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Master This Move: Kettlebell Windmill

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Have you mastered The Turkish Get-Up (points for attempting it, too!)? For this week’s #MasterThisMove challenge, we’re hitting the kettlebells again. Why? For one, check out Why Kettlebells Are King For Burning Calories. Plus, this particular kettlebell move, The Kettlebell Windmill, is a bit intimidating, but we found it’s actually fun—and challenging enough that it'll put you in the “zone," just like when you're trying to master tricky dance choreography.

The Kettlebell Windmill is a total-body move that seriously works your core—primarily your obliques, because you’re cinching your waist while making the movements, says New York City-based personal trainer Nick Rodocoy. You’ll also hit your legs (particularly those hamstrings!), glutes, hips, shoulders, and triceps.

There are three different versions of Kettlebell Windmill: The High Windmill, The Low Windmill and the High Low Windmill—the toughest of the three. We’re going to show you how to master all three. But, “Start with the low windmill and progress to the high and then the high low,” says Rodocoy. And since this is such a challenging move with so many moving parts, start off using just your body weight and make sure you feel comfortable with the movement before picking up a kettlebell.

It’s always smart to do a dynamic warm-up before your workout, but its particularly important before this move. (Read The Best Warmup For Any Type of Workout.) “It's important to stretch the hips and practice mobility in the middle spine since this is such a complex move and requires such a great range of motion,” says Rodocoy. Try a side-lying windmill with your knee propped up on a foam roller (your arm will sweep up and over your head). "It will help mobilize the middle back while stabilizing the lower back and stretching and opening up the chest and shoulders," says Rodocoy. Equally key is stretching or rolling out the hamstrings and glutes.


LOW WINDMILL
A Set a kettlebell on the ground slightly in front of you in between your legs. Stand with feet slightly wider than hips, left toes slighty turned out and right toes turned to the right, knees slightly bent.
B Extend right arm to the ceiling, keeping wrist straight. 
Engage abs and reach left hand to inside of left thigh, looking up to your right hand.
Hinge at hips, lowering torso and bending left knee as left arm slides down to grasp the kettlebell handle, extending right arm in line over shoulder.
E Press back up, holding the bell with palm facing out, to return to standing. Repeat.

Low Kettlebell Windmill

HIGH WINDMILL
A Stand with feet slightly wider than hips, left toes slighty turned out and right toes turned to the right, knees slightly bent.
B Extend right arm, holding the bell by the handle with the weight behind your wrist, to the ceiling.
Engage abs and reach left hand to inside of left thigh, looking up to your right hand.
D Hinge at hips, lowering torso and bending left knee to touch the ground with left fingertips, extending right arm in line over shoulder.
E Press back up to return to standing and repeat.

High Kettlebell Windmill

If you feel like you've nailed both of the moves above, put them together—holding a kettlebell in each hand—for an even more effective sculpter. 

HIGH LOW WINDMILL
A Set a kettlebell on the ground slightly in front of you in between your legs. Stand with feet slightly wider than hips, left toes slighty turned out and right toes turned to the right, knees slightly bent. Hold another kettlebell of the same weight in your right hand, with weight of the bell behind wrist.
B Extend right arm to the ceiling, keeping wrist straight. 
Engage abs and reach left hand to inside of left thigh, looking up to your right hand.
Hinge at hips, lowering torso and bending left knee as left arm slides down to grasp the kettlebell handle, extending right arm in line over shoulder.
E Press back up, holding the bell with palm facing out, to return to standing. Repeat. 

Try doing 3-4 sets of 3-5 reps of any variation on each side once or twice a week. Loving the kettlebell? Add this 20-Minute Fat-Burning Kettlebell Workout to your routine this week too. Let us know which moves you want to master next by tagging @SHAPE_Magazine and using the hashtag #MasterThisMove.

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