Capoeira Fitness - Back Stretches

Back stretches are a key part of maintaining capoeira fitness and playing in the roda. There are so many movements that depend on a flexible back.

Without this flexibility, your ginga can be as stiff as a log!

These are some back stretches we normally do in training to keep our backs flexible like bamboo…

Rotation Stretches

These are stretches which require the rotation of your back or core. They are awesome at increasing your back’s range of motion and flexibility for a good level of capoeira fitness. I normally do these motions 20 – 30 times apiece.

  • Hip rotation – With your hands on your hips and legs firm, rotate your hips around in big circle completely in one direction. Stop and reverse directions, making a circle in the opposite direction. Repeat for the rest of the stretch.
  • Trunk spin – While standing, place your feet a shoulder width apart on the ground. Start by touching the ground and rotate your arms along with your back around behind your head. Keep looking at your hands while doing it, bringing them around and back down to the floor again. Reverse directions and repeat for the rest of the stretch.
  • Alternate toe touch – Stand with your legs stretched as far as possible. Reach down with your right arm to touch your left foot. Stretch your left arm out behind you as stretch. Reach for your right foot with your left arm with your right arm stretched behind you. Repeat both directions for the rest of the stretch.
  • Resistência – Start in a crouching position with both feet on the floor. Place one hand to the side behind you and using the other hand reach back into the air over your body, stretching backwards while arching your back into the air. Come back into the crouching position and do it on the other side. Continue switching sides for the duration of the stretch.

Static Stretches

Use these stretches to gain the flexibility needed to do some of the more advanced escapes and movements in capoeira. I normally hold these anywhere from 10 – 20 seconds apiece.

  • Ponte (Bridges) – Lay down on the floor with your knees up, like a sit-up position. Place your hands over and behind your head with palms down, flat on the floor. Push with your palms and feet to lift your body in an arch. Hold this position to stretch.
  • Cat back arch – Sit down on both of your legs so you’re in a kneeling position. Place your arms on the ground in front of you. Begin pushing upwards with your lower back, keeping your arms planted on the floor. Stretch your lower back and hold for the rest of the stretch.
  • Laying arch – Lay down flat on the floor with your face toward the ground. Place your hands flat on the ground near your face. Lift up you torso with your hands, keeping your hips on the ground and face the ceiling. Hold this stretch.

These back stretches really do make a difference in training. Not only do they allow your back to gain a lot more flexibility, they help to maintain a good level of capoeira fitness. This makes a big difference when you train a lot, so you don't injure yourself.

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