man jumping from building to building

Parkour Basics: What to Expect, Getting Started, Necessary Skills

With shows like American Ninja Warrior, it’s no surprise that more and more people are being exposed to parkour and feeling inspired to take action and learn the sport themselves. Obviously, you are one of those people if you’re coming here – and we’re going to tell you exactly what you need to do to begin your parkour journey safely and effectively. Follow these tips to getting started and you’ll be scaling walls and be jumping from building to building in no time.

We’re going to start with what you need to know about the sport and finish with the bodily movements you should be practicing in order to ensure perfect form for a beginners parkour routine!

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1. Know Exactly what Parkour Is before Getting Started

 

What is parkour? Parkour is all about being able to move through an environment naturally and efficiently. This means jumping, climbing, and vaulting over obstacles to get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. It was first a military discipline that started in France to build mental fortitude and physical strength in soldiers. Nowadays, it has become a form of recreation in which people can take their mind and body to a level of fitness they never dreamed possible.

2. What to Expect when Beginning a Routine

  • It is fun! So enjoy every minute even when working on a tough move.
  • It is a high-risk sport and essential that you practice good form from very beginning to lessen the chance of injury.
  • It is a great exercise for your mind and body. You will start to think about things differently and undoubtedly experience overall toning and strengthening of the body.
  • It is extremely challenging. There will be both mental and physical hurdles you will have to face if you want to get going. Don’t give up!

3. How to Get Started

people doing parkour in the city

Parkour is a social sport and one of the best ways to get started is by finding a parkour group and attending local “jams” (practice sessions). You pick the minds of those who have been participating in the sport for a while and make yourself part of a community that will hold you accountable and keep you motivated.

Parkour gyms are now popping up in cities everywhere and if you’re lucky enough to have one in your area you should sign up! These gyms have all the obstacles available for you to train on and will take your training to the next level, and some offer classes on parkour basics.

4. Before We Get into the Moves Themselves, a Word of Caution

Do not take unnecessary risks when practicing parkour. Your goal should be to push your mind and body out of its comfort zone, not to push your body too far (straying away from parkour basics in the beginning) and end up with an injury. Use a group or partner to spot you on moves that are higher-risk and be aware of your limitations.

Basic Parkour Skill #1 – Balance

In parkour basics, you must train yourself to have good balance. When jumping onto obstacles like railings or walls you need the balance to accurately stick the landing and stop yourself from falling. You can practice your balance by standing on rails. After you do this comfortably, you can balance on one foot and then, start walking the rails.

Basic Parkour Skill #2 – Running

Running is a large portion of parkour. You will be using the momentum created by running to propel yourself over obstacles and get you from point A to point B as quickly as possible. If you want to give yourself a leg up on conditioning the body for running you can add distance running and sprinting to your training regimen.

Basic Parkour Skill #3

Jumping and dropping

This one can be as much a mental challenge for people as it is a physical challenge. You never know when you will be faced with a gap or need to overcome a height difference and you do this by jumping it. And of course, what goes up must come down! You need the strength and form to jump down from obstacles and land without hurting yourself.

Jumping with precision

Practice precision jumps by picking a point to land on before jumping and then complete the jump. Challenge yourself by picking small spots to land on or increasing the distance of the jump.

Dropping with precision

In parkour basics you need to practice actively dropping from a higher to a lower level. In the beginning, don’t drop from anything higher than the height of your body. You need to condition yourself to the stress experienced during a drop and how to properly land which brings us to our next skill.

Basic parkour skill #4 – Landing

A proper landing is one of the most important skills in parkour basics. It ensures that you will not hurt yourself. It also ensures that you can land efficiently enough to move on to the next obstacle as quickly as possible. Your goal is to land softly and in the beginning, on two feet. When you practice your drops bend your knees as you land (no more than 90 degrees). You want to first land on the balls of your feet, shoulder-width apart to equally distribute the weight and absorb shock.

Safety tip: pay attention to where you are landing- if you are not in a gym there may be glass or other obstructions on the ground that could injure you.

parkour landing

Wrapping Up

Now that you know what parkour is all about – go out! Find the parkour community nearest to you, maybe even find a gym to join, and create your routine. If you’re feeling a little intimidated, find a friend or family member that wants to join and do it together.

Once you master the essentials (running, jumping, dropping, landing) you can move onto more difficult moves and maybe even inspire others to start the journey themselves. Remember to always be aware of your limitations, practice good form, assess risk appropriately, push yourself, and above all have fun!

Basic Parkour: Basic Parkour and Freerunning Handbook (Survival...
  • Fury, Sam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 38 Pages - 06/18/2014 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Essential Parkour Training: Basic Parkour Strength and Movement...
  • Fury, Mr Sam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 146 Pages - 06/11/2017 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Parkour: The Complete Guide To Parkour and Freerunning For Beginners
  • Jones, Jason (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 44 Pages - 04/26/2015 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Parkour Strength Training: Overcome Obstacles for Fun and Fitness
  • Ford, Ryan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 01/01/2016 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Parkour: A Beginner's Guide to Training and Excelling in the Art of...
  • Rucker, Zach (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 72 Pages - 07/14/2016 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Image Source: DepositPhotos

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