The windmill exercise is a functional workout targeting muscle groups in the core, shoulders, and hamstrings, requiring strength, flexibility, and balance.
- You can do the windmill with just your body weight or with added resistance, such as a kettlebell or dumbbell.
If you are looking for a full-body exercise that can strengthen your body and aid in bodybuilding, then the windmill exercise is the perfect workout.
- It involves all the muscles in the body and can be done at home.
- Though the exercise is complicated, it’s better to do it under professional supervision.
- But once you understand the steps, you can do it alone at home.
Army PRT Windmill Exercises
The windmill is the sixth of the ten prep drill exercises. This exercise develops the ability to bend and rotate the trunk safely. It conditions the muscles of the chest, legs, and shoulders.
- Straddle stance with arms sideward, palms facing down, fingers and thumbs extended and joined.
- On count one, Bend the hips and knees while rotating to the left. Reach down, touch the left foot’s outside with the right hand, and look toward the rear. The left arm is pulled rearward to maintain a straight line with the right arm.
- On count two, Return to the starting position.
- On count three, Repeat count 1 to the right.
- On count four, Return to the starting position.
- From the starting position, feet are straight ahead, arms parallel to the ground, hips are set, and abdominals are tight.
- On counts 1 and 3, ensure that both knees bend during the rotation. Head and eyes are directed to the rear on counts 1 and 3.
- This exercise is always performed at a slow cadence.
Muscles worked by the windmill exercise.
The windmill works on the following muscles:
- Primary Muscles:
- Secondary Muscles:
- Hamstrings and Glutes:
- Erector Spinae
- Rhomboids and Trapezius (upper back muscles)
How to do the Windmill Exercise
To do the windmill exercise, you need to follow the following steps:
- Stand straight so that your feet are far apart. The distance should be wider than your shoulders.
- Turn the left foot so the toes face outside at a 90-degree angle. Now, raise your right hand upwards while keeping your left hand hanging at your side. Meanwhile, keep your head on the right side and look towards the right hand.
- While engaging the core muscles, lean your body towards the right. Slide the hanging left hand to your left ankle as far as possible without stretching the muscles in your left leg.
- Ensure the left arm is perpendicular to the ground while keeping the right leg straight. If the left leg feels stiff, then you can slightly bend it.
- Hold this position for a few seconds. Then, push yourself up and get back to an upright position. While getting up, make sure that your spine is straight and long.
- Switch sides and repeat all steps by leaning towards the left side.
Precautions of the Windmill Exercise
- Always ensure that you maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise.
- If you opted for the weighted windmill workouts, start light to master the technique before progressing.
- Keep your eyes on the weight (if using it) during the movement to ensure it remains stable overhead.
- For those of you with shoulder or back issues, consult with a medical professional before doing this exercise.
Benefits of the Windmill Exercise
Windmill workout exercises have a variety of benefits, as follows:
- Core Strength and Stability: The windmill builds oblique strength and core stability.
- Shoulder Stability: Using a weight overhead during the movement enhances shoulder stability and strength.
- Flexibility: You will improve your flexibility, particularly in the hamstrings and side torso.
- Balance and Coordination: The windmill workout requires balance and body awareness, which can benefit functional daily life and sports movements.
In summary, the windmill workout exercises:
- Make your muscles strong.
- Enhance the body’s flexibility.
- Make your spine stronger and allow easy rotation.
- Enhance the strength and flexibility of the glute muscles.
- Enhance the stability of the shoulder and core muscles, which helps in maintaining a better posture.
- Enhance the stabilizing muscles by stretching the body muscles.
Like any other workout, the windmill has its shortcomings and complications that you need to be aware of to do this exercise properly:
- You need to maintain proper posture and smooth body movements, or else you will sprain the muscles, which can even lead to shoulder and lower back injuries.
- It requires great flexibility and balance to do the exercise, or else you won’t be able to get all the benefits and will sprain your muscles instead.
- The exercise requires a lot of learning, which means that if you do not do it correctly, you can hurt your spine, leading to many health issues.