How To Do the Windmill - Part 1
Learning how to do the windmill can be tricky for beginners. The windmill is a signature break dancing move that is pretty hard to do for beginners.
If you want to do this move properly, you'll basically need to coordinate and execute two different transitions with your upper body while keeping your legs locked and split open (as they swing up and under), even if it's not close to a full split.
FIRST TRANSITION (handspin position to backspin)
The first transition starts from the handspin (or handglide) position, skip ahead if you know this position.
The handspin position has you with one elbow in your gut (stabbed, or inside your hip bone) with your forearm vertical to the floor and your hand on the ground... and the other arm is out helping you to keep your balance.
Your head can also be on the ground to help you with balance.
The balancing arm is usually bent with the elbow out to the side and your hand is on the ground beside your head (a foot or so away).
Your legs can be moved in several different positions from this position if you want to freeze in a certain pose. However, it is better to practice having them spread and straight for learning the windmill.
SIDENOTE: A good exercise from the handspin position is to basically bring each leg up and down (from a couple inches from the floor to a couple feet), while keeping them straight. You bring one leg up as the other one comes down, and then the opposite.
This will help you to stay balanced when you roll onto your hands during the windmill.
Turn the wheel
The actual upper body movement will be similar to turning a wheel that is on the ground.
So your stabbing arm (the one inside your hip bone) will be turning/pushing outwards and then up to your shoulder.
The supporting arm will also be simultaneously pushing outwards but then downwards toward your hip/thigh.
However, by doing this with enough force, you will have to fall from the handspin position.
As you do this with your upper body, you want to lift up your leg (the one on the opposite side of the stabbed arm) as high as possible so that the other leg can easily kick and swing under it without losing any speed.
You basically kick your leg a split second before it passes under the other leg. Once that first kick is done, you should keep both legs straight (or close) for the rest of your windmills.
To have the most momentum possible, try to kick the leg that swings underneath as horizontal (parallel with the ground) and as low (close to the ground) as possible, without banging your knee or foot.
Tuck the shoulder/Keep arms close to body
The proper way to fall/roll on to your back is by letting your elbow (from the stabbing position) drop to the ground smoothly, and then tucking your in your shoulder, to roll beside your hand that just finished 'turning the wheel'.
Your previously stabbed elbow should still be close to your hip and fully bent, with your hand up right beside your shoulder, as you go onto your back.
Your other arm (previously out balancing) can now mirror the other one, as you prepare to go from your back to the handspin position.
As you roll from one shoulder to the other, remember to stay as high as possible on your back (basically on your shoulder blades) and to keep your legs straight.
Check out 'How to do the windmill - Part 2' for instructions on the flip over (back into the hand glide position).
How To Do the Windmill - Part 2
Go from How To Do the Windmill - Part 1 to Medium Moves
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