As mentioned earlier the kettle bell windmill is a very demanding exercise on the shoulders and your hip and hamstring flexibility. Keep the legs straight and see whether you can touch the floor or opposite ankle.
As you descend through the movement the instability of the kettle bell overhead makes the shoulder stabilizers work very hard. Remember to descend slowly keeping the hips slightly rocked out to the side.
Can you touch the opposite ankle or floor keeping the legs straight? The addition of an extra kettle bell increases the demands on the core muscles as well as the hamstrings.
I always recommend starting out with your weakest arm and never performing more on your stronger side. You need to be careful when warming up with the windmill that you don’t overdo it and leave your shoulder stabilizers weak for future exercises.
The kettle bell windmill exercise is a more advanced movement that works deep into the core and shoulder muscles as well as improving hip mobility. Work on increasing the depth of the windmill while still maintaining perfect technique.
Keep the repetitions low when using this exercises as a warm up or stand-alone movement and be careful not to over fatigue the shoulder stabilizer muscles before a more demanding workout. The windmill exercise opens up the hips, stretches the hamstrings and strengthens the core and shoulder muscles.
The windmill is performed by turning the feet to 45 degrees, pushing the hips out and then reaching down steadily with your weight on the back leg. The Kettle bell (KB) Windmill is a valuable exercise for shoulder stability, upper back flexibility, better movement in the hamstrings and hips (which helps with back pain).
Starting Position (master the half kneeling KB windmill before doing the standing version) Hold for 3 seconds, exhale and drive your hips back through to return to starting position.
You will find when you go slower you get the full benefits of the exercise while reducing your chances of injury. When you doKettlebellWindmills, focus on the feel and use that as reference points to relate to clients when they are doing this exercise.
Ian Nimblest, CFC, CSS, NFPT-CPT and is a functional strength & conditioning coach, personal trainer, and author. He is the founder and owner of Premier Fitness Group LLC in South Salem, NY, a world-class functional training facility that provides private, semi-private, and group training.
Done properly, the kettle bell swing looks like you’re violently having sex while a cannonball is getting thrown between your legs. Do it right, and it’s a choice exercise to hit a ton of different muscles, jack up your heart rate, build strength, increase athleticism, and get you a good cardio workout.
There are some versions where people bring it up overhead, but this can cause the shoulders to disengage and put you in a vulnerable position. Doing this makes sure you wind up standing in a straight line and engaging your ass muscles.
The kettle bell swing is one of the few movements in the gym that combines explosiveness, cardio, and works an entire side of your body. The kettle bell swing has a badass cousin in the weight room, the dead lift.
Both moves do an excellent job of working the entire posterior chain, or every single muscle on the backside of your body. It’s a good alternative to the dead lift at times thanks to the explosive nature, and the fact you’ll be using much lighter loads.
Hell Dan John, one of the most respected strength and conditioning coaches of all time has a program that incorporates 10,000 kettle bell swings. For most beginners it’s wise to start off with a lighter kettle bell, usually in the 30-40lb range until they get the hang of it.
Beginners also shouldn’t be swinging over 10-15 reps for the first few weeks, until they’ve developed the necessary comfort with the movement pattern and endurance in the hips and lower back. Kind of like winding up with a broken dick if you try putting a pineapple on your doorstep when you’ve only had sex a few times before.
Reps and sets will depend on intensity and your fitness level. For most of these moves, we recommend aiming for 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 30 reps with good form.
How to: To do the perfect kettle bell swing, stand up straight with your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart. Grab the handle with both hands, keeping palms face down and arms in front of your body.
Maintain a slight bend in your knees and drive your hips back. Then, in a fluid motion, explosively drive your hips forward while swinging the kettle bell, keeping glutes and core engaged.
Remember: The motion should come from your hips, not your arms, as your body returns to standing. Lower the weight back down between your legs and keep this swinging motion going for 12–15 reps.
Next, bend over to grab both kettle bells and pull them toward your stomach, keeping elbows close to body and back straight. Then try this: Start with legs a bit wider than hip width.
Keep this motion going, similar to the classic basketball drill. Stand up straight, holding the kettle bell in front of your chest with both hands, keeping elbows close to body.
How to: Stand with feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and turn toes out 45 degrees. Keeping core engaged, begin to squat and grip the kettle bell handle with one hand.
Stand up straight while holding the kettle bell in front of your chest with both hands, arms bent and palms facing each other. Pull the kettle bell to your shoulders while knees straighten and elbows rise.
Remember: The force is coming mostly from your hips, plus your arms pulling at the very end. Keep core engaged the whole time, moving the kettle bell back down by the floor.
Sit with legs bent and feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Hold the kettle bell with both hands at your chest, then lean back to a 45-degree angle.
Here’s the fun part: Rotate your torso from left to right by twisting at your waist and swinging the kettle bell across your body. How to: Despite its name, this move doesn’t require rocks or rubber bands.
Hold the kettle bell in front of your body, arms extended at chest level. How to: Lie on the floor with your legs straight out (nope, it’s not time for savanna).
Grab a kettle bell in one hand, palm facing in, and press the weight straight up while rotating your wrist so your palm faces your feet. Start in a plank position but with your hands grasping two kettle bell handles.
Grab a kettle bell and start with the basic two-handed swing (see move No. Keep sidestepping’ your way to the right (10–15 steps), then head back the other way, leading with your left foot.
Engage core, tighten glutes, and keep arms extended as your body rises on up, kettle bell and all! Grab each handle in the usual push-up starting position, then lower your body before pushing back up.
How to: Hold the kettle bell in your right hand and angle your feet 45 degrees away from your right arm. Shift your weight onto your right leg and begin bending forward at your waist. Keep right arm extended overhead as your body bends forward and your left arm is pointed toward the floor.
The kettle bell should end in the “rack position,” which means resting on your forearm, tucked close to your body, fist at your chest. Bring the weight back down to the floor and repeat for 10–15 reps.
Then, press the kettle bells up while leaning forward at your waist so the weights are positioned behind your head. Bring them back down to your shoulders and continue pressing for 10–20 reps, depending on the weight you’re using.
How to: Start by cleaning the kettle bell to your shoulder, finishing with palm facing front. Next, bend knees and press the kettle bell overhead while jumping into a split jerk position.
Return to standing while the kettle bell remains overhead, then lower it. Grasp the handle with one hand and explode up onto your toes, pulling the kettle bell until it reaches your chest, with your elbow tucked in.
At the top, lift your right elbow by squeezing your shoulder blades together, with the weight about 6 inches behind your body. Kettle bells are a great way to spice up the usual lifting routine.
As with traditional strength training, two days a week is a great place to start. Don’t hesitate to weave those kettle bells into your standard weightlifting routine, along with dumbbells, body weight exercises, and cardio.