How to do Parkour? Well, it’s easier to say than to achieve. Parkour training involves continuous physical improvement, agility, strength, discipline in mind and body and alleviating reckless, arrogant stunts. The teachers of this practice inspire, safety and responsible behavior within their training and conditioning.
Take a look at this youtube video which shows how Parkour moves are implemented. The maneuvers are swift, smooth and graceful when done correctly. Most Parkour practitioners’ use public arenas. School yards, parks, skateboard parks, and many buildings, are the popular areas.
Learning how to do Parkour, is as simple as riding a bike in some respects. Your mind and body commit to balance. Here are some Parkour moves with instruction:
Find an obstacle sturdy enough to handle your entire weight. Raise your left foot first, yet kicking with your right leg aiming towards the sky. You want to make sure your body clears the obstacle, so reach up with your left arm preparing to contact the obstacle. Make sure that your feet leave the ground, before your left hand touches the obstacle.
Arm Jump (Saut de Bras)
Start at your take off position, correct your body in mid-air. Bring your knees and feet forward. Position your arms in front of you to prepare to grip the edge of the wall. Your legs will lead the body and make contact with the wall ideally (a short distance may have your hands contact at the same time). A good surface will allow your feet to stick to the wall. Use your arms and feet to control your descent.
Turn Vault (Demi Tour)
Start at a rail, with a good height for you personally, with a landing that is comfortable. Stepping over the rail, with the right leg while moving your hips to the opposite side. Straddling the rail, keep your backside off the rail while supporting with your hands. Placing your right foot on the other side of the rail, then take your hand and switch it to the other side of your left hand (never move your left hand). With speed, switch the hands quickly to control your body’s moves.
Place the hands shoulder width apart under your shoulders. Make sure your back and shins are are in line with the ground. Take your knees completely off the ground, yet your toes are touching the ground. Move forward while alternating each arm and leg. Right hand forward, left leg forward also (the same for the left hand and right leg). Keep the knees the same distance from the ground throughout the entire movement, with the back in line with the ground.
The underbar can be done straight and in reverse. Use a bar close to the ground. Step with one foot while putting the other foot through the space underneath the bar. Your foot you started with should be in the same place as your leg that you launched. Reach for the bar, you should be looking as though you are sitting with legs in the air. When you grasp the bar, begin to pull yourself through the space right away. While pulling, lay back so your upper body and head can pass through the space without hitting the bar. Aim upward with your legs and allow your back to clear the bar and the ground. When you clear the bar, then release your hands to run.
There are more intense definitions (according to the WFPF – World FreeRunning Parkour Federation). These moves take you from point A to B within obstacles in varied distances. Look through the WFPF’s website for ways to improve your technique and to find Parkour communities.
Here’s an article from the Men’s Journal online magazine, written about Ben Jenkin. Ben is a Parkour aficionado, who was featured in a 2012 Nike commercial. Ben has been practicing Parkour for a few years. Some of his favorite moves are actually attainable for the average mortal, such as the, Speed Vault and Kong
Responsible Parkour users have a set of disciplinary rules and pledges they live by that people should know they are taught:
- Enjoy competition
- Avoid rivalry
- Respect public property
- Respect others and their property
- Never break the law
- No lying
- No stealing
Although Parkour resembles many skateboard and acrobatic stunts, it can be misinterpreted. The body is more fluid, precise and conditioned in many aspects. Since Parkour is based on strict discipline and a mental awareness, the concept is closely related to Jiu Jitsu and other martial art sciences.
As always, starting any exercise regimen that stretches your muscles and raises your heart rate, please warm up. Parkour users are committed to the art, in every facet.