2 Tools to Reclaim Your Overhead Position: Windmill Mobility Exercise and Banded Windmills
Windmill Mobility Exercises
The windmill is one of the most effective ways to build strength and endurance. A person can use it for various purposes such as lifting heavy objects or even just for fun. However, if used incorrectly, it can cause injury. If done too much, it may result in falling off the machine.
There are two types of windmills; stationary and moving. Stated differently, the stationary type consists of a series of horizontal blades while the moving type consists of a set number of vertical blades. There are many different kinds of windmills, but they all have one thing in common – they’re machines that allow you to move around using your body weight only. They don’t require any additional equipment other than some sturdy poles and wheels.
Stations are usually located near a location where there’s a lot of traffic and activity. These stations provide support for the windmill so that it doesn’t fall over when someone tries to jump on top of it. When you see a station, make sure you get out of the way before it falls down!
A kettlebell is basically a large metal ball with handles attached at both ends. The kettlebell windmill is a very challenging exercise that works on your endurance and core strength. Your goal when doing this exercise is to stay balanced on top of the kettlebell while extending your arms upward. You can perform this exercise outdoors, at a park for example, or you can do it inside a gymnasium.
This is an advanced version of the kettlebell swing so please make sure you master the kettlebell swing before attempting this one. You may want to seek the help of a personal trainer before attempting this exercise.
Benefits of the Kettlebell Overhead Squat
The overhead squat is an effective way to increase your strength and flexibility at the same time. It is a great exercise that you can perform anywhere with minimal equipment. This is a challenging exercise for most people, but the results are well worth it.
To perform this exercise correctly, you will need to start with a proper warmup. Always remember to warmup and stretch before engaging in any type of physical activity. After you have completed your warmup routine, you can get started with the exercise.
The overhead squat is a great exercise because it works on several different levels. Not only does it work your legs, it also works your core, upper body, lower back, and so much more. It is one of the best all-around exercises you can do, and it is always a good idea to throw it in your weekly workouts.
This exercise can be done at home with minimal equipment or at a gym. If you decide to perform this exercise at home, all you will need is a couple of light dumbbells and a chair. Simply follow the steps outlined below, and in no time, you will be ready to move on to the next exercise.
How to do the Overhead Squat
Stand a few feet behind a chair with your feet placed slightly wider than shoulder width. Bend over and grab the sides of the chair. Keep your back straight when you do this, as slouching can cause back pain and other issues down the road.
Bend your knees and hips as you lower your body into a squatting position. Try to get your thighs parallel to the floor.
Extend your arms straight over your head as you press the chair away from your body.
Lower your arms back to the starting position as you stand up straight.
Perform this exercise for about three sets of ten reps each. After a couple of weeks of performing this exercise, add some weight to it or switch to a heavier object. You can also increase the amount of times you perform the exercise each week as well.
Make sure you warm up before you start the exercise and that you don’t bounce as you lower and raise your body. This will not only cause injury, but it can also be dangerous. Always make sure to listen to your body when exercising and if something hurts, stop immediately.
The Kettlebell deadlift is an exercise that works on several different levels. It strengthens your legs and core, while improving your balance and flexibility. It is a great exercise to strengthen your lower back muscles, which can help prevent back pain in the future.
This is an advanced exercise that should only be performed after you have mastered the kettlebell swing. Be sure to seek the help of a personal trainer before attempting this exercise on your own.
How to do the Kettlebell Deadlift
Start off by standing up straight and holding a kettlebell with both hands. Your feet should be placed slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Your knees should be slightly bent as you lift the kettlebell off the floor to bring it in line with your body. This is the starting position.
From this position, bend at your knees and lower your hips as you slide your hands down the handle of the kettlebell until it is just below your knees. Your arms should remain extended, but not locked at this point. Your back should remain flat and your shoulders pulled back at this point.
Squat down one inch as you pull the kettlebell in line with your body with your arms. Hold this position for a moment as you squeeze your glutes before slowly extending your knees and hips to return the kettlebell to the starting position. Repeat for the recommended amount of times.
The Turkish Get-Up is an exercise that targets several muscle groups while improving balance and flexibility. It is a challenging exercise that requires you to use momentum and your body weight to complete. As you become more comfortable with this exercise, you can increase the amount of weight being used. However, it is best to have someone there to spot you in case you lose control of the weight.
How to do the Turkish Get-Up
Start off by lying on your back on the floor with a medicine ball close to your feet. Your arms should be bent and your hands in fists with your elbows tucked in to your sides.
From this position, push the medicine ball into the air until your arm is fully extended toward the ceiling.
Return the medicine ball back to the floor by moving your arm under your body while moving your legs and hips to get into a seated position. Your back should remain flat throughout this entire process.
As you move into the seated position, move the medicine ball to your left hand. As you are sitting your butt should come off the ground slightly before you place the ball in your left hand and return it to the floor.
Move the ball back in front of you to start the process over again with your right arm. Continue this process until you have completed the required amount of repetitions and then lie on your back and relax.
The medicine ball twist is a great way to strengthen your obliques while improving your balance and flexibility. It is a fairly simple exercise that can be performed without any equipment.
How to do the Medicine Ball Twist
Start off by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a medicine ball at chest height with both hands. Your arms should be bent at a 90-degree angle and your shoulders pulled back. Your weight should be centered as you prepare for the twist.
Twist at your waist as you swing the medicine ball in a wide arc from one side to the other. Go as low as you can without losing your balance. Your arms should remain fully extended throughout this process and you need to keep your shoulders pulled back at all times.
Return to the starting position and repeat the twisting motion for the recommended amount of times.
Skipping Rope (Optional)
The skipping rope is a great tool that can be used to improve your coordination and cardiovascular fitness. Using a skipping rope is most commonly associated with children, but it can be an effective way to improve your health and fitness as an adult.
