Capoeira may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you say exercise, however this Brazilian martial art is great for building lean muscle and burning stubborn fat. Its following includes celebrities such as Victoria's Secret models Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio.
What is it?
Developed in Brazil in the 16th century, Capoeira combines elements of dance, martial arts, acrobatics and music to create a flowing routine which was originally used for self-defence. It was invented by slaves and was disguised as a dance as a way of learning self-defence without being prosecuted.
Capoeira uses a mix of complex movements to improve speed, power, strength and flexibility. For this reason, it is obvious why it has a massive following around the globe.
Capoeira Angola is the original form of capoeira. Its goal today is to remain as close to the original version of the martial art as possible. This specific form of Capoeira is more strategic, focusing on sneaky attack moves closer to the ground.
Capoeira Regional was developed to be more practical in a fight situation. A fair amount of the traditional dance moves were removed and replaced with fighting techniques that were more focused on attack and defence movements.
Capoeira Contemporary is a mixture of both forms of Capoeira with added movements from other forms of martial arts and acrobatics. It is more widely used today for entertainment purposes.
Due to its dance nature, Capoeira is a great form of cardio as you are constantly moving. The fighting and acrobatic aspects of it are great for creating lean muscle and overall strength. The movements typically involve a great deal of leg work which is fantastic for toning the lower body and core. As a whole, Capoeira is a full body workout that improves speed, strength, flexibility and power.
Capoeira schools are popping up all over the world, making it easy to find somewhere to learn this unique and fun sport.
Why Should I Try Capoeira?
If your goals are to get fitter, stronger and shift great amounts of body fat, you should try Capoeira. Capoeira moves can be incorporated into your training style, whether it is short, HIIT-like cardio; longer, less intense cardio; or even if you solely focus on strength training.
The focus has shifted from self-defence over the years to a more entertaining and exciting version of fighting, making Capoeira the perfect workout routine. No longer hidden in small villages in South America, Capoeira is a great way to try something new while getting fit, toned and having fun.
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