Improve your cornering speed and balance with the Stick Windmill

Last week I wrote a blog post about what I learned at a Dan John seminar I had the chance to attend. One of the things I mentioned was an exercise called the Stick Windmill that I promised would really help your hip action when cornering.

You see, I’m a strong believer that the reason that most riders struggle with cornering isn’t because they don’t know “what” to do. I think it is because they don’t have the lateral hip movement needed to get their body into that position in the first place. All the videos and coaching in the world can’t help you if your hips are literally stuck in place.

In the past I’ve struggled to find a good place to start riders out with this concept but the Stick Windmill fits the bill perfectly. Unlike the regular Kettlebell Windmill or the the TGU Windmill it is more of a stretch than an exercise and a way to establish the needed movement first before getting into the more advanced exercises to build strength.

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.25.10 PM

In this video I explain how to perform the Stick Windmill as well as how to use it as part of your routine. If you really struggle with this movement then do it every day for a week or two and you’ll start to see some big changes both on and off the bike.

There you have it, another way to work improve how you ride on the bike by improving how you move off of it. Try using the Stick Windmill along with some of the other cornering tips and videos I’ve posted and you’ll be ripping corners faster than ever.

If you have any questions about how this can help you or about cornering in general just leave a comment below this post. And if you liked this tip please help me spread the word by clicking one of the Like or Share buttons below.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

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  1. Matthew Davies says:

    Great looking stretch , how many “reps” per side do you suggest and for how long to hold the stretch?

    Reply • April 9 at 5:24 am
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      If it’s easy, do it once on each side, holding for 3-5 breaths. If it’s difficult, do 3-5 each side, holding for 3-5 breaths.

      Reply • April 9 at 11:01 am
  2. RennyG says:

    OY James – that is a good one! I could not “get it” on one side at first and after doing it a couple times the other side, I “got it”! Really tight on the right which is the side I am still re-habbing! I will definitely throw this into my workouts now. It also made me aware of some tight shoulder muscles. Thanks James another good tool! And thanks again for all the improvement you have helped me make in my mobility this past year!

    Reply • April 9 at 7:16 am
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      Great to hear! Let me know how it goes using this as well.

      Reply • April 9 at 10:06 am
  3. PT says:

    Thanks James! This is a great post, in a long line of super helpful info and advice.

    On a related note, is there a dropper seat post that you’d recommend that won’t break the bank? Or any mechanism that it definitely should or should not have?

    Reply • April 9 at 7:53 pm
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      Thanks, glad you liked the post. As far as dropper seats, I have a Specialized dropper post that I’ve had for several years and works great. I don’t think that having infinite adjust on it is important, I like it either up or down and having in somewhere in the middle seems silly to me. The point is that any mechanism will work and I’d look into what brands are the most reliable. I’d probably get another Specialized one if I had to since it has been bomb-proof for me so far but that is just based on my experience.

      Reply • April 10 at 9:52 am
      • PT says:

        Thanks for advice James! Now that you’ve made me aware of working on my hips flexibility, mobility and strength, gotta get a dropper seat this summer!

        Reply • April 17 at 4:45 pm
  4. Drew says:

    Great article! Got a technique question for you, when you are coasting into a turn, (in this example, you are preparing to turn right)do you recommend positioning your feet with your left foot forward (closes to front wheel) and right leg back (3 o’clock / 9 o’clock position)? I have a tendency to use the same foot position regardless of left or right turn (usually left front / right back) and wasn’t sure if I should attempt to correct. I get for small quick turns it wouldn’t make sense to try and switch up, so this is more for the big high speed turns.

    Reply • April 14 at 2:12 pm
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      Yeah, you should work on that. Being able to come into the corner with your lead foot forward will make a huge difference in your ability to carve the corner using your hips.

      Reply • April 17 at 9:30 am
      • PT says:

        James, I recall an old post of yours, saying treat it like a skier. So going into a right-hand turn, your left foot would be back, right foot (on the inside of the turn) would be forward. Correct?

        Reply • April 17 at 4:50 pm
        • bikejames bikejames says:

          Yes, exactly. You want you inside foot in front so you can drop the outside foot and carve the turn. This is why it is important to be able to ride switch-foot so you can set your feet up to maximize your technique.

          Reply • April 21 at 8:49 am
  5. Bill taylor says:

    You should check out stick mobility my brother mitch is 1 of the creators

    Reply • May 16 at 12:57 am
  6. Bill taylor says:

    Stick mobility

    Reply • May 16 at 12:58 am
  7. Withy says:

    Holy crap, what a timely post. Coming off winter of very little training/riding due to car crash..back injury and hip mobility is brutal. I was out on the trails this past week, I was very frustrated I was so slow in the twisties, Then I realized I was having a hell of time turning right. I’m still fast as long as I don’t have to turn. Gonna add this to my regime.

    Reply • May 16 at 6:45 pm

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