To train your abdominals in a fully functional manner you can’t go wrong with the windmill. If you’re training to develop a lean torso the windmill is a must for any training programme. The Windmill is one of my favourite exercises of all abdominal and core exercises performed with kettlebells.
The Windmill will help develop posterior chain flexibility, core conditioning and fantastic strength in shoulder stabilisation.
1. Begin on the right side. Once the kettlebell has been pressed overhead make sure the handle is set at an angle from the inside of the thumb to the lower palm. Your hands should remain open or in a false grip position, but never clasping the handle. This will help with grip and forearm fatigue.
2. Once overhead, reposition the feet if needs be. They should be no wider than shoulder width apart with the toes facing to the left. Vice versa for the when performing the exercise on the left side. Make sure your glutes, abdominals and lats are all tense. (See Fig. 1)
3. Look up at the kettlebell. Bend at the waist and push your hips away, try to keep your left knee over your ankle and the right leg straight. Lower the chest down, bringing your left arm down the inside of the left leg towards the floor. Your arms should form a straight line from the kettlebell all the way to the floor. You should feel a strain in the hamstring of the right leg, and a pull in the oblique’s on the right side. Aim to get your left hand as close to the floor as possible. (see Fig. 2)
4. To return to the start position, push up through the heel of the left leg and with control use your abdominals, particularly your oblique’s, to drive the upper-body back up to a standing position. All the time maintaining the fixed stare at the kettlebell. Repeat the movement from point 3 for as long as desired.
All the way through the lift ensure that your glutes, abdominals and lats are all tense. You will feel the arm rotating round in the shoulder socket.
Once finished, return the kettlebell back into the rack position and then to the floor in the same way as which you picked it up in the first place. Repeat the same motion for the opposing side.