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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 position.

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.