How to Windmill - A Step by Step Guide

A step by step guide on the windmill

Breakdance
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Windmills Video Guide

No, we're not talking about wind energy. The windmill is an essential breakdance move for beginners. It actually resembles the wind-driven wheel it was named after. Both use rotational energy to power a spinning motion. 

The Origin of the Windmill

Like so many other inventions, the windmill was an accidental discovery. Legendary b-boy Crazy Legs (of the famous Rock Steady Crew) is credited with the discovery of the windmill.

The story goes that Crazy Legs was in the midst of a continuous backspin, which transformed into a windmill. 

The windmill is a great power move. The move resembles an air-powered windmill in motion. A good way to visualize the windmill is to imagine a compass twirling around in your fingers. 

Stabbed Windmill vs Unstabbed Windmill

There are two ways to perform a basic windmill. It can either be stabbed or unstabbed. In the stabbed position, your hips are high up to aid momentum. 

The unstabbed is sometimes called the forearm mill. In an unstabbed position, you will push off with your forearm to your shoulder, while maintaining a V-shaped motion.

Types of Windmills

There are several variations of the windmill. They include:

Barrels
When performing the windmill, place your hands shoulders in front of your body to execute the barrel. Like the name suggests, the aim is to act is if you were hugging a barrel to your chest.

Doubles
Doubles are so named because dancers execute two moves in one. Maintaining a good windmill form, use your head to elevate your body. The goal is to complete two rotations before the back hits the floor. 

Nutcrackers
This style of windmills is performed with your hands placed over your groin.

Handcuffs 
To perform a handcuff, place both hands behind your back.

Self-explanatory, huh?

Coffins
Place your hands over your chest in a crossed position. Think of coffins as reverse handcuffs. 

Tombstones
To perform tombstones (also known as frankensteins), extend your hands and legs straight in front of your body.

Difficulty: Moderate

Time Required: 30 Minutes

How to Windmill: A Step by Step Guide

  1. Start with your hands and knees on the ground. Pretend you're about to crawl.

  2. Beginning with your left leg, throw both legs up, so that your body weight rests on your hands. You can raise your legs by pushing off with your right arm.

  3. Straightening your legs as much as possible, now spread them wide apart. Push off on your right arm and roll over on the left in a counter-clockwise direction to create the spinning motion. This will cause you to spin on your back as you roll over.

  4. As you roll on your front side, be sure to support your weight with your right shoulder and left hand.

  5. Your goal is to touch the ground with the arms supporting and pushing off the next rotation simultaneously.

  6. Now roll across your back while rotating and swinging your legs in the air. Alternate between rolling on your back and your left hand and right arm.

Tips:

  1. Add speed to your windmills by kicking your left leg back when you're near your stomach.
  1. Don't forget to breathe.

What You Need:

  • Protective gear
  • A thick hooded sweatshirt

(Disclaimer: Consult your physician before attempting any breakdance move. About.com is not responsible for any injuries sustained while learning breakdance moves.)