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B-Boy Stats – How much do B-Boys usually practice?

studying b-boy puzzles

When I first started dancing (b-boying, to be specific) I just wanted to practice all the time.

How else was I supposed to get awesome?!

But already being a health and fitness enthusiast, I knew training too much would likely lead to burnout, over-training, and injuries. Plus, I was starting my Neuroscience degree, so I was stupid busy anyway.

Therefore, I’ve spent my eight (at the time of writing this article) years of dancing constantly trying to figure out how to get the most out of my practice time.

Of course, the truth is, the more you practice, the faster you are going to get better (as long as you’re not just screwing around). So, quality of practice aside, the question remains – how much do B-Boys usually practice? I’ve asked this question to many top level b-boys that I’ve met throughout the years – and I’ve gotten a wide range of different answers and opinions. Confusing!

However, now we actually have a research study that gives us some data! Some Doctors from Germany went to the International Battle of the Year in 2008 and surveyed both ‘professional’ (the competitors) and ‘amateur’ (others attending the event) B-Boys and asked them questions about training and injuries.

Let’s discuss what they found, and how this information can (and cannot) help us.

The Research Study:

In this study (1), five doctors from Germany went to Battle of the Year World Finals. The study was published in 2009 so I am guessing it was the 2008 battle. There, they surveyed 40 ‘professional’ (those in the competition) and 104 ‘amateur’ (those attending the event) B-Boys and B-Girls. They asked them a bunch of questions about practice habits, injuries and what kind, how much time they took off for recovery, etc.

We’ve discussed this study before:

  1. When I strongly critiqued a news article that referenced it quite improperly. Read: ‘Break-dancing will NOT kill you’.
  2. In the above post, plus this one: ‘Injury Rates of Sports’, we compared injury rates between different sports. This demonstrated that b-boying has a pretty normal rate of sports injury occurrence.
  3. And in yet another post: ‘B-Boy Stats – What are the Most Common Injuries?’, we looked at what the study had to say about the types of injuries B-Boys get.

This time, let’s look at what they learned about the practice habits of B-Boys.


Here’s some interesting statistics. Notice that the first number is the average (the mean), and in brackets is the range. The range is useful because it tells you how much variation there was between all the B-Boys (for example, while the average is around 15 minutes, some dancers warm up 45 minutes each practice… some don’t warm up at all).

average (range)
average (range)
Age 21.5 (11-46) 22.2 (17-28)
Time Dancing
5.8 (1-22) 7.2 (3-16)
Training per week
7.4 (1-20) 11.2 (3-21)
17.2 (0-45) 14.4 (0-30)
13.8 (0-33) 16.3 (0-40)
Head-spins (dancers who
do them/ total dancers)
71 / 104 (68.3%) 32 / 40 (80%)
Time Head-spinning
2.5 (0-22) 3.9 (1-10)

Limitations of this kind of research:

science... serious business.

As usual, I’m gonna try and sneak in a science lesson here!

Remember, this was a self-report survey (dancers were given a description of the purpose of the study, and a description of each question, but then they answered these questions however they wanted), so obviously this stuff isn’t going to be 100% accurate.

Furthermore, the attendees of this event were mostly from Germany. Plus, this is just one event, and one year. While it is a good snapshot of the b-boy community, it’s obviously not going to represent the whole b-boy world.

There are other limitations, but I won’t beat that to death here. Check out the other article discussing this study: ‘B-Boy Stats – What are the Most Common Injuries?’ for more limitations we have to be careful of with this kind of research.

Why did they ask about head-spins specifically?

Interestingly, the researchers asked the dancers whether or not they practiced head-spins, and how much. Personally, I think they wanted to see if there was a correlation between amount of head-spin practice and neck pain/injury. But it looks like they didn’t find such a relationship, or else I’m sure they would have mentioned it.

However, I don’t think this is because practicing head-spins doesn’t increase the risk of hurting your neck… it probably does! I think this is because almost all dynamic moves in b-boying (power-moves, tricks, freezes, etc.) can have a risk of causing neck pain/injury. Therefore, the correlation between neck pain/injuries and head-spin practice time wouldn’t be much different than total practice time.


Okay, so finally: let’s talk about practice.


On average, ‘professionals’ practice more hours a week (11.2 vs 7.4), and have been dancing longer (7.2 vs 5.8 years) than ‘amateurs’. No surprises there! As we know, the one factor that is necessary to become great at something is practice.

