Yo B-boys and B-girls! Welcome back to another lesson. In the last episode, we laid the foundation for building a strong breakdancing physique. Now, it’s time to take things up a notch and focus on developing explosive strength. This is what separates those smooth, controlled movements from the gravity-defying power moves that leave audiences in awe.

A B-boy, also sometimes referred to as a breaker or breakdancer, is a male individual who participates in the street dance style known as breakdancing. Breakdancing, also known as b-boying, b-girling, or breaking, is an energetic style of street dance that originated in the African American and Puerto Rican communities of The Bronx, New York City, in the 1970s. It is characterized by its acrobatic and athletic moves, often involving spinning, flipping, and contorting the body in various ways.

B-boying is an integral part of hip-hop culture, and it has evolved over the years to encompass a wide variety of styles and techniques. B-boys typically perform in cyphers, which are circular gatherings of dancers where they battle each other with their moves. They are judged on their creativity, skill, and ability to express themselves through dance.

Explosive strength allows you to exert maximum force in the shortest amount of time. Think propelling yourself off the ground for windmills, transitioning into headstands with lightning speed, or executing powerful freezes with minimal momentum buildup. It’s all about explosiveness, and that’s what Plyometrics are here for.

0:28 Plyometrics?

Plyometrics are exercises that involve rapid and forceful muscle contractions. They’re all about stretching your muscles and then immediately contracting them with maximum power. This type of training strengthens your muscles’ ability to generate explosive force, making you a more dynamic and powerful breaker.

1:35 Plyo Push Ups Variations

Push-ups are a staple exercise for any breaker, but to develop explosiveness, we need to modify them. Here are two Plyo Push-Up variations to incorporate into your routine:

  • Standard Plyo Push-Up: Assume a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart, core engaged, and back straight. Now, instead of lowering yourself down with control, perform a push-up as explosively as possible, aiming to push your hands slightly off the ground. Land softly and immediately lower yourself back into the starting position. This exercise works your entire upper body, particularly your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

  • Plyo Push-Up on Knees (Beginner Option): If the standard Plyo Push-Up is too challenging, modify it by starting from a kneeling plank position. This reduces the weight you need to push and allows you to focus on the explosive movement. Remember, quality over quantity. Focus on generating power through your push-up, even if you don’t get your hands off the ground initially.

2:16 Stab Switches (Levels 1, 2 & 3):

Stab switches are a fantastic exercise for building explosive core and leg strength, essential for powerful freezes and transitions. Here are three levels of difficulty to progress through:

  • Level 1 (Basic Stab Freeze): Start in a basic elbow freeze position, forearms flat on the ground, shoulders stacked over your elbows, and core engaged. In one explosive movement, press your upper body off the ground, transitioning to a high plank position with your arms straight. Hold for a second, then return to the starting elbow freeze position with control.

  • Level 2 (Advanced Stab Freeze): This variation adds an extra challenge. Perform the same movement as Level 1, but instead of transitioning to a high plank, push yourself up and land on the opposite hand you were previously freezing on. This requires more core control and explosive hip extension.

  • Level 3 (Super Advanced Stab Switch): This is for the B-boys who like to push their limits. After pushing up from the Level 2 stab freeze, land with your hand on the opposite side, but don’t freeze! Instead, immediately perform another push-up and transition back to the original elbow freeze position on the other hand. This requires immense core strength, coordination, and explosiveness.

Freezes are a fundamental element of breakdancing that involve holding your body in a seemingly impossible position with minimal to no movement. Imagine a dancer suspended in mid-air, defying gravity in a perfectly balanced pose. That’s the essence of a freeze.

Here’s a breakdown of what makes freezes so important in breakdancing:

  • Visual Impact: Freezes add a captivating element to breakdancing routines. They provide a moment of pause where the dancer showcases their control, strength, and balance, leaving the audience in awe.

  • Transitions: Freezes are often used as transitions between power moves or footwork sequences. They help to create a smooth flow and connect different elements of the routine.

