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Obstacle Course Ideas for Parkour Training

If you have watched American Ninja or World Chase Tag championship, then you must have realized that obstacle courses are cool. Not only are they good as competitive events but also as a training methods for parkour. There are many obstacle course ideas for your parkour training, so we compiled the 10 best and most creative ones for you.

Parkour and Obstacle Courses


man jumping on high wall bricks

Image Via Pexels

Before we go to our list of obstacle course ideas for parkour, let's define a few terms first.

First, what is parkour? Parkour is an art form, movement, workout, exercise, and philosophy rolled into one. In basic terms, parkour is the art of displacement, or moving from point A to point B in the smoothest, fastest, and most efficient way possible. Parkour involves traversing obstacles by going through, under, over, or around them. As a physical workout, parkour involves running, jumping, leaping, climbing, and swinging. As a philosophy, parkour encourages overcoming life's obstacles, and self-improvement through incremental progression via training.

Next, what is an obstacle course? An obstacle course is a series of physical hurdles that an individual must overcome while being timed. These obstacles can include rope ladders, elevated ramps, crawlspaces, etc. An obstacle course may include climbing, running, crawling, jumping, swinging, and sometimes even swimming.

Overcoming Obstacles Together


Parkour and obstacle courses are perfect for each other because they share the same goals.

Overcoming Obstacles

Focus

Physical Conditioning

Mental Sharpness

Fairness and Sportsmanship

Progression and Self-improvement

Tips for Your Own Parkour Training


Here are some ways to build your own parkour training grounds:

  • Start training in basic parkour spots like parks or gym.
  • Gauge your skill level before moving on to more challenging courses.
  • Plan a course and time it. Then try to beat your own time.
  • Always start small then level up when you have enough confidence.
  • Always do conditioning exercises.
  • Learn one move first and master it before moving to the next one.
  • Join parkour communities because training alone defeats the purpose of improvement.
  • Remember: training is the goal, winning is just a bonus.
  • Join jam sessions with other parkour groups to develop bonds and exchange training ideas.
  • Alway have fun!

10 Obstacle Course Ideas for Parkour Training


Here are then 10 obstacle course ideas that you can incorporate into your parkour routines. Just remember to have fun and be safe!

1. Zombie Run

Zombies as obstacle course ideas? Sign us up! In this event, everyone's favorite undead will serve as the obstacles. It means it will require participation from a lot of people (as "zombies"), but the more the merrier, right?


Like any obstacle course, the winning condition is to reach the finish line in the fastest time possible. The participants will wear a colored bandana. Along the course, they must avoid the roaming "zombies" and prevent them from snatching their bandana; otherwise they are tagged as "caught". You can set this event in a big space like a parking lot or a warehouse.

2. Zombie Tag

This is Zombie Run but simplified! This person can be played by 6 to 10 people anywhere, but we recommend a setting with a lot of obstacles like tables, cars, etc.


One person will start as the zombie (scream "Brainsss" for more drama). He will chase anyone and tag him. After getting tagged, that person will be "infected" and become part of the growing zombie horde. The tagging will continue up to the last "survivor". That survivor will then become the first zombie in the next round. One variation of this is "Aliens and Astronauts".

3. Lava Chase Tag

This is a classic chase-tag game and the perfect obstacle course ideas for parkour. It can be played in any playground, park, or any open spot.


Set up the course and decide which the "lava" areas are. One person will be the "it" who will chase and tag anyone. No one except the "it" can step on the lava or else they become the new "it". Another variation of this is called "Crocodile Swamp".

4. Monkey Tree Tag

This is the classic chase-tag with a few twists.


One, a person will be the "monkey" or "it" who will tag the other players. Two, the players cannot stay on the ground for over 3 seconds; otherwise they will become the new monkey. Three, the monkey CANNOT tag anyone up on a "tree" or any object above the ground.


Four, the players cannot stay on a tree for more than 10 seconds and must transfer to another tree. To prevent the monkey from "camping", he must not wait near a tree for over 3 seconds. In other words, this event is a non-stop chase-and-tag game that will test everyone's running, climbing and parkour skills.

