Following on from my previous post on stretching for Capoeira, I wanted to share five more stretches that we still use in Capoeira and outside the circle of Capoeira, with some variations thrown in.
The Jefferson Curl:
Start by standing tall on a flat surface or an elevated surface and with some kind of weight in your hands. This could be a barbell or kettlebells. You’re not looking for the heaviest weight possible, so start light (for example, 5kg) and progress from there.
For this one, we start with the lead leg directly in front of you, with the knee bent at 90° lining up with the foot. Then the trail leg out to the side and also bent at 90° inline with the heel.
Lean forward to get the deep stretch through the hip and glute minimus.
For the trail leg, try to square yourself off inline with the knee, if you cannot, you can lean back.
Sit on the floor in what I guess you would call a typical hamstring stretch position. Turn your upper body towards the bent knee, grabbing it with the opposite hand and lean your upper body towards the foot of the straight leg. The trick with this one is to hold on tightly and think about guiding your head and shoulders towards and beyond the foot!
This is a very common position to be in when playing Capoeira, as a way of escaping (esquiva) attacks. It’s great position to practice to ‘teach’ your hips how to do the splits.
Straighten one leg (again point your toes if you feel like it). Tuck your other leg up towards your butt, trying to keep your heel and glutes nice and close to each other. With that same leg, try to keep your foot flat on the ground, and your knee and toes pointing in the same direction.
Deltoid capsule stretch:
Lie face down (prone) and feed your left arm underneath your chest. Let your left knee fall out to the side. To add more intensity to it, reach forwards with the non-stretching arm.
Scorpion stretch (pec to bicep):
Lie prone on the floor. Reach forward with one arm, then out about 45° (so either 10:30 or 2:30 on a clock). Keep the non-stretching arm close to the body (like a push up position), and use it to create leverage and push the stretching shoulder into the ground.