Having a body like a superhero doesn’t just mean that your muscles have muscles — you should be able to move, too.
Trainer Don Saladino emphasizes mobility in the workouts he designs for actors like Ryan Reynolds, Sebastian Stan, and David Harbour as he preps them for superhero duty. He uses compound moves like the kettlebell clean and press to windmill to get his clients moving, so they’re ready to take on any physical challenge a superhero might face.
The three-part exercise has a pulling component with the clean, a pressing component with the press, and a single-leg hip hinge to round it out.
“I love this because we get the benefits of workout our lats, core, and shoulders,” Saladino told MensHealth.com. “With the windmill, we’re working on our hinge, which ties into our glutes and hamstrings.”
To perform the exercise, you’ll need a kettlebell. Make sure to use a light weight, since the focus here is on movement, not brute strength, especially if you’re just starting out. Take a knee on the ground, keeping an erect posture and straight spine. Grab the kettlebell by the handle with the opposite hand of the leg on the ground, then clean the kettlebell up to the rack position (seen in the image at left). Press the weight straight up over your head, holding it for a count.
Keeping your spine straight and your arm holding the kettlebell extended, hinge at the hips to lean your torso toward the ground, reaching your opposite hand between your knees. To keep your balance, look up to the ceiling at the kettlebell. Maintain your posture as you raise your torso back to its original position and lower the weight back to the racked position, then return it to the ground.
“You’re working upper body, lower body, and core, but with a rotational and unilateral focus,” Saladino said. “Also this will help you with your hip and thoracic mobility.”
Add the kettlebell clean and press to windmill to full body workouts slowly, starting with just 3 sets of 5 reps on each side until you master the movement. Even then, keep the weight and reps low. For more superhero-body building moves, you can check out Saladino’s full program.
If you need a set of kettlebells to try the move at home, check out this superhero-themed option from Onnit.
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