THE BREAKER’S WRIST

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Many studies show that the wrist and the fingers are the most injury-prone parts of the body of a breaker.
In the following post you are going to read about the cause of wrist injuries and get some preventional advices for doing freezes, powermoves and footworks without getting injured.

I) INJURY PREVENTION

HOW CAN I DANCE WITHOUT GETTING INJURED?

It is really important to get your wrist and fingers prepared to handle the high impact moves in breaking.
In the video THE BREAKER’S WRIST 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

II) CAUSE OF INJURY

WHY DO I GET INJURED SO OFTEN?

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 powermoves, freezes and also footworks, depending on how you shift your body weight. Here are some examples for high impact moves in breaking:

  • Powermoves: flare, twist, swipe, ninety, 2000, jack hammer, turtle, cricket, hand hops
  • Freezes: air freeze, air chair, chair freeze
  • Footworks 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.

Wrist Injury Process Handstand

II) PHYSIOTHERAPEUTIC ADVICE

POWERMOVES & FREEZES:

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

Train different elements in your training: top rocks, footworks, freezes, powermoves, whole runs, musicality …

We know that powermoves and freezes are the most high impact moves in breaking. If for example you only want to train powermoves, 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 footworks or mills, then go back to training flares!

 

FOOTWORKS:

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.

 

REFERENCES:

Bradshaw, Elizabeth / Hume, Patria (2012). Biomechanical approaches to identify and quantify injury mechanisms and risk factors in women’s artistic gymnastics. In: Sports Biomechanics, 3/11/2012, pg. 324–341.
PMID: 23072044

Grant-Ford, Marsha / Sitler, Michael / Kozin, Scott / Barbe, Mary / Barr, Ann (2003). Effect of a Prophylactic Brace on Wrist and Ulnocarpal Joint Biomechanics in a Ca-daveric Model. In: The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 5/31/2003, pg. 736-743.
PMID: 12975195

Kaltenborn, Freddy (1986). Movilización manual de las articulaciones de las ex-tremidades. Oslo: Olaf Norlis publisher.

Larsen, Christian / Larsen, Claudia / Hartelt, Oliver (2008). Körperhaltungen analysie-ren und verbessern: look@yourself – work@yourself: Stuttgart: TRIAS publisher.

Singletary, Shannon / Geissler, William (2009). Bracing and Rehabilitation for Wrist and Hand Injuries in Collegiate Athletes. In: Hand Clinics, 25/2009, pg. 443–448.
PMID: 19643343

Tilley, Dave (2014). Quick Pre-Hab Tips for Gymnasts With Wrist Mobility Issues. In: Hybridperspective; 06.08.2014

 

 

 

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Author:

 

SOPHIE MANUELA LINDNER

 

Sophie Manuela ‚Sophiela‘ Lindner is a sports physiotherapist and Bgirl. Since 2007 she is  active in the Breaking scene. With her bgirl crew Skill Sisters she represented Germany at the international Bgirl Battle at Battle of the Year 2015.

In order to share dance-medical knowledge to urban dancers, Sophie established ‚Urban Dance Health‘ in 2012. As a physiotherapist specializing on dancers, Sophie regularly gives Health Workshops, Health Check-Ups and Health care for professional urban dancers, including the Red Bull BC One All Stars and the Red Bull Flying Illusion Company.

Today she is working as a physiotherapist at the Haid Gesundheitswerkstatt, a clinic specialized on myoreflextherapy, dancers, musicians and chronic pain outpatients, and as an associate researcher at the CIT Research Institute in Stuttgart.

Get Sophie’s full CV here.

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