“I hope that women feel empowered and empowered to see other women doing their work, because I know that helps me,” says Edra.
Watching videos of Edra spinning on her head and arms, and moving her legs a mile a minute—all looking incredibly calm, beautiful, and strong—you’d never know there was a time in her life when she felt less than confident.
“I was insecure about my own body changes and would love to get bigger muscles or have bigger arms,” says Edra. “Recently, my perspective has changed because I think there are a lot of role models, a lot of female role models, who are really loving and very open about accepting how their body looks, especially if they’re an athlete who needs to have upper body strength. .”
Edra cites Serena Williams, Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka as inspirations who have helped her embrace her built upper body. “They’re addicted as hell,” Edra says. “So I should be proud of my body too.”
Edra certainly knows a thing or two about upper body strength. To master the spins, handstands and flips that make him a champion, he needs to engage his shoulders, arms, back, chest and core. The moves require grip strength as well as mobility and flexibility so that he can twist and bend with control.
“Training mobility as a breaker, as a B-girl, is important because we want to create new pathways for our movement so we can create more moves or new transitions to add to our arsenal,” says Edra.
That’s why some of Edra’s favorite upper-body workouts combine elements of strength, mobility, and flexibility. If you want to work your upper body like a B-girl, here are some moves to try.
Edra likes to use pushups as a base because they engage your entire body, but there are also many possibilities for variations. One of her favorite variations is the yogic spin on the classic move, as it’s a chest-opening stretch as well as a strength-builder.
To do this, start in downward dog position. Then bend your elbows and lower your face to the ground, like you’re doing a pushup from a pike position. From there, lower your hips to the ground and move into upward dog, arching your back, straightening your arms and lifting your face to the sky.
Edra does pull-ups, but she actually finds hanging with her arms straight from a pull-up bar to be more challenging and rewarding—and a great way to work on grip strength.
“It stretches the whole body,” says Edra. “It helps your body come into alignment. And then it also helps arm and wrist strength.”
Handstands are a huge part of Edra’s routine, so it makes sense that she spends a lot of time training them. If you haven’t worked up to a full handstand yet, grab a yoga mat and place it against a wall. Practice shifting your weight to your hands and kicking your legs to rest on the wall. You can also stand with your legs wide apart, bend over, and even lean on your hands to keep as much of your body weight on your upper body and off your feet.
Also called bears, this killer move involves starting in a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the floor. Then, you lift your knees two inches off the floor and hold yourself up. Edra likes to play by lifting one arm and one leg, adding shoulder taps, or crawling backwards and forwards.