What is Parkour?
Parkour has originated from France and is basically a training discipline which was developed through the military obstacle course training by one of the legend of the field David Belle. Parkour moreover looks like a non combative martial art where the practitioner aims to get from a source point to the destination point in the fastest and most efficient way possible. It involves facing and challenging the complex environment continuously without any added equipments. Parkour includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and other movements as deemed most suitable for the situation. Parkour is basically seeing the environment in a whole new different way where everything that is an obstacle normally is a challenge to roll, run over or crawl under in the shortest time possible.
Beginners Body Weight Exercises For Parkour Strength Training And Conditioning
Some of the important qualities to be a good practitioner in Parkour is controlling the body weight and playing with the environment and learning to use common objects like trees, rails, benches, and walls as exercise equipment. Level one practitioners should perform only bodyweight exercises. After all, one should not be moving around additional weight without a good understanding of how to move their own body.
List of exercises that the Parkour practitioners should start with are:
- Air Squat- Air Squat is the basic exercise that should be mastered before moving to more complex and heavy exercises. It builds strength in the thighs for high impact jumps and landings. For one to do Parkour for long time without getting any cramps and crippling overuse injuries, one must master this basic exercise as it not only provides strength but also improve flexibility in the hips and the ankles.
- Depth Drop- Move to this exercise only when you have mastered the Air Squat. Start the depth drop from 12 inches and increase the height as you mastered and gained control over the lower heights. Depth drop basically looks after the landing process of the practitioner including the required strength and the safety that keeps one going for years.
- Quadrupedal Movement- This is a very important part of training for the practitioner of the Parkour as it involves the walking on four limbs which is widely used during parkour as both a conditioning exercise and as a practical training. This technique is a great full body exercise and it develops coordination and weight transferring skills needed for other movements.
- Dead Hang Pull Up- Dead hang pull ups can be very useful for gaining strength both in the arms and the back. Since Parkour requires great arms and back strength this a very important exercise for the practitioners. It makes pulling, climbing, railing, rolling etc easy for the practitioner.
- Knees to Elbows- Knees to elbows is a great core exercise for the abs with a very important use in the Parkour as it improves the ability to lift the knees towards the chest. It basically teaches one to lift the body not by his arms but by the core of the body. Moreover , the movement of the body that is involved in the Knees to Elbows is quite similar to the flips, Vaults and jumping which are highly needed in the Parkour.
- Broad Jump- One of the most fundamental movements of Parkour, the broad jump is applied during gap jumps, precision jumps, arm jumps, and more. In addition, the broad jump is a great full body exercise for developing power, strength, and overall body coordination.
- Wall Handstand- Handstand is a great exercise for improving the upper body strength, balancing and control over the body in an inverted state for the tumbling and the acrobatics which is required for the Parkour. To develop a handstand in a more efficient manner, begin by practicing against a wall. New practitioners should start out with the stomach against wall version because it promotes better alignment and technique.
Exercise routine for parkour strength training and conditioning at home:
It is not possible for the practitioners to always go out and train because of different persona reasons as well as the environmental reasons including the weather. For the situations like this one must not drop the idea but practice at their comfort zone i.e. their home. This requires a very good exercising routine for proper conditioning at home.
List of exercises for practicing and training at home:
- Press–ups- This workout trains the triceps and the pecs for the excessive stain that the body has to go through while Parkour. It’s the perfect exercise as both a warm-up exercise and strength building routine.
- Innovative Push–ups- These adds up to the explosiveness of the normal push-ups and gives muscles a habit to react faster which is quite important for the Parkour. These types of push-ups include single Clap Pushup, Aztec Pushup, 90 Degree Pushup, Planche Pushups, Flying Superman Pushups, 2- Finger Pushups etc. These push ups not only provide excessive strength but the also makes muscles active enough to react fast.
- The V–sit- It is a perfect workout for the core/abs which means that it works all the muscles necessary to have a perfect stance when training in Parkour. This must be an exhausting exercise and must be for as much time as possible.
- Sit–ups- Pure core muscle training. Important for the strength of the legs especially for the thighs. Placing the feet under a couch can provide a better anchor to the floor. These can be made a little heavy by a little change i.e. lifting leg. It is done basically by lifting the leg up and static and further moving only the upper body.
- Handstand Pushup- It is a great bodyweight exercise however a little difficult to do but is immensely powerful and can be easily done at home. It basically develops the upper body strength and balance.
- Parkour Stretch(Cobra)- The main focus while training should never be on the number of repetitions but the posture because that can lead to the cramps and injuries. Cobra basically works on the arms and back but it is more of a warm-down exercise after all the routine exercises have been finished.