The Top 3 Most Important Parkour Training Exercises for Newbies
A lot of people see parkour on TV and immediately want to engage in full-blown chase scenes through exploding construction sites (guilty myself).
But the truth is, parkour, free running, whatever you want to call it -it can be dangerous and it takes work to do safely.
So here are the three most crucial parkour training exercises you can practice to make sure you’re staying safe and learning as fast as possible.
3 Essential Parkour Training Exercises for Beginners
1) Precision jumps
To keep things simple I chose precision jumps over box jumps because they trump them in a number of ways: you’re using stabilizer muscles to halt forward progress, gaining the coordination to land on a dime, and are going to be much more inclined to use your arms and shoulders.
It’s the perfect balance of technique and explosive strength.
A few tips:
Start on flat ground – aim to hit a precise spot, like a crack in the street, rather than jump as far as possible.
Gradually increase the distance of your target – throw your arms and shoulders forward HARD for extra distance. This will add quite a bit to your distance and have you immediately jumping farther than those who don’t use this technique.
Work on landing on curbs – This will help you get the feel of landing on a ledge. It will also train you to throw your legs out in front of you and catch the corner of the curb to stop you from tumbling forward.
Every round of parkour training exercises must have rolls – no excuses! The amount of damage you can do from a bad fall is no joke. Rolls can cut the force you put on your bones and joints by 60%, saving your body some serious wear and tear.
Start kneeling on padded surfaces – then move on to jogging tumbles, but only when you’re rolling across your back (from shoulder to opposite hip) without banging your head, spine or tail bone. For more on rolls check out Ryan Doyle’s awesome roll tutorial on YouTube.
Practice jumping from low heights into rolls – the roll is no good unless it’s integrated into your landing like reflex. So stand on something low to the ground, like a bench, and hop off, breaking your impact with a well-timed roll.
Hangs are where parkour really gets cool. When you can complete a precision jump to cat hang, to wall up, you’ve literally scaled a wall – something most people will never do in their entire lives.
Hangs aren’t easy, but there a number of training exercises you can do to build the necessary strength and technique to pull one off.
Start from a dead hang – Don’t jump into it, just see if you can hang in a sort of catcher’s position with your fingers and thumbs making an L-shape on the wall’s ledge. If you can’ t do this at first, start with one leg on the ground work on shifting more and more weight to your hands.
Progress to wall pull ups, incorporating your feet to for a boost – This is just what it sounds like: pull ups with the benefit of kicking feet. Start by just doing explosive sets of pull ups on the wall, then taking a break. When you can do a bunch, try to get a forearm on the wall. The key from here is to turn your elbow up over your palm so you can use your shoulder and triceps to push downward into the wall.