Trying Kettlebell Windmills

Today wasn’t so much of a workout day as it was just an active rest day and a day to tinker with some new skills and work on stretches.

5 minute Row: 822 meters

GHD Situps with a nice long hanging stretch at the bottom before lifting back to the top

I’ve never tried Kettlebell Windmills before, so I watch the videos and read the drills.  While primarily aimed at the obliques/core area, I wanted to engage my shoulders through a range of motion.

My first attempt was with a 10# Kettlebell (KB) with 5 reps per side (left/right).  My shoulder had been tight and a bit achy prior to the attempt, but felt remarkably well after doing the skill!

Rowing for Moderate Intensity:
5 Minute row: 1081 meters

More KB Windmills with increasing weight:
25# KB, 3 reps/side.  This was more challenging than the 10#.
35# KB, 1 rep/side.  This was quite challenging and actually was a bit straining to my right shoulder.

GHD Back Extensions:
10 Reps, focused on a strong pull and pause at the top, lifting my torso well above parallel for a nice hamstring effort.

Achilles Stretches:
Continued working my tight achilles, particularly on the left side, to get better form/positioning at the bottom of the squat.

Potato squats with a 40# dumbell:
Strict attention to upright back position and angling the shins out over the toes.

I see that the KB windmills have some great potential as a shoulder warmup prior to Olympic Snatches or other shoulder-related lifts.  I just need to keep the weight light as I adjust to the new movement.



  1. Paul Murray said,

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Very informative. Do you have your training schedule planned out before you begin or do you just wing it?

    And where is this all leading to, Bob? Will you have to get a new drysuit or are you trying to be as big as ZD? 😛

  2. Bob O said,

    January 18, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Paul… I have an idea of what I want to accomplish prior to the workout, but sometimes make adjustments or additions during a workout. Today was really more about winging it…. there were some skills and stretches I wanted to do, but nothing really more than that.

    After a year of doing this, I’m very close to the same weight as when I started all this last year, yet significantly stronger and a bit more flexible in areas related to Olympic weightlifting. My drysuit was actually sized 10 years ago when I was still a 240+ couch potato, so at a constant 225-230 and in better shape, no fear of outgrowing that anytime soon! 🙂

    We usually do Olympic weightlifting skills with a coach 2 times a week, and then miscellaneous Crossfit-inspired workouts or rowing at other times, being sensitive to not developing overuse injuries that will keep me down or out. (don’t get the misconception that we actually DO CrossFit though… that’s a much more intense level than we go to… we have friends that do the WODs on a regular basis and their general physical conditioning is at a much higher level than mine)

    My goal isn’t bodybuilding so big show muscles aren’t my goal, but rather building the strength of the muscles I already have and getting more “functional” over a wide spectrum of areas (general physical preparedness and the 10 domains identified by CrossFit). I want to be a more physically capable hiker, cyclist, mountain biker, cave & wreck diver, and even novice Olympic weightlifter, so my “workouts” are probably as diverse as my interests… I’m a generalist at heart and love the variety when I dabble in many activities… either workout-related or active hobbies/pursuits… believing the constant activity will slow or even reverse the aging process and allow me to have physical fun longer.

    Perhaps that gives you some insight into what drives me to do what I do!

  3. Paul Murray said,

    January 19, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Fascinating and quite impressive. Have you ever tried Yoga? I have been doing it for three weeks now, on Monday evenings, and I was quite surprised how well it stretches and strengthens the muscles and joints. I am actually feeling stronger in my right knee, which I damaged playing soccer years ago. The benefit I see to that is I don’t have to switch to rebreathers any time soon and can still carry the doubles! I think Yoga may be complementary to what you are trying to achieve.

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