Parkour: all about this trendy workout and the best way to get started
Jumping over a wall, climbing it, or even balancing on narrow ledges: Parkour practitioners overcome all obstacles with ease and grace. Parkour is a modern and stimulating sport, for which there is a real community. Do you want to take up the challenge too? Find out in this article what is behind this practice and how you can get started - even if you have no experience.
What is parkour?
Parkour, abbreviated as "PK", is a sport in which one gets from point A to point B by crossing many obstacles such as ramps, stairs, walls and houses, and this without the aid of any equipment. The goal is to
reach your destination as efficiently as possible while providing the best effort. That is why this sport is also called "Art of Movement", which is abbreviated by the acronym "ADD".
Parkour runners, also called "trackers," combine various movements from sports such as climbing, jumping, and running. Everything is allowed as long as one uses only the strength of one's body. The focus is on controlling flow and movement.
Originally, parkour was practiced freely, in the open air, for example in the city center. Since then, gyms designed specifically for parkour training have appeared. Parkour is a very demanding sport that requires strength, endurance, balance and coordination on the part of the tracker.
Besides, parkour is more than just a sport. Professional conspirators consider it an art form, hence its name "displacement art". It is also a way to socialize with other people who share the same values in sports to overcome obstacles together, without the spirit of competition. A sense of community is very important in the practice of parkour.
This particular exercise began with French soldier Raymond Bell and his son David Bell in the 1980s, and many feature films, documentaries, and commercials have drawn the world's attention to parkour since the 1990s.
What are we working on in parkour?
Parkour stimulates the whole body. It combines elements from different sports, such as running, gymnastics exercises, mobility training, and rock climbing. Do not spare a single muscle when jumping over walls, climbing, or crossing barriers.
The tracker is constantly on the move and must show strength, endurance and agility to get from point A to point B by crossing various obstacles. Parkour also improves coordination, sense of direction, ability to think strategically, and focus. In fact, by practicing this activity, you learn to focus and anticipate heights and distances.
You can also improve your self-discipline, as well as your self-evaluation. Everyone develops at their own pace and according to their own abilities. In training, there is no "right" or "wrong". The main thing is to know your physical capabilities, your own limits and to have your goals in mind.
Apart from the physical aspect, it is also important to consider one's social skills and ability to train in a group. In terms of origin, parkour is not a competitive sport. Of course, everyone pursues their own goals, but you will meet people in training who share similar interests and together you will work out the most effective ways.
Is parkour dangerous?
Professional trackers climb the walls of buildings and jump from one rooftop to another at dizzying heights. The movie trackers seem to defy death. Obstacle courses in the city, where there is no protection, have certain risks. After all, the slightest mistake can lead to
infection. But in principle, each runner decides for himself the degree of difficulty and the pace of his training. Being aware of your capabilities and knowing how to assess altitudes and distances is the primary requirement.
Parkour is not designed to compete. You don't have to fight against a timer or against potential opponents. So you can take your time and approach the obstacles slowly, which also reduces the risk of injury.
Moreover, in the practice of parkour, you are rarely alone. The group is there so you can keep an eye on each other and step in in case someone wants to be too reckless.
Today, there are parkour gyms where you can practice performing all the movement sequences from the beginning. Here, protective devices, such as mats, reduce the risk of infection. And know that the better you are in the gym, the safer you will feel when exercising freely outdoors.
Who is parkour for?
Parkour is for those looking for a challenging sport in which they can test their limits. You must be in good basic physical condition and be interested in training in the community. Parkour requires a lot of discipline and responsibility, both for you and the other participants.
If you've tried bodyweight training, gymnastics, weightlifting, or rock climbing before and want to set new physical goals for yourself, then parkour might be for you.
Learn Parkour: Tips for Beginners
Do you dream of one day becoming a self-taughter and mastering parkour like Yamakasi? So don't wait any longer and get out of your comfort zone. This sport can be intimidating for beginners. That's why we want to give you some tips to help you get started:
Find a Parkour Group: If you can't find a Parkour gym, federation, or even associations near you, search online or on social networks for people who also want to do this activity, and who share the same interests and values in the sport as you. They can tell you the best way and share their advice with you.
Work on your strength, endurance and agility: It is helpful to know the basics of this exercise regime before embarking on your first parkour. Regularly work on your strength and endurance as well as your agility, for example by jogging, weight training, gymnastics or through movement training. Balance training is also a good supplement.
Start slowly and be aware of your limits: Although indoor parkour is relatively safe, don't underestimate your risk of injury. Take your time to understand the heights, distances, and dangers, as well as to discover what you can do as you go along.
Warm-up: To avoid unnecessary overloading of tendons, ligaments, joints and muscles during parkour training, always start with a good warm-up.
Make sure you recover well: parkour takes a lot from the whole body. Ensure that you recover well by getting enough sleep and rest and providing your body with the right nutrients, for example through recovery acids.
Balanced Diet: A diet rich in proteins and carbohydrates is the basis for success in the art of movement. If you don't have time to follow a balanced and healthy diet, a whey protein shake is the perfect support*.
You may also like these sports
Are you looking for an alternative to parkour? Then you might like one of these trendy sports:
Free running is similar to parkour. It is also an art of displacement in which distances are covered and obstacles are overcome with creativity. However, the focus is less on efficiency and fluidity of movement, and more on tricks like salto, handstand, etc.
Deceit is a different kind of free-running, but without the hurdles. In this specialty, great physical effort is required. The emphasis is on tricks such as somersaults, twists, jumps and turns, and all this is combined with elements of martial arts.
The classic obstacle course is an athletics specialty. During this practice, the athletes must overcome obstacles in a certain path to reach the finish line. There are also extreme outdoor obstacle courses
with climbing walls, crawling courses, diving courses, or courses that can be crossed on wheels. These races are known as "mud tracks" - "mud course" in French: competitions, as the name implies, in which athletes wade through the mud and overcome various obstacles.
Parkour: Our conclusion
Parkour is a modern sport in which you overcome many obstacles using only the strength of your body in order to get from point A to point B as efficiently as possible.
Parkour practitioners or trackers move around the city, in complete freedom, or in a gymnasium designed for parkour by climbing, running and jumping.
This athletic discipline is a whole-body training that calls for the practitioner's creativity primarily strength, endurance, mobility, coordination, and focus.
The risk of injury is relatively high in parkour, but it decreases if you evaluate what you can do correctly and if you train in a group, with people who share the same values as you in the sport. In gyms designed for parkour, safety measures reduce the risk of injury.
Parkour is a demanding sport. If you are a beginner in this discipline, having a good basic physical condition is a definite advantage. Joining a training group is ideal. Find out about potential federations or associations near you.