and cushion it as it reaches shoulder level.
- The next step is to press the weight up above your head. You are not aiming for a ballistic force here so raise the kettlebell as slow as you like. You will also be using less weight than you would with a kettlebell press. When the kettlebell is fully extended, lock your knees and space your legs so that they are a little over shoulder-width apart.
- Move your free arm out to the side, horizontal with the ground. Now, bend over, keeping your free arm straight. You should bend to the side until your free arm touches the ground. Touch the ground and return to an upright position. Your motion should be slow and smooth. The kettlebell should remain up with your arm pointing straight up the entire time.
- Move the kettlebell back down to your shoulder. Repeat the entire motion, working up to ten reps.
- Lower the kettlebell back to the floor and repeat with your other arm.
This is an exercise where you will really feel the burn in your arms and core. If you can feel that, then you are doing the exercise correctly.
This is also an exercise where you do not need a lot of weight to do it effectively. This exercise is also a great exercise for progressing onto others.
We already talked about completing the exercise with no kettlebell. If you want to go in the other direction, then you can hold your position with your hand on the floor for up to 60 seconds.
You can also try the motion with the kettlebell held in the hand which is going to touch the floor. The challenge is to keep your movements slow and smooth.