Capoeira Fitness Techniques

Simple tips for capoeira fitnessI didn’t know what proper capoeira fitness techniques were when I started training in early 2008. I just started training and thought nothing of it.

It wasn’t until I began getting foot blisters and joint pain that I realized I had to do something different.

I needed to focus on taking care of my body.

Here I saw the importance of proper fitness techniques… they were essential if I wanted to keep training.

The following information is just what I've found to help me in my personal experience. I am not a doctor or fitness instructor, just a guy sharing what I've experienced.

So with that let me share what I’ve learned to keep me in top shape.

Warming Up

Before you start to train, it’s key to warm up and loosen up. This way you won’t be as stiff and prone to hurt yourself in some movements. It’s especially important if you train in a cold environment.

When we train when it’s below 30° F outside, warming up is essential!

Here are some simple exercises to improve your capoeira fitness and get warm enough to stretch and train safely...

  • Running – Run laps around the academy or where you train to get your body going. Mix it up with hitting your heels to your butt and bringing your knees up.
  • Jumping Jacks – These are a simple, space saving way to warm up. Jump up and spread out your legs while bringing your hands together over your head. Jump again and bring your feet together and arms to your side.
  • Ginga – A lot of times our mestre will have us ginga to warm up. It not only gets us loosened up, but also allows us to practice our ginga, improving our capoeira fitness.

Now that you’re all warmed up, you can move on to stretching...


Stretching maintains capoeira fitnessThe next step before training is stretching properly.

Without it, you can easily pull a muscle.

That’s why every class we start off with stretching. It keeps us flexible and ready for all movements we work on in class.

Below are a variety of stretches we normally do before training...

  • Neck Stretches - Learn to keep your neck flexible with these stretches so you can keep an eye on your opponent.
  • Shoulder Stretches - These shoulder stretches will keep your shoulders loose for everything from the swing in your ginga to split second escapes.
  • Back Stretches - Proper back stretches like these will allow you more freedom when performing low escapes and movements like the ponte.
  • Leg Stretches - A key to throwing smooth and controlled kicks, is having your legs loose and flexible. These stretches will help you do just that.

Stretching is key to staying in shape for practice. However it won’t prevent some of the more common injuries I’ve experienced.

Common Injuries

Capoeira training is physically intense. When just starting out, your body needs to get used to the change in activity.

For me that meant learning to deal with foot blisters and sore joints…

Read more below on how to cope with these common injuries.

  • Sore Joints - Learn how to take care of sore joints by reducing their pain and giving them the opportunity to rest and heal.
  • Foot Blisters - These tips teach you how to avoid or deal with foot blisters properly, so you won't have to hobble around everywhere.

I hope these tips will help save you a lot of pain and keep you training regularly!

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