Want a clear, easy-to-follow guide to learn Popping? This 8-week Popping Training Guide is the perfect way for beginners to cover all the major Popping techniques.

The Popping training guide is divided up like this:

Week 1: Hitting, Arm Waves
Week 2: Body Waves, Glides
Week 3: Review, Freestyle
Week 4: Isolation, Animation
Week 5: Fresno, Flexes
Week 6: Review, Freestyle
Week 7: Walk out / Boogaloo, Twist, Tuts
Week 8: Review, Freestyle

Follow this Popping Training Guide to learn and practice all the basic Popping moves you need to know. You can also download this Popping Training Calendar PDF to custom-plan your schedule:





WEEK 1

Popping Technique 1: Hitting

how to learn poppingLearn how to hit:

Hitting (or popping) is when you flex and release your muscles as quickly and as powerfully as possible. Hitting is done to the beats in music.

For more in-depth instruction, read: Learn How To Pop, Or Hit With Your Body!

Drill Popping hits:

Practice by hitting one body part at a time (arms, legs, chest/torso, neck), in different positions.

Play this song:

  • 4 8-counts: Hit with your arms extended straight in front of you, parallel to each other
  • 4 8-counts: Hit with your arms extended straight out, perpendicular to the ground
  • 1 8-count: From this position, hit as your arm rises up in increments until they are straight up above your head, parallel to each other.
  • 1 8-count: Then bring them back down, still hitting on beat. (repeat this up-down motion as many times as you wish)
  • 4 8-counts: Hit with your torso/chest
  • 4 8-counts: Sit in a chair, and hit with your neck
  • 4 8-counts: Stay in the chair, and hit with your legs
  • 2 8-counts: Stand on one leg, and hit with the other leg slightly extended out
  • 2 8 counts: Stand on the other leg, and hit with the other leg slightly extended out

Things to remember:

You want your hits to pack in as much power as possible, in the shortest amount of time possible.
You can hit on the 1 (boom), or the 2 (ka), both, or “ride through” the 1 beat to the 2.

Popping Technique 2: Arm Waves

how to learn poppingLearn how to do the Arm Wave:

The 12-point arm wave can be broken down like this

Drill Popping Arm Waves:

Practice the 12-Point Arm Wave with Boogie Frantick

    • More practice:
    • Practice the 12-point arm wave with your arms straight out, reversing directions each 8 count. Do this 4 8 counts slowly, 4 8 counts tempo.
    • Then, do it with one arm only for 4 8 counts.
    • Switch arms, repeat for 4 8 counts.
    • Wave both arms inward towards your chest for 4 8 counts, then reverse it out toward your fingertips for 4 8 counts.
    • Wave any or both arms in any direction for 4 8 counts. Get creative! You want your arms to “memorize” the pathway of the wave in as many positions as possible.

Things to remember:

It’s important to break down each point of the 12-point wave before blending it all together to create a smooth movement. This builds your arm’s muscle memory.

Keep your hands loose and fluid, and rotate your elbows to create a smoother wave.

Practice facing a mirror; how the wave looks from your POV might not be how it looks to someone watching!
You can practice waving your arms in any / all positions, not just the angles given.

WEEK 2

Popping Technique 3: Body Waves

how to learn poppingLearn how to body wave:

The 8-point body wave: move in one direction, starting with your head, shoulders, hip, knee, other knee, back to your hip, shoulders, up to your head.

The wave should move down one side of your body, then back up the other.

Drill Popping body waves:

Wave down one side of your body for 4 counts, then back up for 4 counts.

Do this for this entire song:

Things to remember:

It’s important to start and complete your full body waves.

Drill how to isolate the different parts of the wave, but incorporate it into your grooves.

You can start the full body wave from different body parts (like from the ground-up).

Technique 4: Glides

how to learn poppingLearn how to Glide:

Do the step-glide by stepping out with one foot, then sliding it back.

Do the over-under/under-over glide by lifting the heel of one foot, and sliding the other foot in front of it. Take that same foot, and slide it behind the other foot.

Drill Popping glides:

Practice the Step Glide with Boogie Frantick with this free YouTube drill

      • More practice:
      • Do the over-under/under-over glide 4 times in one direction, then 4 times in the opposite direction

Things to remember:

Footwork doesn’t mean your upper body isn’t doing anything! Add your own flavor with grooves or head looks, etc.

