Functional Training Institute

Kettlebell Windmill Variations

The Kettlebell Windmill is a brilliant exercise that is magnificent for the posterior chain as well as developing shoulder stability.

It is also a highly complex and technical exercise and proper instruction is needed to perform it correctly and safely.

It is important to start with a low windmill to learn the correct positions and movement patterns.  There is then a series of progressions that can be performed once you are accomplished with the low windmill.

The key to the windmill is moving through the hips. Too many people laterally flex through the spine and this leads to lower back soreness. It is essentially a hip flexion and extension exercise that is performed through the frontal and transverse planes.  The other major mistake that people make when performing the windmill is that they lunge through the movement. You should not lunge in any of the kettlebell windmill variations.

The load is through the gluteals and it is an excellent movement for the lateral gluteals in particularly.

Our series showcases the starting movement – ‘The Low Windmill’ and then shows you how to increase the range of motion. The next stage is the ‘Traditional/High Windmill’. This variation requires more shoulder stability and also allows a better range of motion. The last kettlebell windmill variation is the ‘Double Windmill’. The load essentially doubles and adds another element of challenge.

Your range of motion will be determined by your mobility and the range should not be forced.

We teach the Kettlebell Windmill in depth in our Level 1 ‘Fundamentals of Kettlebell Training’ course.

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