Saturday, June 30, 2012

One of Your First Moves Should Be the Coffee Grinder

I teach this move to alot of kids, if they listen they pick it up in about 10 minutes. To really master this move you need to be able to do it in all directions. With practice you can start a 1990/2000, windmill, flare, headspin etcetera from this move. If you focus you can learn this one on your first day, most people do.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Why do my wrists hurt?

Ask b-boys you know, almost 100% have had wrist pain in their B-boy career. Why? The quick answer is lack of strength and or flexibility in your wrists. Your wrists just arent used to the rigors of Breakdancing training and if you dont acclimate them to handle your body weight they will breakdown. Lets work on the flexibility, how do you know if you have enough flexibility? Pass this test.
I always make first time students take this test so I can gauge how hard they can push themselves. Some can hold it flat, some cant, the ones that cant need to stretch it. Here how you can stretch it so they can be flat.
 There are two opposing muscle groups in your forearm, this is the more important stretch but you need to do both.
This one will be more sensitive.

Once you can hold them flat, you wont be hyper extending them when you are Breakdancing. Footwork, handstands, flares freezes all require that you can hold your wrist at least flat on the ground with ease.

Flexibility is half the battle, now you need wrist strength to hold your body weight on one wrist and bounce, thats about the most extreme case. You wont be able to jackhammer unless your wrists can handle that. Here is one exercise you can do at home.

You make it harder the closer it resembles a push up. The other exercise which works best is practicing a false grip and doing pullups, you need rings for this though.

Once your wrists are strong and flexible you will be able to practice all the moves without pain. So getting them prepared needs to be your first goal in breakdancing.

My wrists already hurt, what do I do?

Overuse is common, the way to fix is to not do things that make it hurt. It has to heal then you can train them again. Failure to follow this will lead to more pain and strain on your wrists.

How long before they are ready for Breakdancing?

You can get them flexible in about 1-2 months. The strength portion takes more time. It all depends how much you are training them though. Wrist strength and flexibility should be part of your normal warm-up before you breakdance until you stop experiencing any pain.

Any Questions?

Monday, April 2, 2012

All B-boys are handstand masters. Start training them now!

Alot of the moves are based off of handstands, 1990s, 2000s, airflares hand hops etcetera. There is no trick to handstands, with a little practice you can get them in a month, its about 50/50 strength and balance. If you practice against a wall you will get them fast. This is how I trained for them, similar to gymnastics.

Once you master them, you can do stuff like this.
 The answer to most of your handstand questions is to practice more!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

All Ninjas can do Flips

I suck at flips and have always been scared to do them. I only do them on soft floors or grass, I just started training for them seriously a few months ago. You can see what a beginner looks like.

This is the goal

Why do some B-boys have bad Flexibility? How to get good flexibility

Because they dont train for it!
Bad flexibility will limit your dancing ability. Flexibility just requires consistency, make it a part of your weekly training and you can get your splits in a few months. All other professional dancers are flexible, why cant all the bboys be also? Here is how I trained for my splits.

Notice that all the really good powerheads have their splits? Watch these guys with their splits do perfect powermoves.

How to do all those Bboy Freezes

Your number 1 hurdle with freezes is getting your wrists flexible and strong. Without the flexibility you will be hyper extending your ligaments, tendons and muscle in your wrist and it will hurt. Without enough strength in your wrists your wrists will not be able to absorb and control the freezes making your ligaments take the stress. Practice freezes for small amounts of time until your wrists are acclimated, once they are strong enough you can practice freezes for longer and you will improve faster. Below are stretches, drills and exercises for basic bboy freezes.

Friday, March 30, 2012

How to Windmill (Most Secrets Revealed)

Learning Windmills

Bboys make this move look easy after hours of training. As a beginner, It takes time to train your body to keep your legs in a split while rotating. Unless you have a strong gymnastic background you should not try to learn windmill until you have completed at least 3 months of solid bboy training. What is solid bboy training? About 6 hours a week of training.
Holding a basic freeze and being able to do a decent backspin will help. It all depends on where you want to spend your time struggling, on easier moves or on windmill. The basic freeze even looks like part of the windmill, so do it!
You will need to develop some abdominal strength as well. The Criss Cross excercise in this video should be trained until it is easy because it only gets harder to control your legs in a windmill. The video also shows you how I warm-up.

Eventually if you want great windmills you will need perfect splits. In the beginning you don’t need great flexibility but you should work on it concurrently with your windmill training. Here is a stretching video for windmills. It should be done once to three times a week, but never when you legs are sore.

An overlooked skill in learning windmills is executing the plow stretch. The plow stretch will get you used to getting your butt high off the ground. The plow can also work a common sticking point with your windmills, smoothly rolling from your upper back to your hands if you perform it in a split.
Breakdancing Ninja Plow Stretch
Practice Drills
Learning windmill is tough until you get used to keeping your legs straight and hips high off the ground. I have a progression of drills that works for my students in the following video.

Common Mistakes
  • Legs Not Straight - Bent legs sap your momentum, actively flex your legs when you windmill. Practice kicking with your legs totally straight.
  • Hips Too Low - If your hips are too low your legs will hit the ground when they are in a split. This is why some people bend their legs, to help clear the floor because the hips are too low.
  • Legs Not In a Split - The better the splits the more power you get. If you cross your legs you will spin faster for a brief moment but then lose all of your momentum.
Feedback System
You need a feedback system to correct mistakes. You can have a coach critique you or record yourself and see exactly what you are doing. You will go through many cycles of feedback before you can correlate how the move feels and how you think you are doing with what you are actually doing.
Still Can't Do the Windmill! Why?
Windmill takes anywhere from 40 to 100 hours of training to achieve, so start training! The answer to most of your windmill problems is practice. You can send me a youtube video of your windmill and I can help out.

Ring Training Makes You A Better B-Boy

Gymnasts get huge muscles doing rings. I trained with gymnasts and was impressed how strong they were so I started training with rings and it is now part of my bboy training. You can hang rings anywhere, here I am at one my secret training spots.

This is the goal, once you can do what he can do your body will have huge muscles.

Bboy Flare Trainer

Flares are a pain in the butt, Im learning them the opposite direction and came up with a trainer that lets you practice them.

It holds your feet letting you practice the move getting a good feel for it. Below is a link to build your own.
Build your own flare trainer

Here is an alternate support method that holds your hips instead.