EXERCISES WITH WEIGHTS IN CAPOEIRA
A.A. Decânio Filho
Translation: Shayna McHugh
Mestre Bimba condemned the use of weights to increase muscular power, using the techniques and rules of classic weightlifting,
warning that bulky muscular contraction would not permit the rapid and elastic movements essential to the practice of our
game, producing clumsy and relatively slow movements.
Muscular physiology justifies our Mestre’s opinion, since the force essential to moving the weights involves
simultaneously the agonist and antagonist muscles, these latter ones functioning in the blockage of the return to the initial
During my period of
intense sporting activity I used, with the approval of the Mestre, the option of carrying out the basic movements of capoeira
with light weights, variable according to the movements. The healthy capoeirista “Filhote de Onça” trained with
a belt with weights used in underwater hunts, simultaneously with similar weights on his wrists and ankles, to increase the
calorie burn and develop muscular power without inhibiting agility, flexibility, and elasticity.
Lately I have returned
to the use of small weights complementing the individual practice of the basic movements starting from the ginga and cocorinha,
with the use of small marombas of up to 3 kg in the hands.
The greatest caution
is to allow the movements to be practiced naturally, without restraint of the movements by the bulky muscular contraction
triggered by the excessive weight.