You may have seen guys on movies doing thrilling Parkour acts, and you wish to be there instead of them. You want to get as awesome as daring and as skilled as them? It is possible.
There are a few steps that you can take in order to realize that dream. How to start parkour and how you can start learning and practicing it from a park near your home.
#1. Prepare your Body
Try to strengthen the parts of the body that will bear the load. If you are learning a side-flip you will definitely need to work on your legs. If you are trying to improve your cat-leap or handstand, you will want to condition your arms more. Try the following routine 2 times each workout session. If you can’t do it all, do what you can. Aim for improvement above all else. If you can do it all, consistently increase your number of reps and/or sessions bit by bit. Remember to take a day or two off every week to give your muscles time to recover.
- 10 squats (building up to plyometric box jumps)
- 10 push-ups
- 10 leg lifts on your back with both legs
- 10 pull-ups
You should run at least 7-10 miles (11-16 km) per week as it going to strengthen your heart which means you get some extra pumps during the sprint. Other cardio exercises that are helpful to do are lacrosse, boxing and swimming.
#2. Get a good pair of shoes
Trust me, your own success at parkour can depend a lot on what shoes you have. Consider getting ones with firm grip again the wall, they should be sturdy enough to handle the stress you’ll put them through, but also flexible to ensure your feet can bend properly. They should also be light enough so that they don’t weigh you down. If you’re not sure what to get, here a good place to get you started.
#3. Warming Up
Parkour could be dangerous if you’re not conditioned, so be sure to stretch properly beforehand. If you do not warm up before you stretch, you could lose up to 30% of your muscle’s possible strength and power. What’s more, make sure you stretch to prevent injury or strain.
#4. Visualize your move
When the comedian Bill Bailey was asked how he comes up with his jokes, he replied ‘I start with the laugh and work backward from there.’
You have to do something similar. The more you try to picture how to perform a move, the more you will understand how your body behaves when performing it. Mental preparation is an important step in learning how to perform a Parkour or Free running move.
Try to break down the movement into smaller ones and remember the stages it is comprised of. This will help you see how and why you failed each time and will help you figure out ways to improve it.
#5. Master the balancing
Keep your body balance and then improving it is the first and foremost step in learning Parkour. Practice balancing by standing and walking on rails. It requires the focus of your mind. Just be in the moment and put your steps carefully, consider taking up slacklining to help improve your balance.
#6. Refine your jump
Once you have mastered the balance, precision jumping will become a lot easier to do. To start learning precision jumping
- Jump from the ground up step by step. You should be relaxed, well-balanced with a relatively upright posture, and land lightly on your feet 10 times in a row before you add another step to your jumps the next session or week. Around 5 or 6 steps should be rather difficult.
- Find a mid-sized rail to work on your two-handed vault. Use your hands to pull your legs up to the side. One knee should seem to go between your arms. Try to stay balanced as you land.
#7.Practice Safety Shoulder Roll
The only thing certain in Parkour is the uncertainty and no matter how perfect your balancing is, there always chance that you are surprised and off-balance. And that is when this technique coming handy
- Bow your head a little and relax your body, arc your arms and one shoulder forward in a hula hoop shape around your head, and roll your butt over your head. If you feel your spine twitching a little and your shoulder diagonally to your hip, you’re doing it right.
- You might feel a bit hesitant at first, then start with one knee on the ground. Place your arm on the inside of your leg, holding the foot that’s on the ground. This will help you keep form while learning the roll. Propel yourself forward while holding onto your foot.
- Once you get the sense of the roll, start from low jumps, moving progressively higher.
#8. Practice Parkour Quadrupedal Move
As the name suggests, quadrupedal means moving on your four feet (2 hands and 2 feet). it might make you look funny at first, but you will have to mimic how a monkey moves and practice it going forward and backward as well.
You should practice it for a week, and then you would be able to move in any directions and even turn quickly.
#9. Learn Parkour Turn Vault
If you are serious in learning parkour for whatever reason, turn vault will help you perform free-running safely. Beginners use it all the time to pass over rails.
It is a prerequisite to the palm spin move as well, which I will cover in the Advance Parkour. So, if you want to progress as parkour, you need to master this Turn Vault.
#10. Parkour Safety Vault
Safety is all about Safely Passing a simple blockade. Which can be a wall, a concrete block, or something like that. It is not as easy as it seems. A bit of mistake, and you will end up with a broken arm. So, watch the above video clearly and make sure you use two hands to get as much strength as you can.
Once you are done with the basics, it would be the time to increase the distance or add variations by adding spin Vault to it.
#11. Wall Run/Tic Tac
Parkour is inherently vertical. For most of the rest of the people, the only vertical movement involves stairs or elevators, but for the traceur, every vertical surface is an opportunity to open up a new path. Learning the basics of the tic-tac and wall run will give you a good understanding of the transition of momentum from the horizontal plane up and over the various vertical obstacles, you may encounter. The tic-tac is the building-block of these vertical movements, being a quick and efficient method for applying the momentum from your run along the ground to any number of objects that may support your ascent. In its most basic form, a tic-tac is nothing more than making your last step before take-off a boost off an object that gives you extra height and/or distance to make your next move faster or more efficient. You should attempt to create a smooth transition between your approach run, your first step onto the object, and your final leap from it. Practicing this idea on a small retaining wall is a great way to learn the movement pattern of the tic-tac, as you can dial in running speed and coordination by creating a cadence that you follow for each successive step, ending in a powerful boost from the top of the wall into the air. From there it’s a matter of focusing on your landing as you continue on your way.