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Awake & Alive
overhead press

Top 3 Progressions for the Kettlebell Windmill

     The Windmill is a great movement pattern that does wonders for shoulder, and thoracic mobility.  It also increases stability in the hips and helps produce rotational strength.  If you sit at a desk, spend loads of time in a car, or have poor posture the windmill is an exercise you need to be doing.  However, you may not have the prerequisites to do a full windmill yet.  Check out these progressions to get started.

  Here are some simple step by step progressions that will help get you ready to do a proper windmill.

#1 The Bretzel



The Bretzel gets it’s name from the extraordinary Brett Jones, If you are unfamiliar take a minute to look him up after this article.  The Bretzel is one of my favorite stretches and I find it to be a safe effective starting point for improving the mobility needed to perform more advanced movements like the arm bar, windmill, and the bent press.


#2 The Arm Bar

     The arm bar is one of the best overall shoulder mobility and stability drills you can practice. This drill the prerequisite to the wind mill so make sure you spend time learning and mastering this skill first. It will help you tremendously when it comes time to learn the windmill.  

 kettlebell arm bar

#3 The 1/2 Kneeling windmill 

    This movement challenges everything we are looking for in order to safely and effectively perform a standing windmill.  After you have obtained the mobility from the Bretzel and the stability from the arm bar this is the next progression.

     This is a little less threatening and allows one to learn the hinging movement of the hips with the rotation of the thoracic spine.  Another benefit to this movement is that it limits the range of motion witch makes it less likely for a beginner to over compensate by by bending at the spine instead of hinging at the hips.

kneeling windmill

Special Thanks to Justin Tafoya for the article.

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