The breaker’s shoulder by Sophie Manuela Lindner

A lot of bboys and bgirls have problems with their shoulder when they go down to the floor in breaking. The shoulder is a joint that is mostly held up by muscles. Because of this, the proper physical preparation of the shoulder muscles is essential for having a professional breaking career.



It is very important to prepare your shoulder to handle the high impact moves in breaking. Because the shoulder joint itself has poor stability and is held up mostly by muscles, it is essential to warm up properly before training. It is equally important to stretch and cool down after training and to train the muscles and the proprioception of the shoulder separately apart from the breaking training. A good training of the proprioception includes doing a handstand or balancing on one hand.

One of the most important muscles concerning the shoulder joint is the serratus muscle. The serratus muscle has its origin on the surface of the first to the eight rib at the side of the chest and inserts along the entire anterior length of the medial border of the blade bone. If the serratus muscle contracts the blade bone lays flat on the ribs.

In the video THE URBAN HEALTH TUTORIAL | THE BREAKER’S SHOULDER you can see some exercises to strengthen your serratus muscle and to prevent shoulder injuries.

Check out the video and you are going to learn:

  • How to improve the stability and perception of the shoulder joint
  • How to strengthen shoulder muscles, especially the important serratus muscle
  • How to stretch shoulder muscles safely and effectively



Most injuries of bboys and bgirls are due to the high impact onto the shoulder while in poor stability positions. For Breaking moves, where the shoulder is in an end of range position, the shoulder joint needs a lot of stability. In powermoves like airflair or ellbowtracks, freezes like bridge, hollow back or airchair and jumps onto the shoulder, the shoulder joint has to handle different tasks at the same time: it has to stabilise, strengthen and absorb the high impact.

Another reason for shoulder pain in breakers is poor stability and a movement of the blade bone, the scapula, that is not physiologic. A bboy or bgirl needs to have good control of and high stability in his or her shoulder blade to master the specific movements in breaking. This control is needed especially in most of footworks, in powermoves such as swipes and flairs and freezes such as airfreezes where the whole body weight is put onto the shoulders.


My advice as a physiotherapist is to train with your brain. Try doing the moves in such a way that is the best for your body.
Analyse yourself more. If you want to do a new move, try to figure out the best way for it to adapt to your body conditions and body constitutions.
Apart from your breaking training, you should also include a separate muscle and proprioception training.

Read more interesting and educational blogs at her website.

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