B-Boy Wing was a judge at the Red Bull BC One Cypher India 2021 alongside B-Boy Junior and B-Girl Sarah Bee. To know more about the competition and to watch the stream, visit redbull.in/bcone
Breaking has some fascinating powermoves. And one basic move that’s also super fascinating is the windmill.
It’s one of those moves that breakers are advised to learn early in their career since it forms the base of many combos and has variations that can level up your game over time.
It isn’t too hard to learn either. It just needs some basic skills to start and a little dedication before you get it right.
B-Boy Wing is a Red Bull BC One All Star who is very well known for his powermoves.
We ask the South Korea-based B-Boy about what a beginner to the world of breaking would need to know in order to perfect the windmill. Here are his tips with a step-by-step guide.
Red Bull BC One Windmill World Record
Watch more than 70 b-boys come together the break the record for the world's biggest windmill attempt in the Netherlands.
The basics before learning the windmill
“You must keep in mind that the windmill is a movement that needs you to use centrifugal force. So it is one of the most important moves to help your body learn the movements of breaking,” says B-Boy Wing.
He also says you will need to build up some stamina and flexibility before you start learning the windmill.
The move also needs you to drive power through your legs so you can swing your body around. For this, you need to keep your legs in a wide V-shape throughout the movement. “At first the legs won't open so you will have to practice stretching to make your legs go wider,” he says. His suggestion is to practice floor-based stretching exercises to widen your V-shaped stance. Try to keep your legs wide throughout the movement; the wider your legs, the more power you will be able to drive through your legs to maintain momentum.
Things to keep in mind
“While the risk for injury is low, please keep in mind that this technique needs focus and concentration to avoid any mishaps,” says Wing.
He suggests placing rolled up towels near your hips to avoid getting injured when practicing the move in the early stages. He also suggests wearing a beanie so you aren’t worried about your head hitting the floor.
Also focus on your body position. Most often, your shoulders and hands would make contact with the floor, so avoid rolling onto your back or shifting your bodyweight to your chest when practicing.
The starting position is the crab or cricket freeze. Your hands will be in contact with the floor. Your left hand should be directly under your hip with fingers pointing out left, keep a bend at your left elbow while it is tucked into your stomach; most of your bodyweight will be supported by this hand. Your right hand will near your right shoulder, helping you balance. Your legs (in the V-shape) and head will be in the air, and your body will be almost parallel to the floor.
From the crab freeze position, swing your legs clockwise, driving with a kick from your right foot and bringing both legs around towards your head.
Wing meets the local breakers of Bengaluru
B-Boy Wing gets to know the local crew in Bengaluru, India.
Simultaneously with Step 2, drop your body onto your right shoulder to make way for legs to come around. You would basically be upside down at this point, transitioning to shift your bodyweight from your hands to your shoulders. Tuck your shoulder in at this point so it doesn’t get injured.
Bring your legs around full circle, up in the air at this point. Both your shoulders should be making contact with the floor. Make sure to not drop onto your back – rest your bodyweight only on your shoulders at this point.
From resting on your shoulders, shift your bodyweight forwards again and bring your hands down to return to the original crab freeze position, thereby completing the windmill. From here, you can kick again and perform multiple windmills
B-Boy Lil G from Speedy Angels Family CrEw goes through the basics of the windmill move.
B-Boy Wing’s pro tips for learning the windmill
Drive the movement through your whole body: Wing compares performing a windmill to how you would manoeuvre on a surfboard – you need to use your whole body to make a turn. “It's good to use your whole body. Your upper back, shoulder and head has to move like your turning while stepping on a surfing board,” he says.
Improve general fitness before practicing: “If you’re not flexible or don’t have basic athleticism, it might take longer,” he says about the learning process for the windmill.
Dedication will help you learn quicker: Wing recommends you practice the move every day for at least two hours with full concentration. “If you do so, you will be able to master the windmill in just a month,” he says.
Practice variations: There are many different styles and variations to the windmill move. “Once you have mastered the no-hand windmill, you can try the babymill and also the halo,” Wing says.