LEARNING WINDMILLS: RECOMMENDED EXERCISES

Bboys make this move look easy after hours of training. As a beginner, it takes time to train your body to keep your legs in a split while rotating.

Unless you have a strong gymnastic background you should not try to learn windmill until you have completed at least 3 months of solid bboy training. What is solid bboy training? About 6 hours a week of training.

PRE-REQUISITES
Holding a basic freeze and being able to do a decent backspin will help. It all depends on where you want to spend your time struggling, on easier moves or on windmill. The basic freeze even looks like part of the windmill, so do it!

You will need to develop some abdominal strength as well. The Criss Cross excercise in this video should be trained until it is easy because it only gets harder to control your legs in a windmill. The video also shows you how I warm-up.

FLEXIBILITY
Eventually if you want great windmills you will need perfect splits. In the beginning you don’t need great flexibility but you should work on it concurrently with your windmill training. Here is a stretching video for windmills. It should be done once to three times a week, but never when you legs are sore.

An overlooked skill in learning windmills is executing the plow stretch. The plow stretch will get you used to getting your butt high off the ground. The plow can also work a common sticking point with your windmills, smoothly rolling from your upper back to your hands if you perform it in a split.

Breakdancing Ninja Plow Stretch

 

PRACTICE DRILLS

Learning windmill is tough until you get used to keeping your legs straight and hips high off the ground. I have a progression of drills that works for my students in the following video.

 

COMMON MISTAKES

  • Legs Not Straight – Bent legs sap your momentum, actively flex your legs when you windmill. Practice kicking with your legs totally straight.
  • Hips Too Low – If your hips are too low your legs will hit the ground when they are in a split. This is why some people bend their legs, to help clear the floor because the hips are too low.
  • Legs Not In a Split – The better the splits the more power you get. If you cross your legs you will spin faster for a brief moment but then lose all of your momentum.

 

FEEDBACK SYSTEM

You need a feedback system to correct mistakes. You can have a coach critique you or record yourself and see exactly what you are doing. You will go through many cycles of feedback before you can correlate how the move feels and how you think you are doing with what you are actually doing.

 

STILL CAN’T DO THE WINDMILL! WHY?

Windmill takes anywhere from 40 to 100 hours of training to achieve, so start training! The answer to most of your windmill problems is practice. You can send me a youtube video of your windmill and I can help out.

 

REFERENCES:


Author:

DANIEL ETCHETO

 

Daniel Etcheto aka Breakdancing Ninja is a self taught bboy that started breaking at age of 15 in 1996 in a barn. Daniel had a lot of free time and a copy of the movie Beat Street to guide himself. By training with different athletes such as fighters, ballerinas and gymnasts, Daniel took what was applicable to Breakdancing to improve much like what Bruce Lee did with martial arts. Currently, Daniel teaches and performs in the Seattle Washington area where he also works as an engineer for Boeing. He is currently focusing on increasing his skills and making tutorials for people that cannot train with him.

If you can walk, you can dance! -Daniel Etcheto

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