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b windmill
wza.breakdance.peperonity.net

windmill

This is the most widely recognised breakdancing move. Just about anyone who knows what breakdancing is will probably have seen a windmill. Put very simply it is a roll across your shoulders to your front and back to your shoulders again. It is generally performed with your legs spread and your body bent slightly at your waist. If your uncertain as to what this move looks like stop right here and go and check out some animations or video clips.

There are many, many different types of windmill and countless ways to learn one. The easiest to learn is just a straight-legged windmill using your hands for support. Here I will explain how I learned mills. My mills aren´t perfect and I can´t properly do them without hands but I did teach myself just like you guys from the net.



To help describe the motions of the windmill I have split it into 4 parts. The first is the position at the ´top´ of the windmill where your legs are high in the air, your chest facing the ground and you elbow in your stomach keeping you there. The second is the transition from position 1 to the position where you are resting on your upper back. This position on your upper back is number 3. The final stage of the windmill is the transition from your back, to your hands (position 1.) From here the 4 steps can just be repeated again and again to achieve multiple mills.



There are some prerequisites that you really need to be able to do to learn how to mill using my method. First off you should be able to backspin. If you can´t do that then get to it straight away. Trying to windmill without the backspin is the b-boy equivalent to running without legs (never mind learning to walk first.) The second important thing you need to be able to do is to hold a turtle balance. It is a modification of this turtle balance that is used to hold position 1. Headspins and any other move requiring whip with the legs will help loads when windmilling.



These instructions are for anti-clockwise windmills (when viewed from above), if you want to learn yours the other way just swap the lefts and rights.



Stage 1

The fist step is to learn the turtle balance. For windmills this should be done with your left elbow in your gut and your right elbow out, not supporting any weight. Roughly your left hand should be vertically inline with your elbow and your right hand vertically inline with your shoulder. Adopt this position and practice holding the balance with your legs high in the air and your head 1 inch from the ground, you should be looking to your right. Make sure your legs are spread. Wave them round to improve you balance and get a feel for how your body reacts. For the starting position your left leg should be as high as possible and your right very low to the ground.

Stage 2

Start by kneeling on the ground. Tip your body forward into the balance outlined above. In this case your left leg should be as high as it will go and right leg just off the ground. As you reach the top of your ´swing´ into the balance, drive your left leg down and around in an anti-clockwise direction, then finally under your body towards your shoulder. Throughout this entire motion your legs should remain as far spread as possible. If this is done your right leg should follow a few feet behind your left. I can not state how important it is to keep your legs wide. The second part to the transition is the use of your hands. You need to roll off your left elbow. This is helped by the whip of your legs but also by pushing quite hard with your right hand. You should aim to land as high on your back as possible. This helps maintain momentum and makes the roll more comfortable by preventing back jolt and rolling on your hip bones. When this motion is complete your should be lying on your back, facing the sky, legs spread wide.

Stage 3

There isn´t a lot to say about this stage of the mill. The movement in this stage is minimal but your should try to keep your hips off the ground by stretching your legs up and out. You should try to stay as high on your back as possible. Most importantly your legs must be wide. All of this can be achieved in many ways but the best is just to hurry up and start stage 4. Your hands should be reaching across ready to hold your weight for the return to stage 1…. See below.

Stage 4

This is the hardest stage of the windmill. To get from your back to your front without using your knees, thighs or hips take quite a bit of practice. Don´t be surprised if you get stuck on this section for quite some time. There are 2 main schools of approach to the final transition. The first is to bring legs together and kick up hard and hope you make it round. The second is to keep legs wind and hope your momentum will take your round with no height. What I shall describe is a combination of the 2. Depending on how you get on with it you may want to increase or reduce the kick.

Note

An important thing to remember is that your legs lead and your body follows. Is is during the two transitions that this is most important. At all times concentrate on leading with you legs, allowing them to twist a little before your body.

As you complete stage 3, concentrate on keeping your legs wide, your should aim to continue driving your right leg downwards into the ground and at the same time throw your left leg upwards. Using this method your right leg is creating the momentum and your left leg is creating the height.



This is quite a hard movement to visualise. To help, lie on your back, your legs should be slightly spread and straight. Have your left leg low to the ground so that your heel is only a couple of inches off the ground. Position your right leg quite high and slightly off to your right. Simultaneously whip your left leg in a circular upward motion, and your right leg in a circular downward motion. At the same time try to ´jump´ your hips. If you do this hard enough you should make it to your front. Its quite a lot harder to continue a windmill from this position so I suggest you try to insert that exercise into the final transition. It is very important that you don´t use your hips, thigh or knee to get over.



The legs are only ½ of the transition. As soon as you roll off your hands onto your back in stage 1/2 you should be reaching with your hands ready to re-attain the turtle balance. This is a part that is impossible to do in slow motion. Your left arm can be reaching across you stomach, elbow already in hip ready to hold your weight as soon as you use your legs. Your right hand should be doubled up against your shoulder. Aim to have the knuckles of your right hand touching your right shoulder as you are on your back. That way as soon as you are ½ rolled over you will be able to start supporting yourself ready for the next windmill.



Finally comes the link to the second mill. Aim to get back to stage 1 (obviously missing out the rock onto your hands) If you have got this far you don´t need any more help to link your second mill.


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