However, note that some of the ‘professionals’ had only been dancing for 3 years!

Obviously there are always exceptional people – outliers. But keep in mind, these might have been the people who practiced the most – notice the range of practice hours – some ‘professionals’ practice as much as 21 hours a week! If you practice 5 times a week, that’s 4 hours a day! Younger guys usually have more time to practice than older guys.

Then there are the ones who only practice 3 hours a week… but they may be those top level guys who are already amazing, and spend more time traveling, teaching and performing. These are the exceptions you can’t really gather from research like this.


Looks like B-Boys spend about 15 minutes on warming up, and 15 minutes on stretching, every practice. That actually makes good sense, and looks like B-Boys are generally doing things right. But again, there is a lot of variation.

While I think people should always warm-up before practice, stretching can be very different depending on goals. If you are naturally flexible, or don’t care to dance in a way that requires a lot of flexibility, you might barely stretch at all. After-all, it doesn’t really help prevent injuries.

But if you want to improve your flexibility, you may have to stretch way more.


Note that only 80% of the ‘professionals’ trained headspins – proving that you don’t need them to reach the top levels of the dance. Just about all moves are optional for becoming a great b-boy, offering further credence to “expressing yourself”.

Do whatever movement you love to do – but still, do it well and practice a ton!


some mad learnin'

Conclusions / Recommendations:

Looks like if you want to be great, you should practice about 5-6 times a week, for about 2 hours each time. That may be hard to do – but if you want to get amazing, that’s the lifestyle! How long will it take you to reach the ‘top level’? Looks like about 7 years… which is a similar amount of time as the top performers of many other sports/arts.

But don’t forget, there is a lot of variation. Some people may practice, warm-up, and stretch/exercise way more effectively than others, getting more done in less time.

“Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” – Bruce Lee (or Vincint Lombardi, who cares)

So while these numbers are certainly interesting, don’t get too caught up in them. The bottom line is if you want to become great, then practice as effectively as possible, and as much as possible. If you are making good progress, maybe you don’t need to stress out too much about how many hours a week you practice compared to others.

Quality over quantity. And that’s usually true for everything.

To learn more about the science and research of practice, read
Practice 101 – Improve your brain while becoming awesome
Practice 102 – What’s the best way to practice?
and apply what you learn to your own training.



1. Kauther MD, Wedemeyer C, Wegner A, Kauther KM, von Knoch M. Breakdance injuries and overuse syndromes in amateurs and professionals. Am J Sports Med. 2009 Apr;37(4):797-802. Epub 2009 Feb 9. PubMed PMID: 19204362.

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    25 Responses to B-Boy Stats – How much do B-Boys usually practice?

    1. Vamshi Bhoi says:

      wow! the processionals would work really hard to get their moves as clean as they can!Go Bruce Lee”perfect practice makes Perfect”good atricle helped me a bit!

    2. Louis says:

      haha I love how people are freaked out with headspin, like it is the only way that can give us bboys injuries :))
      … and also how they are amazed with it, like everytime my brother does some flares, everyone is like “yeah he’s good that must be somewhat hard to do”, but after that, he does like 20 seconds of headspinning and those same people piss their pants and give him mad applauding, lol.

    3. Yang Yang says:

      Love your site brother. Being a bboy for about 4 years now, this site is like finding diamonds! Respect

      • Tony Ingram says:

        Thanks Yang!!! If you like it, share with others! That would be awesome, I’d super appreciate. So far it seems I have a lot of health professionals and fitness buffs following me, but not enough bboys!

        • Greyhadex says:

          I was about to give up on training b boing,but after look on this site..i have got some thats make me feel i have a chance to be a b boy,thank you so much bro

    4. Ghanat Rane says:

      I Like the B Boys Dance ,,,,, I want to learn plz Give me advice ,……………………….. I’m waiting for your Reply …..

    5. manno says:

      well im still trying to figure out how to practis….it seems lil bit hard for me…any tips?

      • Tony Ingram says:

        Hey Manno,

        I like this video from VincaniTV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao2AHQSm__U – pretty solid advice, and he knows his stuff.
        Do you have anyone else you can train with by any chance? If so, that is essential. If you have people to learn from, you’ll get over sticking points in your progress way faster. If you’re alone, though, let me know, I’ll try to give a better answer.


