This is the next post in the Wrestling Training series.
For the original post check out Wrestling Training- In-Season Power Development.
Below is Day 1 from an early In-Season program I recently designed for one of the college wrestlers I train via email.
a. Kneeling Jump (4×4)
a. Speed Russian Twist (4×12)
a. Plyo Pushup (4×4)
b. Zercher Squat (4×6)
b. DB Windmill (4×8)
c. DB RDL (4×8)
c. Feet Elevated DB Pushup (3x AMAP)
c. Pullup (3x AMAP)
Today I will detail the Windmill. While this was first introduced to me as a Kettlebell exercise, a lot of wrestlers that I train do not have access to KBs. Unlike some Kettlebell exercises that should only be performed with Kettlebells (the Swing), a dumbbell works just fine here.
Below is a video of me performing a Windmill with a Kettlebell. I hold the DB the same way I do the KB.
The Windmill is a great exercise for a lot of reasons.
First, it builds flexibility through the hips and hamstrings. These are two important areas to keep as flexible and mobile as possible.
Second, it develops great core stability. Training your core to brace and stabilize in less than optimal positions will help keep your back protected.
Finally, the Windmill also improves your shoulder mobility and stability. This will help keep your shoulders as healthy as possible throughout the season.
All-in-all you get a lot of bang for your buck with the Windmill.
The above picture is a nice shot of a Windmill performed with a dumbbell.
As far as technique goes, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First- always keep your eye on the Kettlebell or Dumbbell.
This will help to optimize your stability and minimize any mishaps from occurring. It seems ridiculous, but it really works.
Next, keep your legs as straight as possible. Optimally, you’ll want to keep them locked and work within the range of motion that your flexibility will allow.
Some people may have trouble keeping their legs locked. If this is the case, a slight bend is alright. Just make sure you don’t turn it into a squat.
Instead focus on driving your hips back like you would for a Romanian Deadlift.
Additionally, always perform this exercise with a controlled eccentric (the lowering portion of an exercise).
This will help to get a good stretch on your hamstrings. It will also help to minimize the risk of something going wrong with the weight over your head/body. I always err on the side of caution when a weight is over my head.
Finally, you can control the level of difficulty of the Windmill by increasing/decreasing your range of motion (ROM). If you notice your flexibility is preventing you from achieving a full ROM, use something as a target.
This could be another dumbbell, Medicine Ball, or whatever. Place it on the inside of your lead leg and use that as a target to touch your fingers to.
Once you can reach that object comfortably, start using something that is closer to the ground. Keep working like this until you can touch your fingertips to the ground.
On the opposite side of the coin, if you’re able to easily touch your fingers to the ground, try making a fist and touching your knuckles. Once you’re able to do that consistently start working on touching your palm or the back of your hand.
If you can do that comfortably start putting a 25lb plate under each foot.
You can also reach for your back leg.
As you can see there are a lot of small tweaks you can use to adjust to your level of flexibility.
To read the next post in this series- Day 1 Lifts Continued.