Keep creativity the goal.
More recently I’ve witnessed bboys, both through the internet and in person, mistake dancing for fitness activities. Sure we may sweat during both activities, but this does not make them the same thing. Dancing =/= fitness. Whatever Zumba instructor has been saying this to you has been feeding you something that isn’t conducive to a healthy digestive system.
Creativity is the name of the game ladies and gentlemen. If you can ride beats, hit the hi-hats during your set, or kill the beat in general, then you have nothing to fear, either in battles, clubs, competitions, or stage performances.
What have bboys been doing on the internet in the meantime?
Training For Warriors –
Interval Training –
Yes, movements in bboying are often a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to movement, but at the end of the day, would a pitcher throw excessively at a certain tempo to burn calories? Or would a gymnast do interval training to get ready for his or her event? More often than not the answer will be no. They will perform technical work on its own, and perform other performance enhancing exercises (lifting, stretching, calisthenics, etc.) outside of the technical work – they keep the goal the goal, which is to get better at their sport.
So what can we do to further improve our creativity?
We can’t create (in the most traditional sense of the word) movement patterns by increasing our athletic qualities. That is akin to putting a high-powered engine in a Model-T car; the power is simply too much for the body to handle.
Let’s analyze other forms of movement to see how other bboys have approached an exercise and training regimen:
Will running for long distances (miles upon miles) help our “stamina” for bboying, when most sets are under 45seconds with an equal time for rest? Even under long battle durations, bboys normally wouldn’t do one move over and over for long durations (similar to running), so why pursue running?
-Develops long, slow cardiovascular endurance, which is relative to recovery periods during non-intense dance periods/sets
-May induce chronic injuries due to repetitive motion of activity for long durations.
-Running is a unilateral direction sport (Dancing is multidirectional and 360 degrees by its very nature)
-Running is not as explosive in nature (due to its longer duration) as the dance of bboying requires (as sets and performances are short and explosive in nature).
And on the opposite end of the spectrum…
-Develop body awareness (in big bang exercises like squats, deadlifts, etc.)
-Learn what constant tension feels like throughout a movement
-Increase rate of force development for many of the plyometric-like movements that is inherent in the dance
-Without proper instruction, possibly get injured.
-Heavy lifting relative to 1RM is not required to develop bodyweight strength levels.
–High intensity intervals for bboys is one other method that is being pursued. While noteworthy, a more intelligent manner to approach this is to take notice of one’s own moveset and recreate battle standards for yourself, especially if one’s endurance is lacking as a battle (or performance) goes on in duration.
–Bboying for fat loss. Just get on a nutrition program that has viability and validity, (Dan John recommends the Velocity Diet), and don’t succumb your joints to injury if you are strictly doing bboying for fat loss purposes. In my opinion, bboys in general need to put more weight on, but that is another story for another time.
–Judges of the competitions will determine the winner. We can increase our chances of winning by clearly being more creative, or on the other hand, by showing more diverse movements than the other competitor (or being more athletic overall). However, with many newer competitions sprouting across the world, we need to keep the goal the goal – creativity needs to reign supreme. This is a dance after all.
So how can we create movement despite these trends in both the fitness and bboying community?
-Discover, through a functional movement screen, what movements may or may not be necessary to unlocking further potential.
–Through a functional movement screen, we can filter out any possible injuries or pain that may be limiting movement.
- Let me provide an example: My thoracic spine (the middle of my back) extension and rotation are admittedly not the best. Long story short, I’ve been obsessed with mastering an invert. To create an invert, one would need sufficient thoracic mobility AND stability to hold a handstand with an arch. Otherwise, the movement pattern will be found through my lumbar spine or through my glenohumeral joint (shoulder girdle complex) (our bodies will find ways to create movement above or below a joint if it is immobile).
- So keeping that in mind, where did my movement come from? Since I have a congenital shoulder subluxation, I make sure that I don’t pop it out if I can help it; so whenever I perform an invert freeze, I can definitely feel my shoulders popping out if I push the issue. Thus, all the excess movements comes from my lumbar spine instead. As a result, my lower back would ache the next day after a long freeze training session.
- By understanding how my body works, I will be more readily able to define which movements will help me create better thoracic mobility, and finally release some pressure from my lower back.
Long story short, we cannot create new movement without establishing our basics, our foundation. The purpose of this post is not to reestablish new standards for movement, but to develop a greater understanding of the “how’s” and “why’s” of our movement. We’ve also covered the many different “trending” variations and movements that bboying has filtered itself into. Remember folks, keep the dance as a dance, not as a fitness circus act. By visiting foundational patterns of human movement, only then can we accelerate to superhuman levels of movement and extreme athleticism and dancing, defined by bboys, trickers, dancers, and any related sports that take human movement to the limit.