The only piece of equipment you will need for this section is a skipping rope. You can pick one up at most department stores, sports stores and even some drug stores or supermarkets. There are many different types of skipping ropes, such as the flat rope, the handle rope, the coiled rope and so on.
Choose whichever type you want. The skipping techniques are more or less the same with minor differences. So choose one that is comfortable for you.
How to skip using a flat skipping rope
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold the handles at both ends of the flat skipping rope (the part where the two ropes are connected).
Bounce the rope lightly on the floor as you quickly raise your arms and bring them back down again.
Breathe in as your arms go up and breathe out as they go down.
Bounce the rope lightly on the floor as you turn in a circle. Move in a clockwise direction as you turn.
As you turn, lift your knees up slightly as the rope passes under your feet. This action is known as skipping.
Sidestep to the right as you turn and skip and then side step to the left as you turn and skip.
Continue this process for the duration of the exercise.
If you are feeling up to it, you can also incorporate some basic running into your workout. Running is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and can help you burn excess calories after a big meal.
When running you should try to keep your body straight, bend your arms slightly and move your legs at a 90-degree angle. You may find it easier to run in intervals if you are a beginner or you are still feeling tired. Start off by jogging slowly for two minutes and then walking for one minute and then repeat.
You can also try “power walking” if running is too intense for you. It is more of a fast walk than a jog.
Flexibility Exercises (Optional)
As you grow older, it is common for our bodies to become less flexible and agile. This can leave you more prone to injuries and impair certain physical activities that require range of motion. It is important that you try to stay flexible and this section has some exercises you can do to improve yours.
Before starting any of the exercises, make sure you are already warmed up. You do not want to be stretching a cold muscle as you may pull a muscle or tendon which can cause severe pain and set back your training.
To increase flexibility you must perform the actions slowly and stretch a warmed up muscle until you feel mild discomfort, but not pain. Hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds and then relax for a few seconds. You should feel your muscles slowly start to gain in flexibility.
Here are some basic flexibility exercises you can try:
Sit on a chair and hold both of your arms straight out in front of you. Turn your palms away from your body as far as possible and then back again. Turn your hands so that your thumbs point towards your shoulders and then back again. Rotate your wrists so that your little fingers point towards the floor and then back again.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Point your right foot and then tense your calf muscle for a few seconds. Do the same with your left foot and then switch feet and repeat the process.
Sitting on a chair, hold one arm out in front of you and put your other hand behind your head. Gently twist your arm back and forth without lifting it off of your chest. Do the same with your other arm.
Lie on your back with your legs and arms straight out. Pull your right knee towards your chest and gently pull on your left ankle and hold for a few seconds. Do the same with your other leg and ankle.
Sit on a chair with both feet on the ground and stretch your arms straight out in front of you. Turn your palms away from your body as far as possible. Turn your hands so that your thumbs point towards the floor and then back again.
Move both of your arms in a circular motion, first in a clockwise direction and then in a counterclockwise direction.
Practice Breath Holding (Optional)
Holding your breath under water can provide many health benefits. It improves lung capacity, strengthens the heart, improves overall fitness and helps to prevent the dread of breathing.
When you are under water it is always important to keep moving as if you stop, you will quickly find that you need to come back up for air and this can lead to drowning. To avoid getting into this situation, it is best to become an advanced swimmer before practicing breath holding techniques.
Below are some tips on how to hold your breath:
Sit in a comfortable position so that you do not feel the need to move around or change position during the process.
Gently close your mouth and tilt your head back slightly.
Take a deep breath in through your nose and as you do this, close your throat by pushing out with your epiglottis. The air should be kept trapped in your lungs.
Hold your breath for as long as you can.
As the need to breathe becomes necessary, slowly tilt your head forward and release the pressure on your epiglottis. Open your mouth very slowly to release the trapped air in a quiet hiss.
Repeat this process until you can no longer hold your breath for an extended period of time.
Do not hold your breath for more than four minutes the first few times you try this technique.
Breath Holding and Swimming: As with any new physical activity, it is always important to listen to your body. If you feel dizzy or light-headed then you should come back up to the surface.
Breathing is often times an unconscious action and many people do it without thinking about it. The body has a built in mechanism that tells the brain when more oxygen is needed. When you are holding your breath underwater, your body perceives this as a dangerous situation and tries to force you to come back up to the surface. This could result in passing out underwater and ultimately drowning if these safety warning are ignored.
When practicing new techniques under water, always have a friend with you in case of an emergency and always be aware of your surroundings.
Other types of breath holding activities include:
Eating spicy foods before breath holding can increase your ability to hold your breath for a longer period of time. Many athletes use this technique to improve their lung capacity.
Blowing up a balloon and then holding it underwater for as long as you can. As soon as you feel the need to come up for air, quickly bring the balloon to the surface with one hand. Continue this process until you can no longer hold your breath. When you can do this with greater ease, try doing it with two or three balloons.
Sit in a comfortable position and place a small weight on your stomach, this will force you to keep your belly pressed inward and allow you to hold your breath for a longer period of time.
If you practice this technique a lot, you will soon find that you can hold your breath for much longer under water than you could before. It is important to remember to always be aware of your body and surroundings while practicing this skill. It is also very beneficial to have a friend with you when practicing this technique, just in case something should go wrong.
Along with these exercises and techniques, it is also important that you create the proper environment in which to practice them. This means having access to a place where you can practice in private without being disturbed. This could mean locking yourself inside your home bathroom or, if you have the means, constructing a small pool or container on your property that is filled with water. The more privacy you have while practicing these techniques and exercises the better.
With diligence, focus and commitment you can drastically improve your lung capacity and underwater endurance. Who knows, you might even find yourself wanting to take up diving as a hobby!