THE BREAKER’S LOWER EXTREMITIES
In Breaking the knee, as well as the ankle and the hip are injury-prone parts of the body of a bboy and a bgirl.
It is really important to get your lower extremities prepared to handle the high impact moves in breaking.
Here you learn about injury prevention, cause of injury and get some physiotherapeutic advices.
I) INJURY PREVENTION
HOW CAN I DANCE WITHOUT GETTING INJURED?
To prevent injuries of the lower extremities it is important to train proprioception, balance and strength. Proprioception is one’s own, individual perception, the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement. It is provided by proprioceptors in our muscles and joints.
It is important not only to train the strength of the muscles. Also train the intramuscular coordination! This means that the muscle knows when to contract and when to release.
To get a better balance, it’s important to train the coordination in order to stimulate the receptors in the knee. We have lots of receptors in the knee joint. Receptors are special nerve cells that can receive stimulus and give it to the central nerve system. With a trauma it can happen that some receptors don’t work anymore. So the interaction of the central nerve system and the muscle is disturbed. The consequence of this is that the responsiveness of the muscle decreases. In order of this the movements, balance and coordination of the body is decreasing as well.
In the video THE BREAKER’S LOWER EXTREMITIES you can see some exercises to prevent knee, ankle and hip injuries.
Check out the video and you are going to learn:
- How to improve your proprioception and balance
- How to strengthen the lower extremities
- How to stretch the quadriceps muscle and the hemstrings safely and effectively
- How to stretch also your neurodynamic system
- How to warm up your hip muscles adequately to prevent groin pain
- How to strengthen and stretch your hip muscles
II) CAUSE OF INJURY
WHY DO I GET INJURED SO OFTEN?
There are different causes of lower extremity injuries.
Most of the knee injuries in urban dancers happen because of the “stop and go movements”. A “stop and go movement” is when you are moving quickly in one direction, suddenly stop and then quickly change your move into the other direction. This provokes a lot of rotation in the knee and this way the structure suffers.
Another reason for injuries in the knee is because there are lots of movements concerning weight loading in a maximal flexion of the knee. This happens a lot in the crouched position when doing footworks.
The transition from the standing position into the footwork position is another movement that can lead to injuries. Try to go down with control and have stabilisation in your knee the whole time!
Lots of injuries happen also because of bad technique, such as receiving hits on the knees due to accidents or crashing onto the floor. When you still don’t know how to do a move completely, try to use protection such as knee pads or train on a gymnastic mattress.
The cause of the typical groin pain which most bboys and bgirls get due to powermoves like windmills, flair or airflair is because of a muscular weakness. The foot in windmills is being torn outside of the centrifugal force and the adductor muscle is too weak to resist. We have to specifically strengthen the beginning of the adductor muscles.
III) PHYIOTHERAPEUTIC ADVICE
Try to balance your body weight. During footwork shift your body weight to get balance between your weight placed on your hands and feet. If you have your body weight placed more on your feet, your knees are going to suffer. If it is more towards your hands, your shoulder won’t like that.
Another advice is to do those moves you are able to do and which suit the anatomy of your body. Imagine you want to do a W. For this move you need a lot of internal rotation. If you don’t have enough internal rotation in the hip, work on other movements that better fit your body.
It is really important to warm up the hip muscles properly before doing powermoves, especially when you already got problems in the groin area. Swing your leg straight into flexion and extension. Try to stabilise your lower back and don’t get into a hyperlordosis. Also do swings to the side. You can change going from the front of your supporting leg to the back of it. Repeat this exercise until you feel properly warmed up.