A very cool move that is a sticking point for most breakdancing careers. Most breakdancers train until they can do half or one flare but do not put in the work to do continuous flares which places you in the advanced category. Flares are difficult because you have to be very good at a couple of things at the same time; strength, flexibility and technique.
Wrist / Forearms
You need handle your bodyweight on your wrists. Learning flares is harsh on your wrists and weak wrists get injured. This is the most common injury when learning flare and not all breakdancers overcome it. Get your wrists strong do these exercises:
Once your wrists can handle your bodyweight the next higher up muscle needs to support your bodyweight, your shoulders. I’ve previously covered shoulder strength so to summarize be proficient in handstands and handstand presses. If you don’t know what that is you aren’t ready for flares yet. Below is the shoulder training to be injury free and strong for flares.
Can be done on the ground, strive to hold your feet above your belly button. Do 10 second holds 3 times a week. This will strengthen your hip flexors so you can raise your legs high in the front position of flare.
Lack of flexibility limits your ability to perform the correct flare technique. This makes the move alot harder to perform, under rare circumstances bad flexibility can be compensated with great strength, however its harder to perform the flare this way and it doesn’t look good. You need enough flexibility to raise your knee your face and shoulder to get really clean flares.
Shoulder flexibility is overlooked in flares. You need to be competent at skin the cats so you have the shoulder flexibility to raise your hips high in the front part of the flare.
The best way to practice the flare is start double leg circle training with the bucket. This cuts the move in half. When you first start training there is a lot happening at once in the flare. Double leg circle training reduces what you have to think about so you can focus on hand placement, keeping your legs straight and pushing with your shoulders. This video shows double leg circles:
Once your hands and shoulders know what to do, the last step is controlling your legs. Your legs kick again and again in a flare at different times. You can practice leg control by trying the move, but this is the most frustrating way. You can practice parts of leg kicking with your butt on the floor, this is good for the front portion of the move in the beginning but not helpful as you advance. There is a flare drill for working the rear part of the flare that is real good and shown below.
The best way to work the legs is to use a flare trainer that holds your legs then you can perform many repetitions and learn the technique.
What isn’t mentioned in the video is the amount of time it takes to get flare. If you are a beginner it will take at least 6 months to get decent strength and flexibility. From there another 6 months to get enough repetitions to be able to do a few rounds of flare. This is the best case scenario and it is common for breakdancers to dabble in flares for years and not be able to do more than one or two.