5. Ultimate Chase Tag Course

If you want the ultimate test of your parkour skills, then we suggest this event.


This is basically a chase-tag game set up in a enclosed space full of bars, planks, and other obstacles. Two players - one is the "it" - will chase each other across and around this giant obstacle course. The tagged player will be the new "it".


For winning conditions, the person who stays as "it" for more than a minute loses. Or the player with the least number of it turns wins.

6. Alice and Rabbit Chase

Obstacle Course

Image Via Unsplash

There are many obstacle course ideas, but this one takes the beloved "Alice in Wonderland" story and turns it into an obstacle course game.


One person will serve as the "rabbit" whose goal is to reach the "rabbit hole" at the end of the course. He will be given a 5-second head-start to traverse the obstacles.


Another player, Alice, will chase the rabbit by following him through the same obstacle course. The player who can catch the rabbit, or reach the rabbit hole in the shortest time possible wins the event. One variation of this is called "Roadrunner and Coyote".

7. Parkour Drone Hunt

Of all obstacle course ideas on this list, this is the most competitive one. You need to set up a big obstacle course room with "player stations". We recommend 4 to 8 stations (4 corners + 4 sides of the room). Each station will have unique design of obstacles for the players to traverse.


The goal is for the players to catch a flying drone, which will pop out randomly in the middle area. After the drone has been caught, the players will switch stations so they will traverse a different course, which will add to the challenge.

8. Parkour Musical Chairs

Parkour

Image Via Pexels

This is the classic musical chairs with a parkour twist.


Set up a circular set of obstacles. Put precision landings in the middle. Play a music (ask them to dance to it for more fun) and when you press pause, the players must rush to the middle and do precise landings towards it. Like the musical chair, the last person will be "out".

9. Progression Obstacle Course

These obstacle course ideas stay true to the progression and self-improvement principles of parkour.


All you need is an obstacle course setup (in a gym or warehouse).I f you don't have any, use the usual parkour "spots" like parks, streets, or any public space with lots of obstacles. The goal is for the trainee to follow a certain route and finish it. This first lap will be timed and the goal of the next lap is to beat his own time. Let him do this for 4 to 5 laps.


One variation is to set up "X" marks in specific spots along the course and time how long it takes for the trainee to reach each spot.

10. Classic Obstacle Course

Of course, nothing beats the time-tested classic. Just set up a challenging obstacle course (American Ninja-style) full of rope ladders, ramps, etc. and the players with the shortest finish time wins!

Conclusion


There you have it, 10 creative obstacle course ideas for using and training your parkour moves. These are just key ideas and you might develop a variation on your own as you play in each one.

Remember, the main goal of training is to improve, not to win. Some competitiveness is always welcome, but keep it fair and respectful.

And don't forget: be safe and always have fun!

Nike Flex RN Review – Best Parkour Shoes

Whether you are into running, parkour, or cardio training, you know the importance of having the right shoes. With any of those sports, your feet are taking quite a hit and need something to not only protect them but also help them keep up with your level of performance. In this article, we will detail the Nike Flex RN model as well as some of its competitors to see if it really holds up as the choice shoe for those wanting to make an impact without taking the impact.

What Is the Nike Flex RN?

Nike Flex Rn

Image Source: Pexels

Nike is constantly putting new models on the market aimed at giving you better performance no matter what you are training for. Their running line is by far one of their most popular, so it is no surprise that there is yet another new model on the shelves.


The Nike Flex RN is one of Nike's lightweight options for runners, though many users prefer this model for all types of movement because of that lightweight feature in particular. It emphasizes comfort with a foam midsole and added heel support and it is well built to be comfortable and supportive for all types of foot shape and needs.


One feature Nike put a little more effort into with this new model is the durable rubber tread. This makes outdoor movement much less risky, even on wet surfaces. They have also added Flywire lacing, which means that the shoe should have a snug fit that is customizable for you no matter what. The Nike Flex RN is also supposed to enhance your natural stride, which should translate into being able to run for longer.

