The windshield wiper is an amazing core exercise, and its fun too, but its not for beginners. This exercise gets its name from its motion that is very much like a windshield wiper on your car, flopping left and right like a metronome. Doing these before your core is already strong will result in a very, very painful pulled muscle.
Many people find these difficult so let me show you how to work up to them. First, you need to have done bicycles for several months so your obliques are pretty strong. Next, you need to be really strong at hanging leg raises so work on these. If you cant do a straight legged raise to horizontal and hold it, then you wont be able to do windshield wipers, so work on this first.
For safety, make sure your pullup bar is sturdy and use wrist straps! You are hanging upside down, if you fall, you will break your back or neck – this is NOT a time to work on your grip strength! In one fluid motion, bring your knees up to your elbows. Dont just hang passively from the bar, push the bar down toward your waist till you can balance.
For the advanced windshield wiper, keep your legs straight, for the beginning version bend the knees 90 degrees.
|starting position. Swing left and right like a windshield wiper. When you start out, only go 45 degrees to each side as shown in this photo. When you are strong and flexible enough you can use a full 180 degree range of motion but doing this before you are ready will result in a very painful pulled muscle.|
|ending position. Like a metronome, swing back and forth slowly. When you get more advanced, you can pick up the pace a bit.|
Here is a video showing you how to get started with windshield wipers if you have never done them before. The video also covers an advanced version of the windshield wiper for experienced bodybuilders: