Although many mistake the Windmill exercise for a side bend, it isn’t. This movement blends hip flexion and thoracic rotation, which means your hips support the load, not your low back. It is a stretch that incorporates the hamstrings, adductors and spinal rotation.
The Windmill can be very challenging for your core, low back, hips, and shoulders. For that reason, initially perform the exercise without weights.
To perform the exercise:
- Start with a shoulder width stance with your feet pointed out at a 45-degree angle.
- Extend your right arm straight up in the air as high as you can while still facing forward.
- Start the Windmill by pushing your hips back and shifting most of your weight onto your right leg.
- As you start to bend at the hips, look up at your right hand, slightly rotate your torso and use your left arm to guide you into the windmill by tracking it down your left leg (on the inside of your thigh).
- Only go as low as you’re comfortable with the Windmill, and be sure to keep your eye on your right hand the whole time.
- To come out of the Windmill, squeeze your butt, drive your hips forward, and follow the same path in reverse.
The Windmill also offers the added benefit of stretching the low back.
Recipe of the Week:
This Buttery Cauliflower Rice Pilaf recipe is a great replacement for traditional rice pilaf. While the texture is a little different the flavor is spot on.
Quote of the Week:
“Don’t focus on who let you down. Appreciate who lifted you up. Don’t focus on who darkened your days. Appreciate who brightened them.”
– Karen Salmansohn