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The Windmill, a hugely underrated exercise

The Kettlebell Windmill is one of those deceptively simple exercises that gives off a huge bang for the buck.

The video below is from the online library I’m building, which is to coincide with the online training group I’ll be launching to the public shortly.

But that’s not the point of today’s blog.

No, the point is: Do Windmills!

Admittedly, I never appreciated their value for years, but of late I’ve been exploring them more and more.

Most view these as a core training drill, particularly for the QL muscles.

But consider the actions at the shoulder as it supports the weight, in the hip and you load into it.

There’s a lot going on. The hip is loaded in a beautiful manner that puts the glute muscles in a better stretch position than any squat or deadlift. The shoulder, if we keep it externally rotated, is working exceptionally hard throughout, particularly in the area around the scapula.

It’s all shown in this video:

And here’s me being all cool and stuff with a total weight of 104kg in a windmill:

This isn’t something I do regularly, I find that a single bell overhead is more than adequate for what I want from the lift, which is shoulder external rotation and hip internal rotation with flexion.

Where does this lift fit in a persons training?

Light windmills are a great warm up. Heavier lifts can take the place of overhead pressing if the shoulder is injured. It works very well as a supplementary lift after heavy pressing or deadlifts.

We can talk more about programming this and other lifts during the upcoming Kettlebells for Coaches workshops:

But till then, get windmilling!


Dave Hedges

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