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Kettlebell Windmill 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Functional Training


Kettlebell Windmill
Kettlebell Windmill

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type


Required Equipment


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The Kettlebell Windmill is a dynamic and multi-dimensional exercise that targets the abdominal muscles while engaging secondary muscle groups such as the obliques and serratus. Executed with kettlebells, this exercise involves a lateral bending and twisting motion. Starting in a standing position with a kettlebell in one hand, the individual hinges at the hips, lowering the kettlebell toward the opposite foot while maintaining a straight arm. The movement engages the core, particularly the abdominal muscles, to stabilize the body in the lateral plane. Simultaneously, the obliques are activated as the torso twists, and the serratus anterior assists in stabilizing the shoulder blade. The Kettlebell Windmill not only enhances core strength and stability but also promotes flexibility and mobility in the hips and spine, making it a valuable addition to a well-rounded fitness routine.

How to Perform

  1. Initiate Standing Position: Begin by assuming a standing position with a kettlebell positioned between your legs. This foundational step establishes the starting point for the Kettlebell Windmill exercise.

  2. Grasp and Clean the Kettlebell: Grasp the kettlebell handle and perform a clean to elevate it into position at shoulder level. This controlled movement ensures proper kettlebell placement and sets the stage for the subsequent phases of the exercise.

  3. Overhead Press and Stance Adjustment: Execute an overhead press with the kettlebell while simultaneously assuming a stance wider than shoulder-width. Turn both toes to a 45-degree angle, enhancing stability and facilitating the forthcoming lateral bending motion.

  4. Initiate Controlled Hip Dip: Gradually allow your hips to dip, moving laterally toward the floor in a slow and controlled manner. This lateral bending action activates the core, particularly targeting the abdominal muscles, and engages the obliques for a comprehensive workout.

  5. Maintain Serratus Engagement: Throughout the movement, focus on maintaining engagement in the serratus anterior. This muscle plays a crucial role in stabilizing the shoulder blades, contributing to overall shoulder health and enhancing the effectiveness of the exercise.

  6. Mindful Return to Starting Position: Return to the starting position with precision, emphasizing control and proper form. This controlled return not only ensures safety but also maximizes the benefits of the exercise by keeping tension on the target muscle groups.

  7. Repeat for Both Sides: Perform the entire sequence for the desired number of repetitions on both sides, promoting balanced development and strength in both the left and right sides of the body.

  8. Optimal Breathing Coordination: Coordinate your breathing throughout the movement, exhaling during the descent and inhaling during the return to the starting position. This conscious breathing pattern supports core stability and enhances overall performance.

  9. Adjust Kettlebell Weight Appropriately: Tailor the weight of the kettlebell to your fitness level, ensuring a challenging yet manageable resistance. This customization allows for progressive overload, promoting continuous improvement in abdominal and oblique strength.

  10. Incorporate Hip and Spinal Mobility: Consider incorporating hip and spinal mobility exercises into your warm-up routine before attempting the Kettlebell Windmill. This enhances flexibility and prepares the body for the lateral bending and twisting movements involved in the exercise, promoting injury prevention and overall effectiveness.


  1. Maintain Straight Knee Alignment: Ensure that the knee of the leg on the same side as the kettlebell remains straight throughout the Kettlebell Windmill exercise. This positioning optimizes engagement of the targeted muscle groups, particularly the abs, and contributes to proper form.

  2. Establish a Neutral Torso and Lumbar Spine: Lock your torso and lumbar spine into a neutral position during the exercise. Avoid rotation and flexion in the lower back, as this may indicate potential limitations in strength or mobility. Gradually work within your current range of motion and progressively increase it over time to enhance overall flexibility.

  3. Mindful Range of Motion: Be attentive to your range of motion, ensuring that it aligns with your current capabilities. It's crucial to work within a comfortable range and gradually expand it over time. This approach not only prevents injury but also allows for consistent progress in both strength and mobility.

  4. Focus on Hip Engagement: While executing the Kettlebell Windmill, concentrate on pushing into the hip of the side with the kettlebell while simultaneously lifting it. This focused engagement enhances the effectiveness of the exercise, promoting targeted activation of the abs, obliques, and serratus muscles.

  5. Customize Intensity: Tailor the intensity of the exercise by selecting an appropriate kettlebell weight. Choose a weight that challenges your muscles without compromising form, allowing for a progressive and sustainable approach to building abdominal and oblique strength.

  6. Incorporate Pelvic Tilt Awareness: Be aware of your pelvic tilt throughout the movement. Maintaining a neutral pelvis contributes to proper spine alignment and ensures that the emphasis remains on the intended muscle groups. Any excessive tilting may indicate the need for adjustments in form or intensity.

  7. Consistent Breathing Pattern: Establish a consistent breathing pattern, exhaling during the descent and inhaling during the ascent. This coordinated breathing not only supports core stability but also enhances overall focus and control during the Kettlebell Windmill.

  8. Practice Body Awareness: Develop a heightened awareness of your body's position and movements during the exercise. This mindfulness aids in maintaining proper form and allows for better self-correction, fostering a more effective and injury-resistant workout.

  9. Include Warm-Up for Mobility: Prioritize a comprehensive warm-up routine that includes exercises specifically targeting hip and spinal mobility. This prepares your body for the lateral bending and twisting motions involved in the Kettlebell Windmill, reducing the risk of injury and optimizing performance.

  10. Progress Gradually: Embrace a gradual progression in both intensity and complexity. As your strength and mobility improve, consider experimenting with variations or increased resistance to continually challenge your muscles and ensure continued growth in the targeted muscle groups.

How Not to Perform