In Part 3 of our Heavy Kettlebell Series we are covering The Windmill. Oliver Quinn who collaborated with us on Part 2 is back to work with us and demonstrate in the video below.
You can find him on Instagram as @olliequinntraining, where he posts a lot of really informative and impressive posts for building strength and power. We highly recommend you follow him for more learning on similar subjects as this. In his demonstration he will be utilizing his Kettlebell Kings 123 Pound Powder Coat Kettlebell
By Oliver Quinn:
- Core strength
- Spine mobility and strength
- Shoulder strength, stability and mobility
- Hamstring strength and flexibility
- Balance and coordination
A number of these muscles are responsible for running, jumping and getting up and down all of which are required in every day life and even more so in competitive lifting. So, whether you want to compete in fitness or improve your every day life strength, this is a movement that can help.
Before trying a windmill with a kettlebell you need to make sure you have the required mobility and technique. The video below demonstrates the windmill movement without any weight used, so make sure you master the movements in the video and described below without any weight before adding your kettlebell. I recommend using the windmill stick drill as a stretch to help you work towards getting the required thoracic-spine and hamstring mobility, or use it to learn/teach the windmill.
No spinal torsion/twisting is allowed. This is not like passively picking up your car keys when you drop them! Make sure your spin stays straight through out the movement.
Get the bell up overhead (on your right side) any safe way you can. Lock your arm out and pack your shoulder. A common method is a clean and press or jerk (shown below)
Point your feet to the left (if the bell is in your right hand) about 30-45 degrees should do it.
Look up at the kettlebell, turn your head so you can see the bell with both eyes, not just one. It helps with balance.
Both shoulders should be externally rotated throughout this movement. Packed and unshrugged. Lats firing!
Initiate the hip hinge by pushing your butt backwards and right, breathe in hard through your nose and pull yourself down into the hinge, front leg slightly bent and unloaded, keep the rear leg straight and feel your hamstring and glute getting tighter as you hinge over, simultaneously rotate your shoulders towards the kettlebell so they become stacked directly under it.
I like to imagine pulling a giant rubber band down from the ceiling with my kettlebell hand. This will keep your shoulder in its socket and connected.
6. Maintain as much contact as possible between your left arm and left leg during this movement. This will give you constant feedback and make you feel safe and in control
7. Pause for a few seconds at the bottom squeeze your glutes and hamstring and come back up to the top position.
Breathing is really important throughout, I recommend Power breathe, keep your abs braced like you are about to take a punch the whole way through! Short sharp breaths work well/or, inhale hard through your nose all the way down an exhale through your teeth all the way up to the top. Both work, the goal is to stay braced. This is demonstrated in the video.
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See video below: