The Windmill is possibly one of the best exercises out there for core strength and mobility. It’s a very effective exercise for improving mobility through the hips, hamstrings and thoracic spine, as well as building shoulder stabilisation strength. The regular Windmill requires just one kettlebell overhead, with the elbow locked out straight and shoulder packed down in the ‘stable’ position. Spread your feet to double shoulder width apart and angle your feet at 45 degrees. Push your hips out to the side and while looking at the kettlebell take the opposite hand down and touch the floor between your legs. Try to keep both legs straight throughout the whole exercise.
To progress from the windmill, add another kettlebell, holding it on the bottom. This will recruit more from both side of the obliques, and obviously adds more weight.
The overhead kettlebell squat is excellent for opening up the hips and shoulders – add a windmill and we’ve got even more mobility benefits and core demand. Take your time with this exercise, especially in the eccentric (coming down) and pause at the bottom to allow the weight of the kettlebell to compress the shoulder into the girdle. This is a personal favourite of mine!
This exercise is a little gem from mobility guru Steve Maxwell. It builds shoulder strength, glute function and core stability. For a further progression, keep the foot elevated when you move into the hip bridge, rather than letting it touch the ground. This is called a ‘two-point’ hip bridge and requires a lot more balance and core control.
The video speaks for itself in this one! Amazing for stretching the hips, hamstrings and shoulders. Take it slow and do a thorough joint and mobility warm up before you attempt it.