Do you find it difficult to keep your legs in a wide straddle when doing skills like Windmill or Star?
Have you ever felt like the silk was choking your stomach when rotating down which left you feeling rather 🤢 after?
Maybe you've heard a teacher say 'squeeze your butt' when practicing Windmills (aka Wheel Downs) but you can't seem to activate that part of your body with so much else going on!?
If so, there's a key factor that can help with this - active straddle strength & flexibility!
When our legs are loose or we don't quite have the strength in the right places to hold them in position, Windmills can feel really uncomfortable!
In this technique tip, I break down a few of my favorite exercises that help you to develop the active flexibility and strength to back up your Windmill legs!
First off make sure you're nice and warmed up. A few minutes of cardio or dancing around until you're slightly sweaty is a great idea.
See below for a video breakdown!
Standing Active Folds - 10x
Stand with legs wider than shoulder-distance apart. Engage your quads to straighten your knees, lengthen your spine and place hands on hips. Fold forward maintaining a straight spine - return to standing.
Straddle Active Folds 10x
Sit tall in a straddle - wiggle around a bit to ease into the stretching sensation. Reach arms up overhead and hinge forward as much as you can keeping a lengthened back. As you hinge forward, keep your legs straight and feet pointed. Do your best not to allow your legs to turn in.
Single Straight Leg Fire Hydrant 10x hold 10 counts
Kneel placing your hands under your shoulders. Extend one leg out to the side - align your ankle to your hip. Lift leg up to the side keeping your core and pelvis stable. At the end of 10 lifts hold for 10 counts. Switch sides.
Double Straight Leg Fire Hydrant 10x hold 10 counts
Grab a small stool or bench. Lean forward placing your stomach on it with hands under shoulders and legs extending outward into a straddle. Align ankles with hips. Lift legs up to the side keeping your core and pelvis stable. The lift may be very small, that's ok!
Hollow body with star legs 20-30 count hold
Lay on your back with legs extended up. Lift shoulders off the floor and open legs into a straddle. Draw abs in as you lower legs forward maintaining wide legs into a star shape. Reach arms overhead. Hold for 20-30 counts.
In addition to a strong active straddle, there are many other 'ingredients' that go into a smooth and beautiful Windmill. For the full roadmap that includes exercises and techniques that will help get you there I invite you to join my online Windmill Method course!
The Windmill Method FLASH SALE is on until Wednesday, December 1st at 8 pm PST.
In celebration of the holiday season, I'm offering $50 USD off the usual price!