7 Steps to Get Started in Parkour Training
Youngsters all around the world have a bad case of Parkour fever. Thanks in large part to video sharing sites like YouTube, Parkour training is now one of the most popular extreme sports for teens and young adults. If you’re thinking about becoming the next Parkour superstar, then you’d better have a good sense of discipline. Successful Parkour runners spend hours upon hours working on their jumps, runs, and maneuvers.
But it isn’t only about the physical aspect in Parkour. Indeed, Parkour started out in France as a discipline both for the body and the mind. People who trained in Parkour in the early days didn’t mess around. Sometimes they would train without shoes and would sleep on the cold asphalt.
If you’re seriously considering making Parkour a part of your lifestyle, then take a look at the tips below. In this article, we’ll share some of the most important Parkour training exercises to get you started. By following these exercise routines with determination, you’ll be making your own amazing Parkour videos in no time.
The Top 7 Parkour Training Tips for Beginners
1. Basic Calisthenics Exercises
In case you haven’t heard, “calisthenics” refers to gymnastic techniques that help with overall fitness and movement. It’s essential to have both strength and grace in your Parkour runs, and calisthenics exercises will help you achieve just that. The basic calisthenics exercises are pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, and push-ups.
Some Parkour training instructors will not even begin teaching you until you’re able to successfully complete 25 push-ups, 50 squats, and five pull-ups in one session. Practice doing a few reps of all these exercises every day to get your body well prepared for hardcore Parkour.
2. Practice Forward Rolls
Once you can perform your calisthenics exercises with ease, take a few days to practice forward rolls. It’s best to start practicing rolls on soft surfaces like the grass or a foam mat. The key to a successful forwards roll is being able to roll onto one of your shoulders instead of your back.
Rolling on your back could do serious damage over time, so it’s critical to perfect the technique of your roll right from the start. Make it a habit in your Parkour training session to always roll forwards on your shoulder.
3. Start Parkour Training in Landing
There are a ton of vertical moves to master in Parkour. But before you start jumping off of tall buildings, you need to learn how to land safely. Most Parkour training instructors recommend jumping off of structures only one meter high to practice proper landing. As you land, pay close attention to your feet and knees.
You should strive to land on the front part of your feet and keep your legs bent. This is also a good opportunity to practice your first combo Parkour move. After jumping and landing safely, go into a forward roll. Practicing forward rolls after landing is a great skill to have when you start jumping off of higher objects.
4. Urban Maneuver Training
Most Parkour videos are shot in urban environments. While it’s not necessary to practice in a city, you need to have a good grasp of maneuvering to consider yourself a true Parkour runner. The skill of a Parkour runner is measured by how gracefully she/he avoids various obstacles.
The most fundamental maneuvers are broken into three groups: jumping, vaulting, and climbing. All of these techniques are slightly more advanced and generally require a trainer. Be sure to practice in safer areas with less traffic like college campuses or local gyms.
5. Develop Your Own Routine & Style
While Parkour training is hard work, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of fun. After you’ve mastered the basics, you should start developing your own personal style and techniques. Take a few moments to write down your goals for the week or month and develop a training strategy to help you achieve those goals. In your free time, try a short freestyle session and observe what moves you naturally gravitate towards.
If you have a Parkour buddy, have him/her film you once and awhile so you could observe your technique later. Whatever you do, just don’t let up. It’s far better to practice a little bit every day than for a few hours just on the weekends. Your diligence will be rewarded over time.
6. Don’t Just Practice Parkour
It might sound counterintuitive, but many Parkour enthusiasts learn a great deal by exploring fields outside of traditional Parkour. Some obvious disciplines that will help boost your Parkour training routine include martial arts, Tai Chi, yoga, and swimming. Each of these training disciplines could really help with your balance, flexibility, and endurance.
Believe it or not, some people are actually making Parkour videos in swimming pools nowadays. Who knows, you might get a few ideas from these other sports that you could creatively incorporate into your own Parkour videos. The competition is fierce for popular Parkour videos online, so you’ve got to find some way to stand out.
7. Look for a Local Parkour Group
Since Parkour is so popular nowadays, it’s quite easy to find Parkour training groups at local colleges and fitness centers. Look online to find the closest Parkour training groups to your location and seriously consider joining. Working with a group has tons of benefits.
Just a few include increased accountability, comradeship, and higher motivation. Your fellow Parkour friends could also teach you some new moves and offer constructive criticism about technique. You might even meet a great Parkour partner in one of these groups to join you in exciting Parkour runs.
Summing It Up
Parkour training can be tough. But if you follow the suggestions listed above, you should become at least an intermediate Parkour runner within a few months. Over time, you’ll notice that you have increased stamina, agility, and fortitude.
Always remember that Parkour is as much a training of the mind as it is of the body. Become your own coach in each Parkour session and strive to reach the goals you set for yourself. With the right mindset, Parkour training can be extremely rewarding and fun.