Gliding is all about shifting your weight on your feet. Pay attention to which foot and where (heel/toe) your weight is.

WEEK 3

Review: Hitting, Arm Waves, Body Waves, Glides

Re-visit the techniques from weeks 1 and 2.

Combine all the techniques that you learned in a guided freestyle.

Play this song:

      • 2 8-counts: Hit with your arms in any position
      • 2 8-counts: Wave both arms in any angle
      • 2 8-counts: Do the body wave
      • 2 8-counts: Do the step-glide in any direction
      • 2 8-counts: Hit with your chest
      • 1 8-count: Wave only 1 arm, in our out
      • 1 8-counts: Wave with the other arm, in our out
      • 2 8-counts: Body wave as you step out with your feet
      • 2 8-counts: Do the over-under glide
      • Remainder of the song: Combine any of the techniques in your own freestyle

WEEK 4

Popping Technique 5: Isolations / Fixed Points

how to learn poppingLearn how to do isolations and fixed points:

Isolate one body part and move it while the rest of your body stays still, or
Keep one body part at a fixed point as the rest of your body moves around it.

Drill Popping isolations and fixed points:

Play this song:

      • 4 8-counts: Isolate your head by moving it front and back
      • 4 8-counts: Isolate your head by moving it side to side
      • 4 8-counts: Isolate your head by moving it in a circular motion, like you’re making a letter “O” with it
      • 4 8-counts: Extend your arms straight in front of you, and create circles with your hands
      • 4 8-counts: Keep the same position, then start bending/moving at your wrists and elbows
      • 4 8-counts: Isolate your legs by doing an “in-place” glide – keeping one leg planted while the other glides in front of it and back
      • 8 8-counts: Fix point different things, like putting your hand on a “wall” and dancing around it, or holding a “ball” and only moving the ball

Things to remember:

Isolations and fixed points are great tools to create concepts, imagery, and stories.

Solid balance is key when fix pointing your leg(s) and moving your upper body.

Popping Technique 6: Animation

how to learn poppingLearn Popping animation:

Ticking is when you snap into a position with your joints.

Strobing is a faster pace of dime stops; it creates this illusion of leaving a trail of movement (like you’re dancing under a strobe light). Poppers often strobe in pedestrian movements like walking.

Botting is when you create a “Robot” effect with your whole body using parts of these techniques. It makes your body/movements look “fake.”

Drill Popping animation:

Start this mixtape:

      • Tick through the entire 12-point arm wave for 5 minutes straight
      • Do the 4-point tick walk: stepping forward with one foot, and ticking the other leg in 4 points as you complete the step
      • Strobe as you arm wave, walk, and complete other pedestrian movements (cooking, brushing your teeth)

Things to remember:

Keep your core nice and firm when you’re ticking your limbs

Make your dime stops as clean as possible when you strobe

WEEK 5

Popping Technique 7: Fresno

how to learn poppingLearn how to do the Fresno:

The Fresno is a part of Popping / Boogaloo technique. Shift your weight from side to side as you hit with each leg and arm.

Drill the Popping Fresno:

Play this mixtape:

      • 4 8-counts: Do the Fresno (1 hit makes you move, the 2nd makes you stop)
      • 4 8-counts: Hit your bottom right diagonal, bottom mid position, then bottom left diagonal
      • 4 8-counts: Do the Fresno in a “single single double double,” AKA your arms hitting right left right right, left right left left.
      • 8 8-counts: Do the Fresno with variations with your steps (walk outs)

Things to remember:

The Fresno is important because it really teaches you how to stay with the pace of the music.

Use your weight to keep balance as you pivot your feet. Your whole body turns, not just your hip!

Never snap your legs all the way back; use your ankles to buffer the hits.

Popping Technique 8: Flexes

how to learn poppingLearn how to do flexes:

The Twist-o-flex is when you put your hands on either side of your hips, then pivot your arms so that your chin is touching one shoulder. Turn your upper torso to meet the plane of your hand placements there, then step forward to your base position.

The Neck-o-flex is when you touch your chin to a shoulder as you extend it out, then pivot your lower body around your arms as your head stays facing that direction. Then, turn your upper body and head to the opposite arm.

Drill Popping flexes:

Play this:

      • 8 8-counts: Twist-o-flex
      • 8 8-counts: Neck-o-flex
      • 8 8-counts: combine both flexes in your own freestyle

WEEK 6

Review: Isolations, Animation, Fresno, Flexes

Re-visit the techniques from weeks 4 and 5.