        P.S. I wrote an article on some theories on practicing skills here.

    6. Vee says:

      yeah Vincani’s my inspiration
      he’s great dude

    7. Jprime (MFP) says:

      Just wanted to add that once in the game after learning fundamentals, takin a step back to have a thought about being creative should be considered as well. Practicing efficiently all the time will increase consistency n cleanliness, but (personally) no time to sit and think about creative original transitions/moves/presence will not get any bboy farther in the game as he’d want. And surprisingly, many of my friends have a spark of creativity when they take a break from bboyin for a couple of days or sometimes longer. This concept can somewhat be tied to “effective practicing” but I can see how can be an odd add to this article.

      • Tony Ingram says:

        I agree 100% Jprime, creativity is definitely fostered by taking a step back once in a while. What I mean by practicing effectively in this article is simply getting down skills – but that’s not at all the end of the game. Also just resting and thinking, imagining, and practicing without a purpose – completely letting the music take you – are other things that I find helpful for creativity. I may write about creativity in the future as well. Thanks for commenting!

    8. TeeReal says:

      Hey there !
      So like I read your story about dancing, well how you got started and your PT career and it is utterly amazing how similar our interests are. I would love to dance or become a dancer rather [breakin, poppin, locking, etc.] and I will also like to go to PT school once I’m done with my undergrad. I was just wondering if you could tell me more about how you began and balanced it out with school. I personally feel like I am too old or it’s too late for me to begin dancing because I just turned 20 and I hear all of these ppl mentioning how they’ve been dancing practically their whole life and how they’ve been surrounded by other artists and dancers. It’s pretty intimidating and discouraging to hear those things and compare it to my life of dance or lack thereof. But please ! I’m very interested in your story !

      • Tony Ingram says:

        Hey TeeReal – I have an interview in a couple places, so I’ll drop links. But most importantly, I didn’t start dancing until I was 19!!! So don’t use age as an excuse at all. Also look up the bboy ATN interview on Strife.tv. He started in his 20’s, is now 34 I think, and is killing it – went to R16 Korea I’m pretty sure. Amazing.

        First and foremost – time management. If you’re in university and dancing, plan your day by the hour… it’s okay to lose track once in awhile, but always strive to manage your time. I only took a week or two off during exam time while a student. Otherwise I always practiced about 1-2 hours a day, 4 times a week. Just fit it in your schedule like everyone else fits in the gym.





    9. bboy evox says:

      you can practice like a real bboy or bgril or you can giv up like a pussy

    10. bboy evox says:

      i have one round of flar i can do the next it’s hard but i well never give up never…..

    11. Ron says:

      Sir.m practicing windmill from last 1 month but still my legs are touching the floor often ..how can I avoid it?? I need continuous mill

    12. Syed shuaib says:

      Hi, tony sir i want to learn flares how to practice could pls u help me with that?

    13. Syed shuaib says:

      Hello, tony sir i wanna learn flares pls advice me.

    14. Samuel Omole says:

      very nice post for an upcoming bboy like me…though i’ve been in the culture(bboy culture) since 2009 but i got serious with it between early 2010 & mid 2010 and i’ve been in it since then…though i’ve grown to a certain level but a lot needs to be done…..thanks for this post once again.

    15. Arun says:

      Fist of all thnkz for spreading this comments.long long ago i don’t know about bboying but at the same time i take a power moves like windmill,flares.after some years later i learn what is bboying and how to do?? U r absolutely correct to say that the comment perfect practice.after i learn basic foundations and i was doing practice everday and spending for 4hours a day.i was finished my studies but iam only to focus that the word “IAM A BBOY” this word is my lifetime achievement and long term goal also. Thnku

    16. SYED BILAL says:

      my farouvite dance is breaking dance

    17. Petrelli says:

      I’m working on headspin after learning ma back flip this week, n’ it seems 2 me some moves require more attention

    18. aljie says:

      hello. i have a question .. how to become a real bboy? give me some tips please..

    19. jamal says:

      Hi . Iam 27 years old I really good at dancing some people say my style is cool but can I master bboying in this age .plz tell me a tip

    20. viraj says:

      Hlo Tony sir
      I see ur advises .its very good for all bboys. Plzz Tell me the best bboy tutorial videos company name. I m from India and have not professional coach. Plz help me sir

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