Product Specs

person jumping using nike shoes

Image Source: Pexels

While we covered some of this above, there are a few additional specs we really want to highlight. What makes the Nike Flex RN stand out from its competitors is its versatility. Oftentimes there is little crossover between training shoes and running shoes, which means they are not interchangeable. This does not seem to be the case for the Nike Flex RN model.

With lightweight, knitted, moldable material, and durable terrain-focused tread, the Nike Flex RN model can be used in many different ways. Taking a trip to Italy and need some good walking shoes? The padded ankle cradle, added heel impact support, and foam midsole make it great for long-term use, and the added lacing system helps everything fit snuggly.

What about a daily run when pounding the pavement in rain or shine? The rubber tread, breathable knitting, and heel impact support means less slippage, more impact, and better sprinting too.

The Nike Flex RN model can supposedly hit those two opposing ends of the spectrum and everything in between. Parkour trainees will also benefit from these specs, as would trainers, joggers, or anyone who needs a reliable shoe with some versatility.

How It Compares

NIKE Men's Flex RN 2018 Running Shoe
Dri-FIT fabric to wick away sweat and help keep you dry and comfortable
Nike Men's Air Zoom Terra Kiger 4 Running Shoe (11,...
Flywire cables provide an adaptive fit.
Nike Men Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2 Running (Black/White-Anthracite) Size...
Plush Flyknit bootie construction comfortably wraps the foot.

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare. With all the talk about how the Nike Flex RN should perform, we felt that putting it up against other similar models would help draw out its actual performance.

  • Nike Men’s Lunarglide 9 Training Shoes
  • Nike Men's Air Zoom Terra Kiger 4 Running Shoes
  • NIKE Men's Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2 Running Shoes

Nike Flex RN 2018

NIKE Men's Flex RN 2018 Running Shoe
  • Dri-FIT fabric to wick away sweat and help keep you dry and comfortable
  • Slim fit for a close, comfortable feel
  • Rib V-neck with interior taping for a comfortable fit

Versatility of Use

Due to the various specs and features of the Nike Flex RN, it is a very versatile shoe as we went over earlier. When put to the test though, we did notice that they do not perform very well on gravel because of the tread design. There was some slippage, and it was not an even or comfortable impact. For other running terrains though, these worked well and were able to adapt to uneven ground as well.

Design Quality

Being such a versatile option means that this shoe will likely get used much more often. One concern we had in terms of its lifespan was how fast the tread would wear down and not be useful for wet weather. However, there have been little to no complaints on the quality of the Nike Flex RN.


A few things we want to note are the knitted mesh and the overall fit. The top of the shoe has a knitted material which, while helping with breathability, was not as cool as we had hoped for those hot days pounding the pavement. In terms of fit, those with wide feet will probably find issues with comfort in this shoe, which is unfortunate as the rest of the specs would make a great option for those with wider feet.

Warranty

Nike typically has a pretty good warranty for their shoes in particular. For their performance shoes, Nike will let you return them after trying them out (depending on the condition) if they just did not work for what you needed.

Pros

  • Rubber tread for wet weather
  • Versatile
  • Well-built sole and heel cradle for sprinting
  • Lacing system for customization

Cons

  • Narrow
  • Does not work for gravel
  • Not as breathable as other models

Nike Men’s Lunarglide 9 Training Shoes

Nike Women's Lunarglide 9 Running Shoe Black/White/Dark Grey/Wolf Grey...
  • Model Number: 904716001
  • Gender: womens
  • Color: BLACK/WHITE-DARK GREY

This model has been said to be the best running shoe for overpronation issues. With the build of the sole made for comfort as well as support, and the ankle and heel cradle working to support you as well, this model does perform well for those needing solid support while running.

Versatility of Use

These shoes operate solely as indoor running shoes (which will be discussed below) or as a daily shoe if you are on your feet a lot. A lot of users had issues running on gravel, wet terrain, or uneven terrain as these shoes have little to no gripping tread. If tread is not on your list of concerns, then give this model a shot. Otherwise, you may want to look elsewhere.

