When I started training capoeira, my legs were the first sore part of my body.
Leg stretches, I learned were the key to keeping my legs loose and healthy for training and playing.
Below are some essential stretches I do before training…
These stretches have the leg moving or rotating to increase looseness and motion of the leg. I normally do these stretches 10 – 20 times apiece before practice.
- Rotation kicks out – While standing, start by bringing your right knee up and rotating your leg out to the right side. Bring it back to standing position and repeat with the other leg. Continue for the rest of the stretch.
- Rotation kicks in – While standing, bring your right knee up and rotate your leg inside you toward the left side. Bring the leg back down to stand and repeat for the other side.
- Knee rotations – Stand with your feet together and place your hands on your knees. Bend your knees and rotate them in full circle in one direction. When you get to the front again, reverse the direction. Keep rotating for the duration of the exercise.
- Knee pivots in & out – Stand with your feet together and place your hands on your knees. Start by bending your knees, pushing them forward and spreading them open. Rotate them away from each other and bring them back together at the back of the rotation while unbending your knees. From here, reverse the direction of the rotation and finish where you first started. Repeat this motion for the rest of the exercise.
- Ankle spins – While standing, with one foot, lift the heel off the ground and rotate your ankle in both directions. Stop and repeat with the other foot.
Static leg stretches really help in stretching out the leg. This is essential for all the movements in capoeira. I usually hold these stretches for 10 – 20 seconds each.
- Pull leg behind – While standing, lift one foot behind you and using your arms, try to pull it up to your butt. Hold it there to stretch. Repeat for the other leg.
- Pull knee up front – While standing, bring one knee up and using your hands, try to bring it to your chest. Keep your back straight while doing this. Hold to stretch and repeat for the other leg.
- Leg cross – Start by standing, with one leg crossed over the other. Bend forward and try to palm both your hands on the floor. Hold it to stretch the back leg. Repeat by crossing the other leg over.
- Heel grab – Start by sitting in a crouching position. Place both your hands behind your legs grabbing the heels of your feet. Slowly stand, while still holding your heels. Hold this position to stretch.
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