What is Parkour?
Parkour is a non-competitive discipline that trains the practitioner (tracer/traceur) in smoothly and quickly moving from point A to point B in an urban or natural environment. The physical component of this activity follows natural movements of the human body, as well as a number of standardized techniques. Practical use of parkour requires the ability to improvise and be creative. Parkour contributes to an individual’s personal physical development and also often becomes something of a lifestyle and philosophy of life.
But before parkour training itself, it is important to stretch and warm up!
Here are some recommended exercises:
Description of Basic Parkour Techniques
A static jump from one obstacle to another. The technique starts off with both feet close together, with the toes slightly overhanging on the edge of the obstacle. By fully bending the legs and then fully extending them, the practitioner jumps off the obstacle, gaining further momentum by swinging their arms upwards with the movement. Midway through the jump, the shoulders pull back and the pelvis and legs push forward. The practitioner lands with the tips of their toes on the edge of the other obstacle. The narrower or smaller the landing area, the more difficult the jump.
Run Precision Jump
A variation of the precision jump. The jump is initiated from a running start, off of one foot. The mid-air phase and landing is the same as in the precision jump.
A jump onto a wall followed by a wall hang. The mid-air phase is the same as in the precision jump, where emphasis is placed on landing on the obstacle feet-first to absorb the impact and prevent injury. The practitioner grabs the edge of the obstacle/wall with their fingers, with both thumbs pointing towards each other. The feet are placed as needed, either at the same height or with one foot higher than the other.
This jumping technique used for climbing, jumping off obstacles or for wall flips. The tip of the push-off foot is placed onto the obstacle (wall). By fully bending the knee, the practitioner puts pressure on the foot and prevents slipping during take-off. Arm movements further assist in the jump. The direction of the jump is determined by the position of the knee.
The basic vaulting technique. The palms rest on the obstacle. The jump originates from both the legs and the arms. Similar to the precision jump, once the practitioner is above the obstacle, the shoulders are pulled back and the pelvis and legs push forward.
A technique almost identical to the monkey vault, but with a different take-off. The practitioner only jumps off of one leg using a technique called the “split-foot”.
The fastest vaulting technique. The practitioner jumps off of one leg and swings the other leg diagonally upwards. The practitioner only supports their body with one arm when above the obstacle.
The most commonly used vaulting technique. The vault starts the same way as the speed vault, but the practitioner switches arms when above the obstacle.
The second fastest vaulting technique after the speed vault. The vault requires the practitioner to be able to jump on top of the obstacle. By taking off on one leg and swinging the other upwards, the practitioner jumps above the obstacle. They then simply move their body forwards over the obstacle using their arms. The hand is placed on the obstacle with fingers pointing towards the body.
Where to Learn More about Parkour: