The Exercise That Smokes Your Abs and Shoulders

Dec 12 / Build Muscle

Lifting heavy iron isn't the only way to gain strength and sculpt muscle. If you want to build a stronger, better-looking body, you need to challenge your muscles in brand-new ways. One move that does just that: the kettlebell windmill.

"The exercise involves a unique movement pattern that you don't do on a regular basis," says BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S., creator of musclemorphosis.com DVD. "You can't just pump out rep after rep. Mastering it takes a lot of physical and mental effort."

Because the movement is so demanding, perform the move with just your body weight to start, Gaddour recommends. Once you have that down, then add a light kettlebell. 

"It's a total-body move, but your shoulder and core muscles must be extremely strong and stable to keep the weight from falling forward or backward," says Gaddour. Make sure your abs are braced—clench them as if you're about to be punched in the gut—and your shoulders are pulled away from your ears. This will help protect your spine and shoulder joint as you slowly increase the load, he says. 

Ready to try it? Watch the video to learn how to perform the kettlebell windmill with perfect form.