The traditional Windmill exercise performed with the Kamagon® Ball is a perfect partnership between a movement that matters and the right tool. Originally taught as a traditional kettlebell exercise, the Windmill is a multi-joint and multi-planar movement that travels through a large range of motion. By incorporating the Kamagon® Ball you have a complex and effective exercise! The Hydro-Inertia® properties of the water-filled Kamagon® Ball create unique perturbations or dynamic water actions. Since a goal of the exercise is to keep the water ‘quiet’ or still, even the smallest water motion disrupts balance and stability.
Windmills provide significant benefits -- primarily in the hips, hamstrings and thoracic spine -- creating valuable mobility while demanding core stabilization. Additionally, due to a large range of motion paired with appropriate loading, scapular stability and glenohumeral mobility are developed, creating a potentially healthier foundation for efficient shoulder mechanics.
Hip and hamstrings mobility are enhanced because of the lateral weight shift, hip flexion and movement in the frontal plane. This opening of the lateral hip elongates the tensor fascia latae and gluteus medius, while the adductors and hamstrings on the contra-lateral leg are also lengthened. To accommodate individuals with tight hamstrings and adductors, bending both knees slightly allows for adequate movement around the hip.
The thoracic spine plays an important role in a Windmill. Opening the chest to the front, stacking the shoulders, and reaching the arm directly upward develops valuable mobility in the thoracic spine and glenohumeral joint. Simultaneously, the scapular muscles are firing to stabilize the overhead arm. This is where Hydro-Inertia® plays the starring role! With a goal of keeping the water quiet in the Kamagon® Ball, even the smallest degree of water movement magnifies poor mechanics. In this exercise, an inability to keep the water quiet challenges scapular stability to a greater degree.
When coaching your clients to perform a Kamagon® Ball Windmill, emphasize maintaining movement in the frontal plane. While the thoracic spine and hips are rotating, the body should look and feel like it can slide into “the opening of a toaster.” This means that the chest is open to the front, arms perpendicular to the floor, eyes gazing towards the ball or directly forward, and hips shifted away from the direction of the hip flexion with the weight transferred to the ‘back’ leg. Watch for correct foot rotation; the ‘front’ foot is rotated externally (facing the side), whereas the ‘back’ foot is rotated internally about 45 degrees.
A Windmill performed with the Kamagon® Ball creates perfect synergy. The instability caused by Hydro-Inertia® provides an ideal training stimulus for the upper body. Top-down instability (instability being controlled by the upper extremities), transfers well to activities of daily living and sport performance. The Hydro-Inertia® actively stimulates the muscles and joints that require stability, while the multi-planar movement with full range of motion rotation and lateral hip flexion builds critical flexibility. The Kamagon® Ball Windmill truly trains movement that matters!
Keli Roberts is part of the Hedstrom Fitness Development Team and has created several workout programs and a Kamagon®Ball Certification for fitness professionals. She is a Master Trainer for Hedstrom Fitness, BOSU®, Schwinn®, and Precision Nutrition, as well as a Certified Cancer Exercise Specialist.