If you’re looking for a great exercise to start your workout with, look no further than the windmill. This exercise is perfect because it works on total body coordination and mobility while also warming up muscles. Anyone can do the windmill at any fitness level, so try it!
The windmill is a unique exercise that aims at the whole body. It is ideal for the upper body, lower body, and the core–it also includes all major and minor muscles. Windmill exercise comes with a lot of benefits that include:
- Better core strength
- Enhanced flexibility and mobility
- Improved shoulder stability
- Improved body coordination
- Better body balance
Windmill Exercise- Steps to Perform
- You will first need to stand on your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, hold the kettlebell in your right hand and raise it over your head. Your foot needs to be underneath that weight. Keep your left leg towards an outer angle.
- Pull the shoulders down and brace your abdominal muscles. Next, you need to place your left hand on the thigh.
- Shift the torso in a way to make the left shoulder tilt downwards. Push the hips in the opposite direction. Most of the weight must be on the left leg.
- Lean towards the side and then slide your hand towards your leg. Try keeping the right leg straight. Continue to note the weight.
- Lean downward as you reach your leg. You will feel a stretch in your left hamstring and the lateral torso. Stabilize your weight with the right shoulder.
- Contract your glute and left hamstring, and untwist your torso. Keep your weight stable, and your left hand should be against your leg when you are standing up.
- Repeat the movement, pause for a minute, and then shift your sides.
Muscles it Works
The following are some muscles that windmill exercise works:
Shoulder muscles–The bigger deltoid muscles work for some movements of the shoulder. Also, the infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and subscapularis are some muscles that control the more refined movements. Windmill exercise helps to improve mobility and strength of the muscles.
Trapezius and Rhomboids–These are present across your scapula and responsible for holding your shoulders during windmills. These are important for the stability of the joints and maintaining the correct posture.
Core–The core makes up the erector spinae, rectus abdominis, and oblique muscles. It also comprises the diaphragm and the pelvic floor. These muscles work for creating the intra-abdominal pressure to give support to the spine during the lift.
Gluteus maximus–This is the major hip extensor in your body. It becomes active in windmill exercise when you bend forward and then stand again. It is not different from a deadlift.
Hamstrings-These muscles are on the posterior of your thighs. These work for the hip extension as they work with gluteus muscles. If leaning forward feels hard, the muscles might become too tight. Also, windmill exercise is excellent for improving the flexibility of the hamstrings as you move.
Physical Skill It Improves
Windmill exercise is also helpful in teaching you to produce force in a stretching position. It might not be so beneficial in an ordinary routine. However, learning this move becomes very helpful in some sports. In sports, you need to either push or pull from challenging positions. These include wrestling an opponent, for example. As a result, you will find it easier to cultivate this potential.
Incorrect Ways to Perform
You might use heavyweights at the beginning of the exercise. However, using too heavy of a load might stop you from learning the proper technique of the exercise. Therefore, you need to spend some time with some light weights for exercise before going for the heavier ones. In this way, you will find it easier to leave bad habits which heavy carrying weights may cause.
Windmills Exercise is a full-body workout exercise. You might risk losing your stability if you try relaxing a body part. Practice how to generate tension in your body. Also, you will need to place your feet on the ground and then imagine gripping them. Also, you need to tense your core, legs, shoulders, chest, and arms when you are moving. It is a dynamic tension that is important for improving strength in the body.
Another mistake to make is to get impatient as you perform this exercise. Think about different things during the exercise. Take your time and don’t expect perfection the first time you do it. It might take a lot of tries before you get confident. It will also require some time to get to a proficient level. You don’t have to discontinue if you find it to be too challenging.
Modifications to Exercise
Some modifications of the windmill exercise include:
1. Low Hold Windmill Exercise
Hold the weight in your lowermost hand. It will ensure that the core attains a rigorous workout without you getting anxious about stabilizing it overhead. Also, it is perfect for those having tight shoulders who find it hard to sustain a vertical arm.
2. Rack Hold Windmill Exercise
Hold the weight on the shoulder. It will become an excellent exercise for the core. Resultantly, you will find this exercise easier to do, especially when you have a tight shoulder or an unstable one.
3. Bottom-Up Windmill Exercise
You can perform this exercise the same way as a regular windmill exercise. However, you will need to hold the kettlebell vertically using the uppermost handle. It will encourage you to keep your arm vertical. Furthermore, it enhances the grip demand of the exercise.
4. Double Weight Windmill Exercise
You can hold the weight in both hands to do a double-weight windmill exercise. Resultantly, you will see there will be an increase in the core demand. You can also go conventional with different objects of different sizes and weights in each hand. It will help to function even better with balance.
The Last Word on the Windmill Exercise
These are some basics you need to know about the famous windmill exercise. It is best to do variations of this exercise if you have conditions like a tight shoulder. People who cannot do the entire movement of their arms and shoulders can also perform these modifications.
If you’ve been looking for a way to challenge your shoulder muscles, we hope our guide has given you some insight. Windmill exercises are not only an incredible workout for the shoulders but also work on other parts of the body, like the core and glutes as well! The best part? You can do them anytime, anywhere, with no equipment. Have you tried this exercise yet? Tell us about your experience in the comments below or by sending us a message through social media!