You’ve done core moves before, but never one like this. For the most part, when most people think of ab training, they think of moves that drive stability, like planks, or ideas like sit-ups and V-ups.
But every so often, a core move comes along that challenges your abs in a variety of ways, sometimes all at once. And that’s what you get with the Hybrid Kneeling Windmill from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. All at once you’re strengthening your abs, teaching them to balance, and honing shoulder mobility, too. And you’re doing it with a heavy load (either a dumbbell or a kettlebell), insuring that you actively teach them to exhibit strength and power too. “If I only have time for one ab move a day, this would be it,” says Samuel. “It does a little bit of everything.”
At the core of the Hybrid Kneeling Windmill is the Kettlebell Windmill, a move that is already plenty of challenge, forcing you to push your butt back and rotate your torso while balancing a weight overhead. This is already an underrated ab move, but Samuel mixes in something else in his Hybrid version, a Windmill Hover. “By adding this in, we’re blending mobility and a ton of stability,” says Samuel. “Your sole goal on the Windmill Hover is to balance for 3 to 5 seconds with a kettlebell overhead and just two points of ground contact. That’s not easy.”
But as you balance, you torch your obliques, glutes, and rectus abdominus, while also challenging your lower back muscles too. Combine that with the kneeling windmill, and you’re blasting your abs consistently from all angles.
The best part: The move doesn’t require a ton of equipment. A kettlebell or dumbbell is ideal, although you can also just grab a backpack full of books to do this as well. Either way, you’ll hone shoulder stability, your abs, your glutes, and much more. And you’ll face a mental challenge too.
The Hybrid Kneeling Windmill can fit into your workouts in a variety of ways. It’s a perfect lead exercise to an all-out ab workout, giving you a chance to train with a heavy weight and challenge your core. It can also work as a single core movement in a full-body workout, slotted in near the end of such a session. Or, if you’re in a pinch for time, you can do this as a single exercise with total-body bang for your buck. “There’s shoulder-stability here, hip work, ab work, and more glute work than you think,” says Samuel. “It’s a complete movement.”
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s All Out Arms program.
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