Capoeira is all the buzz these days. I turned on the TV the other night to see a Capoeiristas (one that enjoys this sport/game) having a full makeover. On top of that, I went to a Cirque De Soleil show a few months back, and guess what they had plenty of? You guessed it. Capoeiristas
Capoeira is a martial arts form that originated in Brazil over 500 years ago. Today it is also thought of as an exercise or a game. Usually two people will enter in a circle and begin to do sweeps, kicks, and other martial art moves.
As a personal trainer, I am in and out of many health clubs. I began seeing Capoeira as the newest buzz in fitness classes. It is quickly becoming the new trend for health clubs. But I really started learning about Capoeira when a client of mine asked about ways she could strengthen her body to perform better. To be honest, I was at a complete loss of words. I had no clue what she was talking about.
I did some research on this exciting game/sport and developed a functional program for her to use. The Capoeirista had been working out using traditional machines and exercises. After my research I knew she really had to move in a different direction. No pun intended.
We started functional training. That means doing moves and exercises that are consistent with everyday tasks: lifting, jumping, pulling and pushing. We introduced exercises like the squat, lunges, push-ups, explosive lunges and dead-lifts. Each exercise focused on strengthening the muscles for quick, no-time-to-think movements.
After a few months of training, this Capoeirista was ready to get back into the circle. Her body was functionally stronger, and it showed in her kicks, leaps, and jumps.
If you enjoy Capoeira or another martial arts form, consider functional exercise and strength training as friends. Building a body for your specific sport or interest will ensure many years of healthy competition.
By Lynn VanDyke
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