What Is a Windmill Exercise: Benefits & Technique

man doing Windmill Exercise

Get your body boosted with the Windmill Exercise. It’s a tremendous activity that works the entire body. Beginners can start with Bodyweight Windmills while experienced athletes add some weights. This article reveals the Windmill Exercise benefits and proper form.

What Is a Windmill Exercise?

The Windmill Exercise is complex training to hit the whole body. The main benefits are improving strength and stability. The Windmill primarily targets your shoulders, obliques, and glutes. Windmills are commonly performed with a kettlebell in a hand.

Before grabbing the weights, let’s check the Windmill Exercise instructions. The proper form helps you to get the most out of the exercise.

how to Kettlebell Windmill chart

How to Do a Windmill Exercise

You need a kettlebell to perform the exercise. Stand up with gear in one hand. Your feet are wider than hip-width apart. Reposition both feet to the left creating a 45-degree angle in one direction. Load the right heel to push the hip outward. Lift your right hand with the kettlebell to straight it out. Keep the focus on the right hand.

Lower your torso to the front foot keeping your legs straight. The left hand touches the floor. It’s placed behind your leg. Feel your hips and hamstrings are flexing. Your right arm is still raised. There’s a straight vertical line between the arms with gear on the top. Your face looks at the kettlebell all the time.

Lift your torso up to the start position with your right hand raised. The left arm is rested by the side of the torso. That’s one rep. Do 6-10 reps per set. Then switch arms.

If you can’t reach the floor when you lower your torso, do the following. Slightly bend your forward knee to reach the floor. Or keep your knees straight and lower your torso as far as possible. Do some stretching to improve your flexibility.

girl doing Windmill Exercise

Windmill Exercise Benefits

1. Easy Set-Up

The Windmill Exercise is great for a home gym. You need a little space to place your mat on and you’re set. Windmills require little to no equipment. Get a kettlebell of appropriate weight to do the workout. Thus, the Windmill Exercise can be easily performed inside and outside.

2. Get Your Body Toned

Kettlebell training, like the Windmill, activates a range of muscles all over the body. The movement mimics our daily activities. Like tilting forward to lift the stuff off the ground. Such functional movements tone your body. This makes us perform daily moves much easier.

With loaded workouts, we’re able to perform more challenging tasks. As long as you add weights, you can easily do routine moves. Like when you bend forward to reach things. Lifting heavy bags is no longer hard.

Kettlebell Windmill Exercise chart

3. Improve Aerobic Conditioning

The Windmill is not a cardio workout, unlike rowing and elliptical. But still, it can help to improve aerobic function. Kettlebell training is advantageous for muscular strength. As well as resistance training. Which is beneficial for your endurance, strength, and aerobic conditioning.

4. Glucose Control

The Windmill, as a kettlebell workout, has something in common with high-intensity training. They help to lower glucose in your blood. That’s a great perk for those who need to track their insulin level. People with seated jobs are recommended to do exercises on a regular basis. And Windmills are an excellent choice to warm up your muscles.

Windmill Variations & Alternatives

Bodyweight Windmill

1. Bodyweight Windmill

That’s a great start for beginners. Just do the regular Windmill with your hands unloaded. Once you feel you’re ready to level up, get a kettlebell.

Low Hold Windmill

2. Low Windmill

The point is to hold the kettlebell in your lower hand, instead of the raised one. This makes your core work better. So you don’t need to focus on the load overhead so much. That’s a good variation for those who got tight shoulders.

Windmill Exercise Abs

3. Windmill Exercise Abs

This variation is an ideal Windmill ab exercise. Get down on a mat with your face up. Your arms are extended out to the sides. Your palms face the floor. Lift your legs up so your heels are faced the ceiling. That’s your starting position.

Start twisting your torso to lower your legs to the left. Now your toes are a few inches away from your left hand. Brace your core and bring your legs back to the start position. Then lower your legs to the right. Your hands are immobile. That’s one rep. Do 6-10 reps per set.

man lying with raised kettlebell

4. Turkish Get Up

  1. Get down on a floor or a yoga mat with your face up. Lie with a starfish position with your arms and legs creating a 45-degree angle each. Bend the right leg with the right foot flat on the floor. The foot is slightly outside your hip. Raise your right arm up to the ceiling. Make a fist with your raised hand so your knuckles are faced straight up. Your head is raised with the face looking at the right fist.
  2. Drive through your right heel and left elbow to raise your torso. Your shoulders are off the ground where the left shoulder is packed. The chest is facing the wall in front of you, not the ceiling.
  3. Then use your left palm as a pivot point. Push it into the floor. Brace your core and bring your body to the sitting position. The left shoulder is still packed. The left elbow is faced behind you. And your fingers are turned slightly outward behind you.
  4. Bend your left leg so it’s underneath you facing toward your bottom. The left knee and ankle are parallel to the left hand. Your left knee is just underneath the left hip. Reposition your knee if necessary, don’t move your hand.
  5. Shift your body weight to the left heel. Get to the half-kneeling (lunge) position like as you’re proposing 🙂 Both your knees create a 90-degree angle. The up knee looks forward and the down knee touches the floor. Your right arm is still raised. And your left arm is rested by the side of the torso.
  6. Squeeze your core and push your body up with your back foot. Stand up and bring your feet together hip-width apart. That’s half of the movement. Now it’s time to get back to the lying position with a reversed move order.

Here’s a detailed guide to the Turkish Get Up.

colorful kettlebells lined up

Windmill Exercise Proper Form Revealed

The Windmill is a brilliant full-body exercise. It’s great to activate your shoulders, core, and glutes. Get a kettlebell to make the Windmill more challenging. Some sportsmen use a barbell instead. Windmills are beneficial for your endurance and strength. That’s a perfect home gym workout. As it needs a little room and equipment.

Image Source: shutterstock.com, womenshealthmag.com, topwindmill.blogspot.com.