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The kettlebell windmill, which generally refers to the high variant, involves raising the kettlebell overhead as high as you can. Keeping your arm extended upward, you then bend at the hips to touch your toes with your free hand. Compare that to the kettlebell low windmill which essentially switches what hand holds the kettlebell. Both are great exercises but the high windmill is obviously more difficult.

It’s one of the few kettlebell exercises that test strength, balance, and flexibility. Even when used with smaller-sized kettlebells many benefits can be gained. Not only is it great for working out your core muscles, but it also helps improve separation with the lower and upper body as described by Don Saladino.

Don, one of the premier celebrity fitness trainers in the industry, has helped numerous clients get in tip-top shape with kettlebells. Below, you can see a video of him performing the kettlebell windmill along with his thoughts on this exercise.

Why The Windmill is Underrated

As you can see, the kettlebell windmill is a slow and methodical exercise. It doesn’t have the flair that the swing or snatch has. However, just because your body isn’t moving at the speed of those exercises doesn’t mean the windmill is inferior. It just serves a different purpose.

Many people new to kettlebells will most likely feel more comfortable using power or flexibility as their main strength. For instance, big men may have no problem swinging a 35+ lb. kettlebell for 20 reps in several sets. Compare that with women who might use a lighter kettlebell performing a pistol squat. The balance and concentration required to successfully perform a pistol squat may be too much for new power kettlebell users.

This is where the windmill provides the perfect balance between strength and well… balance! Neither aspect is more apparent than the other. Strength is required to hold the kettlebell overhead while balance and flexibility are necessary to reach your other hand towards your feet.

You may find that it is easier to perform the windmill on one side of your body vs. the other. That’s okay. If performed regularly, eventually the difficulty level and range will equal out on both sides. Once you’ve achieved the desired performance, upgrade to a heavier kettlebell for a whole new challenge!

Ryan Faucher

I'm a web designer and kettlebell enthusiast on a quest to lose fat, build muscles and live a healthier lifestyle. I truly believe that exercising with kettlebells in conjunction with dieting is the most effective and efficient way to reach this goal. If you have the will and motivation, there is no reason you can't do the same.
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