Windmills: Jacked of All Trades

The kettlebell windmill is one of the most popular exercises among strength athletes and bodybuilders. It’s not surprising because it allows you to develop explosive power, which is necessary for any sport or fitness activity. However, there are many misconceptions about this exercise. So let’s clear up some things!

What Is A Kettlebell Windmill?

A kettlebell windmill (or simply a “windmill” in English) is a type of weight training exercise where you use two kettlebells instead of just one. You start with your feet shoulder width apart and then raise them up into the air until they touch each other at the top. Then you lower them back down to the starting position.

Why Do They Work?

Kettlebells have been used for centuries to build strength and endurance. One reason why they’re so effective is because they allow you to perform multiple movements without having to stop or rest between them. For example, if you were doing pushups, you could do ten reps of pushups while holding a kettlebell in each hand. But when you started using kettlebells for windmill presses, you could do twenty repetitions before stopping!

How Do They Target The Muscles?

When you’re doing the windmill, you’re using your arms and shoulders. Your core is also engaged because you need to brace your body in order to hold the kettlebells in position. At the same time, your legs are moving in a circular motion. Since this uses multiple muscle groups, you can achieve a full-body workout in a short period of time.

Which Muscles Do They Work?

We’ve already mentioned the muscles used in a kettlebell windmill. The following table shows the exact muscles you use and how they’re used.

Muscle/Group Main Function Specific Movement(s) Primary Muscle Action Arms You raise your arms up and back behind you while holding the kettlebells. Your biceps contract to move your forearms while your shoulder moves your arms in a circular arc. Shoulders Your shoulders are primarily used as a base of support.

As you raise your arms up and back, your shoulders are moved in a circular arc. They also contract to move your forearms. Back Your latissimus dorsi contract to bend your torso forward while raising your arms. Your spinal erector muscles contract isometrically to keep your spine in position. Legs Your legs are mostly used to brace your body during the exercise. Your gluteus maximus and quadriceps contract to bend your knees. Your hamstrings contract to move your legs in a circular arc. Core Your rectus abdominis and obliques contract to keep your torso in an upright position.

What Muscles Should You Target?

You should use a weight that you can comfortably lift through all the recommended repetitions. If you want to increase the challenge, try using a heavier kettlebell. If you want to make the exercise easier, use a lighter one. Always remember to use proper form when doing this or any other exercise.

There are several factors that can interfere with your ability to do this exercise properly. For example, if you have trouble keeping your core engaged, then you can place your hands on your knees and pretend you’re holding a tray of drinks. This will help you brace your body.

Since the range of motion is large, you might also find it helpful to use a mirror when you’re just starting out.

How Often Should You Do This Exercise?

A lot of people like to do this exercise in the morning because your body is well rested and prepared for any kind of physical activity. However, if you have tight hamstrings, it might be best to do this at night since they tend to relax as the day goes on. If you do this at the beginning of the day, make sure to leave enough time for your muscles to recover.

There’s no specific rule that states how many days a week you should train. Some people train every other day while others train every day at least once a week. The choice is up to you.

Your body will tell you if you need to rest or not. Listen to your body and it will reward you with stronger muscles.

What’s the Best Way to Increase Your Kettlebell Windmill?

There are several tips you can incorporate into your routine to increase your kettlebell windmill. Remember, always start out by using a light weight until you get the hang of it. Once you feel comfortable with that weight, it’s time to increase it. Here are some suggestions for increasing your kettlebell windmill:

Hold the top position for ten seconds.

Perform the exercise slowly.

Windmills: Jacked of All Trades - Image

Use a heavier weight.

Do more repetitions within the given time period.

As you get stronger, keep the same weight and perform more repetitions within the given time period. Stay at this level until you feel like you’ve mastered it. Then, increase the weight or change the time intervals.

If you really want to challenge yourself, try doing the exercise with one arm. This is a great way to impress onlookers and keep yourself motivated.

What Are the Benefits?

Aside from looking awesome and impressing onlookers, the kettlebell windmill offers a wide variety of health benefits. Here are some of them:

1. Deltoid Development

The windmill exercise helps develop your deltoids. These are the muscles located on both sides of your shoulders and help you lift your arms sideways and backwards. If you do this exercise regularly, you’ll find that your shoulder strength has increased.

2. Pectorial Muscle Development

Your pec major and minor are located in your chest area. By doing the windmill, you can develop these muscles. In addition to looking great, a well-developed pec region can help you participate in a variety of sports.


Sources & references used in this article:

The Restoration of Jill Mill, Sussex by AD Chamberlain – Industrial archaeology review, 1987 – Taylor & Francis

The scandal of money: why Wall Street recovers but the economy never does by G Gilder – 2016 –

Essex Windmills by REX WAILES – Transactions of the Newcomen Society, 1957 – Taylor & Francis

A Brief History of Eastham: On the Outer Beach of Cape Cod by D Wilding – 2017 –

On the question of our joining the World Trade Organization by L Yongtu – Chinese Economy, 2000 – Taylor & Francis

Colonial Living by C McCarthy – 1993 – Vintage