  • Emphasis: A well-timed freeze can emphasize a specific beat or rhythm in the music, adding another layer of expression to the dance.

  • Battle Weapon: In breakdancing battles, freezes can be used strategically to one-up your opponent. Holding a seemingly impossible freeze for an extended period can steal the show and impress the judges.

2:41 Stab Freeze Seesaws

This exercise builds upon the Level 1 Stab Freeze, adding a dynamic element that mimics the up-and-down motion of a seesaw. Once you’re comfortable holding a high plank from the Level 1 Stab Freeze, shift your weight forward slightly, lowering one hip towards the ground while keeping your core engaged and back straight. Then, explosively push through your arms and hips, raising the lowered hip and extending your body back to a high plank position. This creates a seesawing motion, building core and hip explosiveness.

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3:02 Chair Rolls

Chair rolls might seem like a simple exercise, but they’re incredibly effective for developing core strength and power. Here’s how to do them:

  • Start seated on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind you, fingers pointing outwards, and keep your elbows tucked in close to your body.

  • Now, in one explosive movement, lift your hips off the ground, transitioning into a hollow body position with your core engaged, back slightly arched, and shoulders rolled back and down. Hold for a second, then explosively roll back down to the starting seated position.

  • Make sure you’re generating the power from your core, not by arching your back.

Bboy Burpees (3:14)

Bboy burpees are a fantastic way to combine explosive power with full-body conditioning. They elevate the standard burpee to a whole new level, pushing your strength, endurance, and coordination. Here’s how to break it down:

  • Begin in a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart, core engaged, and back straight.

  • Now, instead of lowering yourself down with control, perform a squat jump as explosively as possible. Aim to jump high enough to tuck your knees into your chest and momentarily suspend yourself in mid-air.

  • As you land softly from the jump, immediately transition into a low squat position with your hands flat on the ground in front of you, keeping your back straight and core engaged. This mimics the push-up position of a standard burpee.

  • From the low squat, explosively push your hips back and kick your legs out straight behind you, transitioning into a high plank position once again. Remember, all movements should be explosive and powerful.

  • To complete the Bboy burpee, jump your feet back towards your hands, transitioning back into a low squat position. Finally, with a powerful thrust from your legs, jump vertically as high as you can, reaching your arms overhead for maximum height. Land softly and immediately repeat the entire sequence for your desired number of repetitions.

Important Note: Bboy burpees can be demanding. If you’re new to this exercise, start with a lower number of repetitions and focus on proper form. You can also modify them by performing a regular squat instead of the jump squat at the beginning.

Explosive Planks (4:17)

Planks are a staple core exercise for any athlete, but with a Plyometric twist, they can become a powerful tool for developing explosive strength. Here are two variations to challenge your core:

  • Power Up Plank: Start in a standard plank position with your forearms flat on the ground, shoulders stacked over elbows, core engaged, and back straight. Now, in one explosive movement, press your upper body off the ground, transitioning to a high plank position with your arms straight. Hold for a brief moment, then lower yourself back down to the starting forearm plank position with control. Focus on generating power through your core and shoulders for the explosive movement upwards.

  • Pendulum Plank: This variation requires core stability and control. Start in a high plank position with your arms straight. Now, shift your weight slightly to one side, dipping your hip towards the ground while keeping your core engaged and back straight. Do not let your hips rotate or sag. Hold for a brief moment, then explosively push through your core and arms, returning to the high plank position. Repeat on the other side, creating a pendulum motion with your hips.

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Remember:

  • Focus on quality over quantity with all these exercises. It’s better to perform fewer repetitions with perfect form than many with compromised technique.
  • Listen to your body. Take rest days when needed, and don’t push yourself to the point of injury.
  • Gradually increase the difficulty and number of repetitions as you get stronger.
  • Incorporate these exercises into your regular breakdancing training routine for optimal results.

By consistently practicing these explosive strength exercises, you’ll develop the power and explosiveness needed to elevate your breakdancing to the next level.

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