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Preventing Wrist Injury in Breakdancing

Preventing Wrist Injury
By Urban Dance Health
Sophie Manuela Lindner

In Breaking it has been shown that a lot of injuries occur. The body of a bboy and a bgirl has to handle an immense impact. Apart from being an artist, the dancer is also a high leisure sports athlete with a high risk of injury. Many studies show that the wrist and the fingers are the most injury-prone parts of the body of a breaker.  Here are a few tips on preventing wrist injury.

Cause of Injury


There are different causes of wrist and finger injuries. Most injuries of bboys and bgirls are due to an overuse of training moves with high impact with too many repetitions at once. Moves with high impact are those kinds of moves where your whole body weight is put onto one part of your body, for example doing ninety’s on one arm. Often those high impact movements are jumps or spins in which the force is getting even higher because of the gravity or the centrifugal force.

High impact moves can be power moves, freezes and also footwork, depending on how you shift your body weight. Here are some examples for high impact moves in breaking:

  1. Power moves: flare, twist, swipe, ninety, 2000, jack hammer, turtle, cricket, hand hops
  2. Freezes: air freeze, air chair, chair freeze
  3. Footwork: with a lot of force and speed

Another cause for wrist and finger injuries are traumatic injuries, which happen due to crashes while doing high impact moves.

Check out the picture below demonstrating the injury process.

Advice for Power moves and Freezes


Vary the dose of impact on your wrist: PLAN YOUR TRAINING!

Train different elements in your training: top rocks, footwork, freezes, power moves, whole runs, musicality …

We know that power moves and freezes are the most high impact moves in breaking. If for example you only want to train power moves, try to combine different moves that put high impact on different body parts. If you want to train flares, combine them with some mills and not with an excessive hand hops or jack hammer training. If you want to train flares, do them for no more than 15 minutes, then try some other stuff, for example footwork or mills, then go back to training flares!

Advice for Footwork


There are three common positions of how bboys and bgirls put their fingers on the floor while doing footworks: 1) flat hand, 2) heel of hand elevated, the fingers touch the floor and 3) heel of hand elevated, only the fingertips touch the floor.

If you choose the second position of putting your hand on the floor while the heel of your hand is elevated and the fingers touch the floor, you should be aware of the following: this position, depending on your anatomy, is one of the most used positions.

Let me give you a tip for not hurting your thumb so often: in this footwork position work with a stable thumb! This means that the thumb basal joint is stable. This is important so you do not overstretch your thumb joint so many times. You are going to be able to break without pain, not get hurt and work the most physiologic and harmful way with your body.

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Injury Prevention


It is really important to get your wrist and fingers prepared to handle the high impact moves in breaking.
In the video below you can see some exercises to prevent wrist and finger injuries.

Check out the video and you are going to learn:

  • How to make auto-tractions to your wrist joint
  • How to strengthen your wrist and forearm muscles
  • How to stretch your wrist and forearm muscles safely and effectively
  • How to put your hand to the floor while doing Footworks with a stable thumb
  • How to strengthen your fingers


Lonely Planet

Published in Collaboration with Urban Dance Heath

Urban Dance Health

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