parkour moves

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.

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