Functional Resistance Training: Carioca Step

This is the fourth and our second to last post of the Functional Resistance Training series. In this episode, we will be discussing the Carioca Step. Read back the previous episodes to find out more about Shoulder Retractions, The Bridge and the Partial Squat.

Carioca Step

The focus of this exercise is to develop agility and stability and it involves a cross-over step to maintain coordination. This exercise is recommended for older adults already moderately active and not inactive seniors with poor strength and balance, as the activity requires greater skill (strength & balance) to perform. The adequate base of strength and balance/stability should be developed first, and it is recommended to perform the exercise under close supervision/guidance.

How to perform the Carioca Step

Stand facing forwards and move the right leg forward and place it in front of the left foot and across the body on the floor. Take the left foot from behind and place it next to the right. Repeat, performing a weave to move 5 steps in one direction. Then do the same, taking the left foot forward and across the right leg on the floor. Move the right leg out from behind and next to the left, weaving across the floor.


Level 1: Perform the exercise facing a counter with hands placed on the counter for support.

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Level 2: Perform the exercise facing the counter, with hand above the counter but not touching the counter.

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Level 3: Perform the exercise in an open space and increase speed to increase the difficulty.


The Information in the above blog has been adopted from Roetert & Ortega (2019) “Physical Literacy for the Older Adult” published in the Strength & Conditioning Journal. 

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