Design Quality

Something that is unlike the Nike brand is poor quality shoes. However, there have been complaints about this model in particular falling apart after a few months. The glue around the tread and sole seems to be the most troublesome area. Many users have also said that they only use this model indoors as the tread would wear down fast outside.

Warranty

Nike typically has a pretty good warranty for their shoes in particular. For their performance shoes especially, Nike will let you return them after trying them out (depending on the condition) if they just did not work for what you needed.

Pros

  • Good support for overpronation
  • Can be worn daily

Cons

  • Not well built
  • Tread has no grip
  • Hit or miss arch support

Nike Men's Air Zoom Terra Kiger 4 Running Shoes

Nike Men's Air Zoom Terra Kiger 4 Running Shoe (11,...
  • Flywire cables provide an adaptive fit.
  • Mesh upper provides ventilation and support.
  • Zoom Air units offer lightweight responsiveness.

This model is for those runners who love to be off the beaten path. It is built for support at different angles and designed for uneven ground with a variety of terrains. It has a lacing system to provide the most snug fit, so while you run through rocky, wet, or uneven terrain, your feet stay in tune with the support and fit they need.

Versatility of Use

Because this model needed certain specs and features for off-roading, so to speak, it operates very well as a rugged running shoe, but does not fit neatly into any other type of wear. The only other area we feel this model could perform well in would be hiking when you do not need heavier shoes as it encompasses some of the same needs as off-road running and is meant to be comfortable across many terrains.

Design Quality

For the most part, runners have appreciated the build, design, and durability of this model. It needs to be able to keep up with anything the trail can throw at it - and it does. The only issue we have seen is the structure of the ankle cradle. Some users have reported blistering because the back of the ankle cuff is slightly higher than normal.

Warranty

Nike typically has a pretty good warranty for their shoes in particular. For their performance shoes especially, Nike will let you return them after trying them out (depending on the condition) if they just did not work for what you needed.

Pros

  • Great tread for any terrain
  • Built in comfort for long and short runs
  • Long lasting and durable

Cons

  • Not versatile
  • Not lightweight

NIKE Men's Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2 Running Shoes

Nike Men Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2 Running (Black/White-Anthracite) Size...
  • Plush Flyknit bootie construction comfortably wraps the foot.
  • Laser-cut pods enhance cushioning.
  • Contoured Lunarlon foam midsole delivers an extremely smooth ride.

This model showcases lightweight performance. Between the sole and tread design and the breathable knitted top, they are meant to hit the ground running. Like the previous models, the Lunarepic includes Flywire to lock down your foot to ensure a snug fit that forms to all the right places in the shoes.

Versatility of Use

While reviewers have used this model as both a running shoe and a daily walking shoe, many have said that it has problems as a training shoe and for uneven terrain. In spite of its Flywire lacing, users reported their feet sliding around while changing directions, which means anything but flat ground and steady gaits is out of the question. This will be a disappointment for those wanting a shoe they can run and train in as training often includes side-to-side movement.

Design Quality

For an indoor running shoe, this model is great. It is lightweight and capable of a snug fit. Outside however, the tread catches pebbles and other small debris which can ruin it. It also is not built for quick turns or uneven terrain, leaving it well built, but only for a specific field of use.

Warranty

Nike typically has a pretty good warranty for their shoes in particular. For their performance shoes especially, Nike will let you return them after trying them out (depending on the condition) if they just did not work for what you needed.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Flywire lacing

Cons

  • Poor tread for outdoors
  • No added support for uneven terrain
  • Cannot handle side-to-side movement

Conclusion

While it is obvious that the Nike Flex RN has some competition, it definitely has its own little niche as well: versatility. If you are looking for a model that lets you do more than track or treadmill running (and more than running as well), then we would recommend giving these a go. From the specs and reviews, as well as our research into them, they have held up a lot of what makes them the most versatile running shoe.

Overall, given the features Nike added, and the design incorporated to ensure the Flex RN's success and durability, in combination with its inability to traverse gravel, and the let down in terms of breathability, we feel it deserves 4 out of 5 stars.

