The Capoeira Blog


Building Flexibility, Strength, and Balance for Capoeira
September 13, 2007, 12:44 pm
Filed under: Tips & Guides

handstand
Photo by Mr Walker (Flickr)

The basic building blocks of capoeira’s physical side are flexibility, strength, and balance. From handstands to cartwheels to backflips to kicks, everything a capoeirista does requires one of these basic attributes.

Some capoeiristas are naturally gifted in certain areas, while others must train and practice to develop the basics. What every capoeirista, old and new, must realize, is that anything is possible with enough practice.

I never thought I could do a backflip, but I surprised myself and learned how to do it in a matter of weeks. Right now I’m stuck on something as seemingly simple as a macaco, but I know that the more I practice the better I will get.

With that preface, I’d like to direct you to a couple of resources that will help you to develop the basic skills necessary to become a great capoeirista.

Flexibility

Many of capoeira’s kicks, flips, and other movements require a wide range of flexibility. Some people come into capoeira already flexible, while others need to concentrate on stretching and improving their range of motion.

To get started, check out TricksTutorials.com’s guide on flexibility. The guide is written for “tricking” but it can definitely be applied to capoeira because they have much in common.

Strength

Many times in capoeira you are required to support yourself with nothing but your hands. It is in situations like holding a handstand or queda de rins when you will need to have well developed upper body and abdominal strength.

Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of being able to go to a gym everyday, but there are many things you can do to improve your strength using your own bodyweight.

Balance

Balance is a key factor in any movement where need to hold yourself upside down, such as handstands or aus. The better balance you have in these movements, the better you can develop your game.

There are many different tutorials on the Beast Skills website that will have you doing handstands and other holds like a pro.

I want to say thank you to eFFeeMMe from the Capoeira.com forums for linking to the stretching and balance sites, otherwise I might never have found them.

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9 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I hear ya about the macaco. I have been working on it for months and I still and soooo close, but still not there!!!!

I know I will be, I’m just getting impatient!!!

Comment by parr

thank you Faisca, I’ve been looking for these things, I’ll make sure to pass this on to people.

-Fragile

Comment by Phil

Glad to be of service Fragile, that’s what this place is for! Also, congrats to you on being the 100th comment! Cheers all around!

Comment by faisca

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Im just starting out and I had no previous dancing or martial arts training and experience. However – I fell inlove with the sport and would like to be really good at it. My beginners class meets up 3 x per week and can you give me some endurance or strength workout I could do on my own time so that I become more physically fit? Im 30 and does not possess bionic muscles and abs.

Comment by Anna D

Anna, I would suggest doing some sort of cardio workout to build up your stamina and endurance. You could use a stationary bike, elliptical, etc (I wouldn’t recommend a treadmill just because it’s not really good on your knees/back).

If you can’t find the time to get to a gym (in addition to capoeira), it would not hurt to do the ginga every day, for as long as you think will be helpful. The ginga is the most important part of capoeira, and it’s also a great cardio workout. Constantly practicing the ginga will not only make you better at it (that’s a plus!) but it will also build up your stamina. Start for 10 minutes a day for one week, up it to 15 minutes the next, etc. You can even ginga in your living room while watching tv!

You don’t need bionic muscles to do capoeira, don’t worry. The more you practice, the more fit you will become (that’s one of the many benefits of capoeira!).

Comment by faisca

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I have been training for four years and have enjoyed Capoeira immensely. I have added Jiu Jitsu to my training routine. I especially enjoy the moments where the training pays off and I pull off a move I have been working on for a while.

Comment by Gafonhoto




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