Combine all the techniques that you learned in a guided freestyle.

Play any song you like.

      • 2 8-counts: Isolate any body part
      • 2 8-counts: Isolate another body part
      • 2 8-counts: Fixed point one body part
      • 2 8-counts: Fixed point another body part
      • 2 8-counts: Tick the 12-point arm wave
      • 2 8-counts: Tick while walking
      • 2 8-counts: Strobe from/to any position
      • 2 8-counts: Do the Fresno
      • 2 8-counts: Do the Twist-o-flex
      • 2 8-counts: Do the Neck-o-flex
      • Remainder of the song: combine any of the techniques in your own freestyle

WEEK 7

Popping Technique 9: Walk Out and Boogaloo

how to learn poppingLearn the Walk Out and Boogaloo:

Do the Walk Out by crossing one leg in front and across from you. With that some foot, step toward the other diagonal. Twist to that direction, then step forward with the back foot. Use the same foot to step behind yourself, then pivot to the front, and bring both feet in.

The Boogaloo is when you do a full body wave, starting from your head rolling all the way around, rolling your shoulders in opposite directions, pushing your chest out, then bringing your hips and knees out and around.

Drill the Walk Out and Boogaloo:

Play this:

      • 14 8-counts: Hit all the 7 points of the walk out 4 times each.
      • 14 8-counts: Use your opposite foot to start and hit all the 7 points of the walk out 4 times each.
      • Repeat hitting during the walk out on each side, but 2 times in each position.
      • Repeat again, 1 hit in each position, in tempo with the music.
      • Draw a “figure 8” with your knees to prepare to do the Boogaloo roll.
      • 8 8-counts: do slow Boogaloo rolls – fill up the full 8-count per roll
      • 8 8-counts: medium Boogaloo rolls – 4 counts per roll
      • 4 8-counts: fast Boogaloo rolls – 2 counts per roll

Things to remember:

For the walk out, use your opposite arm when you step forward with a leg.

Stay loose with your body as you do the Boogaloo roll.

Popping Technique 10: Twists

how to learn poppingLearn Popping twists:

Do the Egyptian Twist by making angular pictures with your arms as you pivot your focus and toes toward different directions.

Drill Popping twists:

Play this:

      • 1 8-count of Egyptian twist to your right.
      • 1 8-count of Egyptian to your left.
      • 2 Egyptian twists to your right, 2 steps to your right.
      • 2 Egyptian twists to your left, 2 steps to your left.

Things to remember:

Keep your upper body and shoulders squared to the front, with your face following your toes.

Hit with each time you pivot or step.

Popping Technique 11: Tutting

how to learn poppingLearn how to Tut:

Tut by creating different lines and shapes with your arms.

Bend from the elbows, wrists, and fingers.

Drill tutting exercises:

      • Play any song
      • From a resting position, bend at your elbow to raise one arm to chest level
      • From there, extend it straight up
      • Go through this same pathway to bring your arm down
      • 8 8-counts: Drill your arms in this up-up-down-down pattern, alternating between arms
      • Now raise both arms by the elbows in front of your face, and bend in a 90 degree angle at the wrist
      • 8 8-counts: Alternate bending each side
      • 4 8-counts: Extend your arms straight out on each side, and bend at the the elbows and wrists at 90 degree angles to create a “Z” then rotate them inward to create a box

Things to remember:

Keep your angles clean! 90, 180 degrees

WEEK 8

Review: Boogaloo, Twists, Tutting

Combine all the techniques that you learned in a guided freestyle.

      • 2 8-counts: Boogaloo rolls
      • 2 8-counts: Egyptian twist
      • 2 8-counts: Tut with just your arms
      • 2 8-counts: Tut while traveling with footwork (you can just step, or glide)
      • 2 8-counts: Walk out and Boogaloo rolls
      • 2 8-counts: Egyptian twist in different variations
      • Remainder of the song: combine any of the techniques in your own freestyle

 

Use this guide to train your basic Popping technique within 2 months.

If you want to follow along with a tutorial, STEEZY Studio’s Popping Program (taught by renowned Poppers Boogie Frantick, Kid Boogie, and Slim Boogie) is a much easier way to train.

All you have to do is plan out your schedule and follow along with the videos.

Sign up here to try it out for free!