Top 10 Best Advanced Parkour Moves

For just a moment, think back to when you were a child. Try to remember what it was like to arrive at a new park, a place you’d never been before. It was an unexplored jungle waiting to be conquered. To a child, even a parking lot or a shopping mall can be a playground of fun obstacles. If allowed, he or she will run, jump, and swing from every surface possible. This is the spirit behind the training discipline called parkour and the growing list of parkour moves.

The Parkour discipline was created by Raymond Belle and his son, David, in France in the late 1980s. It arose from military obstacle course training, a form of regimentation and fitness originally created by Georges Hebert. In French, the word parkour come from “parcours du combattant,” which means an obstacle course. Because of these beginnings, parkour is about more than just running and jumping over things. It’s about training, discipline, and pushing your body to do more than what seems humanly possible before you start training

Parkour FAQ 

Parkour has developed a vocabulary of its own during its rise in popularity. What started as obstacle course training has evolved into a complex sport with many different parkour moves that have widely varying degrees of difficulty. If you are thinking of learning the art and sport of parkour, here are some frequently asked questions.

1. What Is Parkour?

2. How Do I Train for Parkour?

3. How Can I Join a Parkour Team?

4. Is Parkour an Official Sport?

5. Can I Get Hurt Practicing Parkour?

How We Reviewed

In order to help you understand more about parkour, we’ve selected ten of the most popular parkour moves. We'll break them down so you can understand the specifics of how to do each one. We’ve also included a required skill level that indicates whether you need to be a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level traceur to do each parkour move. Finally, we’ve included a couple of pros and cons for each.

Comparable Sports

The most comparable sport to parkour is freerunning. Often, the two names are used interchangeably for what most people see as the same thing. However, those who participate in either or both of the two usually see them differently. Parkour is more about discipline, focus, and finding the best way forward through any area. Its roots lie in military obstacle courses where the goal is to get through the course efficiently, without injury, by staying very focused. Freerunning, however, is more about fun and artistic expression. Freerunners are more likely to make a statement or put on a sort of performance.

Parkour Moves We Reviewed

  • KongFront
  • SplitVault
  • FrontHand SpringVault
  • DolphinVault
  • UFOVault
  • CoffeeGrinder
  • PalmSpin Rollback
  • PopReverse Vault
  • Pop'B'Twist Vault
  • LiuKang Rice

KongFront

Pros

  • There are lots of low walls this works on
  • Front somersault is fairly easy to land

Cons

  • Your obstacle must be secure
  • You could land on your head 

How It's Done

The KongFront parkour move is performed by running toward a waist-high obstacle that will support your weight. When you reach the obstacle, place your hands on it and vault yourself over into a front somersault. Tuck your legs in the air and land on your feet.

Skill Level Required

This move requires an intermediate level of skill.

Split Vault

Split Vault

Pros

  • Easy to do
  • Low risk of injury

Cons

  • You must train to do a split
  • You could trip over the obstacle

How It's Done

The split vault is another parkour move that begins with running toward a waist-high obstacle. When you reach it, place one hand on the obstacle and vault yourself forward into the air. While in the air, spread your legs into a straddle split. Let go of the obstacle and land on your feet.

Skill Level Required

This move can be performed by beginners.

Front HandSpring Vault

Pros

  • This move looks harder than it is
  • Not so easy to always land on your feet

Cons

  • Requires a lot of back strength
  • Your obstacle may move underneath you

How It's Done

This move is performed by running toward a waist-high obstacle and, when you reach it, you put your hands on the obstacle and vault yourself into a somersault. It's essential to straighten your legs and arch your back, rather than tucking yourself into a ball. Finish the move by landing on your feet.

Skill Level Required

This move requires an intermediate level of skill.

Dolphin Vault

Pros

  • Easy for beginners
  • No flip required

Cons

  • Required a lot of upper arm strength
  • Possible to land on your face

How It's Done

To perform a dolphin vault, first run toward one of those waist-high obstacles. When you reach it, vault over it using your hands. Instead of flipping, propel yourself forward in a plank position over the obstacle. Once you have cleared it, pull in your knees and land on your feet.

Skill Level Required

This move can be done by beginners.

