Intro to Breaking

Breaking is the first Hip Hop dance; ushered in from a string of events occurring in the Boroughs of New York. It's a dance form that truly weaves the physical, the mental, and the soulful act of expression. The core of the dance is about celebrating your identity through the integration of foundational mechanics with original movement. To fully express yourself in this dance, you must be willing to train your body and your mind to its fullest potential. Understanding your body is the key to achieving this because your body is the display of your creativity . You have to communicate all those concepts, patterns, and energy with your body.

If you are not able to properly discover ways to explore and strengthen your body, you will not be able to communicate with the craft. B-boys and B-girls train so they have full control of their bodies which will then allow them to deliver skills which represent their style completely. That is the idea. That is the goal.

Breaking & Training

Fitness professionals should take notice of an important concept that B-boys and B-girls emphasize: The harmony between physical movement, rhythm, and energy . A dancer cannot learn a new move simply by lifting weights that are the same as their body weight. It's not a linear method. Fitness professionals can study the movements in breaking and incorporate them with traditional exercises to help find harmony and balance that breakdancers thrive on.

There are amazing mobility training breakthroughs that fitness professionals have discovered and utilize. Similarly, there are many practices in Breaking that can not only help an individual get fit, but also help improve their strength, coordination, balance, and overall body awareness. For example, B-boys and B-girls benefit most from full body movements rather than exercises that isolate a muscle group. When I'm training, I try to execute movement with the most impact and the least amount of energy spent getting there. I practice gauging where my energy levels are and what I can do to efficiently get from point A to point B with a flow that is either smooth or snappy depending on the situation or song.

We also emphasize Non-Dominant Side Training by practicing on both sides, both directions, and multiple angles of certain moves. Everyone has a weak side, but it is something that the Breaking scene is always conscious of. We address our weak side and strengthen it because we want to explore all of our options. You don't want to be bound by physical limitations and restricted to do things you want to do simply because you haven't been training your non-dominant side.

The key takeaway is that one exercise may not be right for everyone. There is no set of exercises that will fully equate to achieving certain goals. Whether you're working on being upside down, riding off of momentum in a power move, swift/sharp patterns in footwork, or holding a freeze, it takes a lot more than your standard push-ups to get the job done. In addition to practicing the movement you want, you must also study and explore different methods and training philosophies in order to find the ones work for your body and your goals. Breaking, like all fitness disciplines, requires you be diligent in training and committed to strategies that make you better.

The Workout

For fitness professionals looking to study these dance movements, I suggest body workouts that stress stamina, strength and coordination. When adding breaking elements into your functional training start out with basic footwork patterns, simple acrobatic maneuvers, and different static freezes as a first wave of research. This will be challenging at first but then you will begin to notice results.

I'm going to share one routine that anyone (regardless of their dancing ability) can incorporate into their workout or warm-up.

Recap of the steps:

Step 1 – Indian Step (1 full length count, 4 times)

Step 2 – Jumping Squat ( 1 forward jump, 1 backwards jump)

Step 3 – Jumping Jack Push-ups (5 times)

Step 4 – Criss Cross (5 times)

Step 5 – Bicycle Kicks (5 times)


Get to know your body; understand what it needs, and discover ways to get it there. Incorporating full body techniques in your workouts will make for a well rounded result. And remember, you will have a lot more fun when you find harmony between body, mind, and rhythm.

About the Author: Krysada Phounsiri, known as Binly, is an artist who tackles different art mediums. His main passions are in dancing, poetry, and photography. He currently travels to various cities around the world to compete in Breaking competitions. In San Diego, he teaches and manages The Complex Dance studio alongside 7 other members. Binly currently works full-time as a Systems Engineer in the BioTech industry. The Studio – | Photography Website – | Twittter/Instgram - @bboylancer

About the Dancer: Eddie Gutierrez is another founder of The Complex Studio who currently works full-time as a surgical technologist. He dances professionally and is based out of San Diego. Eddie currently performs at the San Diego Zoo for a summer show which he and his team of dancers choreograph and coordinate. Follow him on Twitter @steadyeddiestyles.

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