The macaco is similar to a back handspring with the exception of starting with one hand planted behind the capoeirista and the initial movement starting from a low crouch.
The macaco begins by lowering the body down into a low crouch and placing one hand on the floor directly behind the back making contact with the ground. The other hand is thrown over the body while jumping off with both feet to launch the hips straight over the head. This back sweeping movement mirrors the motion that a swimmer adopts when performing a backstroke. As the capoeirista passes into a handstand position, the second hand is placed onto the ground before bringing the first foot makes contact with the ground. The macaco shares visual similarities with the valdez. Variations can include beginning and finishing with the first arm and/or landing with both feet simultaneously.