UFO Vault

Pros

  • No flip required
  • Doesn’t require a lot of height

Cons

  • Getting a full rotation is hard
  • Your landing zone must be soft

How It's Done

The UFO vault is done by running toward a waist-high obstacle. Put your hands out and vault over that obstacle. Rapidly begin rotating your body while pulling your knees to your chest. When you have completed a full rotation, extend your legs and land on your feet. You can extend this move by doing a forward roll on the ground.

Skill Level Required

Most beginners can do this move.

Coffee Grinder

Pros

  • You don’t have to vault into the air
  • You maintain contact with an obstacle the whole time

Cons

  • Requires leg flexibility
  • It’s easy to get off-balance

How It's Done

This move is done by running at a waist-high obstacle, placing one hand on it and lifting yourself upward. You swing one leg straight out and around while you land on the obstacle with your other foot. Continue the swing, lifting your planted foot, until your leg has made a full circle. Plant your swinging leg and use it to push yourself forward and off the obstacle to land on your feet.

Skill Level Required

This is a parkour move for beginners.

Palm Spin Rollback

Pros

  • Not a high vault
  • Your hands stabilize you

Cons

  • Required upper body strength
  • Must be able to do a back somersault

How It's Done

The palm spin rollback also begins with a run toward a waist-high obstacle. Plant your hands on the obstacle and vault. On the rise, twist your torso so that your body rotates one-half turn and you land sitting on the obstacle facing the direction from which you came. Lean back until one of your hands can support your weight on the ground. Roll into a backward somersault using your hands for support and land on your feet.

Skill Level Required

This move is for intermediate-level traceurs and those even more skilled.

Pop Reverse Vault

Pros

  • Your leg movement provides extra height
  • Looks impressive in the air

Cons

  • Requires a lot of height
  • You could land on your head

How It's Done

This challenging parkour move is done by running toward a waist-high obstacle. When you reach it, use one leg and one arm to vault yourself into a forward twisting roll with your knees tucked to your chest. When you have completed one forward rotation, extend your legs and land on your feet.

Skill Level Required

This move requires an intermediate level of skill.

Pop 'B' Twist Vault

Pros

  • No flip involved
  • You can see the ground easily while in the air

Cons

  • Twisting in a roll is very hard
  • You could land on your chest

How It's Done

This parkour vault is performed by running toward a waist-high obstacle and then using one leg and one arm to vault yourself upward. While in the air, stretch into a plank position and perform a barrel roll parallel to the obstacle. After the roll, drop your legs and land on your feet.

Skill Level Required

This move requires an intermediate level of skill.

LiuKang Rice

Pros

  • Looks impressive
  • No full flip required

Cons

  • Lots of core strength required
  • You could land on the obstacle

How It's Done

This extremely tricky and challenging parkour move is done by running toward a waist-high obstacle. Before you reach it, launch yourself into the air and do a barrel roll with a twist. While over the obstacle, use one arm to push yourself up. With the additional height you've gained, complete another roll-and-twist to land on your feet on the other side of the obstacle.

Skill Level Required

This move requires an advanced level of skill.

The Verdict

Parkour is a beautiful display of strength and focus that requires many hours of training. Even though the participants are running through parks and cities, using walls and bike racks as their apparatus, they are amazing athletes. Parkour moves combine gymnastics, modern dance, and free expression. These moves arose out of obstacle courses, and early traceurs figured out new ways to perform them, adding grace and style along the way. In order to avoid injury, you must be incredibly focused as a traceur. Parkour moves require strength, agility, and flexibility.

In addition to the moves listed here, there are many others, including favorites like the cat leap, the kick-up, and the wall spin. Out of all those listed here, the LiuKang Rice is the best of the best. The visual illusion that the traceur is flying while performing this move is thrilling.

If you are considering taking up parkour, or if you’re looking for some new moves to add to your repertoire, all the moves we described make good starting points. Try combining them together into a series of parkour moves that move you through a space. You don't have to learn the hardest moves to have a good "run." Parkour is about how you feel during and after you do a run. The best moves are the ones that challenge you and cause you to experience the world anew. That is the spirit of parkour.