Freerunning is one of the most intensely fun and exciting experiences around in 2018. Whether you’re taking part of just watching you’ll quickly become hooked and find yourself needing to know more.
It’s hard to believe that for a long time there was actually very little known about free running, but then suddenly it hit us like a tonne of bricks. Mesmerising videos began to circulate and go viral showing just what an individual can do with their body with some hard work and training.
It’s not hard to see why it’s a fast growing phenomenon. Younger people are always attracted to anything that breaks the mold and free running does that with style. More than that is has similarities to the movements shown in the cinematic world with marvel characters like spiderman. It’s something you just want to be able to do but it’s not always clear where to start.
Why You Need a Parkour Gym
Freerunning looks easy but it really, really isn’t. You can’t just hit the street and start right away, instead you’ll need to build your strength and train before you can get out there. Freerunning gyms offer a space where you can comfortably train no matter what your level is. In there you can put in the practice and get yourself to where you need to be, without the same risks as in the outside world.
Freerunning is remarkably popular with those who practice it and don’t. The popularity has helped encourage cities to embrace the culture of freerunning and create these gyms. Globally there are now thousands of freerunning gyms but it’s always worth doing your research first because some of them are a lot better than others.
What Makes a Good Freerunning Gym
There’s no set formula for a good freerunning gym and your own preference will play a large part in any decision of where to train. With that said there are some factors that influence how a freerunning gym is ranked.
Equipment is the most important because it determines what you can actually do. The best freerunning gyms will have a range of courses and bars but might also feature some additional assault courses or a foam pit.
The trainers and staff in the gym and also massively important. These are the people who will be giving you instruction and you want to learn from those who know the trade. The best freerunning gyms offer a wide range of knowledge to help you on your way.
Before settling in any freerunning gym you’ll want to make sure they have a decent list of classes. The best freerunning gyms offer a schedule of classes which let you develop more than one skill, so look for one with a range of options is possible.
These criteria, for us, are the most important factors when it comes to choosing a parkour gym however your exact requirements will change based on what stage of development you’ve reached. Always remember to look around before signing up anywhere, that way you won’t regret it later.
The Best Parkour Gyms in the U.S
Within the U.S there are a very high number of freerunning gyms, though this is perhaps unsurprising given the size and population of the country. While all of these gyms offer a space to train, they aren’t all alike. To save you the effort we’ve done some research and compiled our list of the top 3 freerunning gyms in the U.S.
Steel City Parkour – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Located in Pittsburgh, Steel City Parkour has a lot to offer anyone who’s interested in freerunning. This is one of the more modern and developed freerunning gyms that incorporates training into the routine with regular free classes and training.
Within the gym itself you’ll find a range of varied and challenging obstacles. There’s bars, foam pits and even some trampolines for you to use if you like to mix it up. There’s also a ninja warrior course if you want to put yourself through a more intense test.
Steel City Parkour is one of the best freerunning gyms in the U.S because it caters for people of all abilities. The range of equipment they have combined with the scheduled learning will allow you to develop quickly. This gym offers excellent preparation for the intense freerunning experience out on the streets. If you’re in the area it’s definitely one to check out.
Primal Fitness – Washington, DC
Primal Fitness is located in Washington DC with a large number of regular members associated with the club. Primal Fitness has a focus on functional fitness, supporting a range of different physical activities that will help you transform your body and get into great shape.
They have a team of highly trained staff who offer support and guidance to everyone. With classes for all different levels, and the option of personalised classes designed by their trainers, Primal Fitness have a lot of knowledge to share. This makes it ideal for anyone who’s just starting out.
Primal Fitness is a great place to meet other people who share the passion of freerunning because there really are people from all levels. There’s always somebody to learn from and a highly developed facility to train in. One of the best freerunning gyms we’ve come across and a well deserved place on our list.
The Brooklyn Zoo – Brooklyn, New York
New York City actually hosts a number of different freerunning gyms and facilities and the Brooklyn Zoo is the latest one to open. This gym has a diverse range of obstacles and courses which allow you to try new challenges without any of the risk. It’s also one of the best stocked in terms of equipment and there’s even a ninja warrior assault course.
With 10,000 square feet split across multiple floors, the Brooklyn Zoo is a great place to train. Experienced staff run regular classes and offer guidance and encouragement wherever they can which is hugely beneficial to beginners. They offer classes to kids and you can book school trips, parties or even Bar Mitzvahs in their gym.
The Brooklyn Zoo also offers advanced classes for anyone more experienced with freerunning and parkour. This allows you to focus and hone your skills to take them to the next level, learning from experts who’ve been there before. This is one of the best organised freerunning gyms in the country and it’s become a hub of parkour knowledge. Definitely one to visit if you’re in the area.
Choosing a Freerunning Gym
The U.S has the most freerunning gyms in the world so you really are spoilt for choice. Obviously the biggest limitation will be geographical region but it’s always worth doing some research to find out what’s nearby.
Our top three have all made the list because they offer a range of service to people of all abilities. They have passionate staff and well built areas so you can train safely and gain valuable insight into the freerunning world. If you’re nearby any of the three above then you should definitely check them out