You’ve seen the YouTube videos. Parkour is becoming ever more popular. Not only is it fun, it gives you great exercise. Many people are now getting into it not just because it looks cool, but they’re now joining the parkour craze for fitness. What is parkour you ask? It is characterized by continuous fast-paced movement over obstacles such as walls, roofs, stairs, terraces, and curbs. It is now considered a recreational sport. People who practice this recreational sport are called traceurs. They run, jump, and vault over obstacles. They must do this without stopping. They have to be confident and not be afraid of the obstacles they face. There is no second-guessing. They must be mentally and physically prepared to handle the challenges that can occur. They have to be flexible as well. To become adept at parkour, here are some simple moves you can practice. We all have to start somewhere.
1. Accurate and precise jumps. Move from one area to another by jumping off both feet and landing on both feet. When jumping, crouch down and bend your knees and then spring forward but continue with your knees slightly bent and hands up in the air. Straighten legs as you land and land with your toes and balls of your feet first and then bend your knees to absorb the impact of the landing. Beginners can practice on the ground (preferably grass or dirt first as it softens the landing). Experts can jump from ledge to ledge or roof to roof.
2. Balancing Acts. This is important as you don’t want to fall, especially from a tall height. The best way to balance on a thin obstacle is by placing your feet properly on the obstacle such as a rail. Remove your shoes. Practice putting your feet in front of the other with the rail in between the third and forth toes. Walk slowly and keep your eyes a few feet in front of you on the obstacle so that your mind is prepared to put your foot there. If you start to lose your balance, bend your knees and lower yourself which will make it easier for you readjust.
3. Dropping and Landings. When you drop from an obstacle, always land on the balls of the feet. When landing, it’s important to bend your knees and have the hands in the air then drop the hands to the ground. This will also help to absorb the impact of the landing better and will prevent broken bones or fractures.
4. The rolls. Rolls are bit more difficult and take a lot of practice. The role of rolls is to help soften landings but keep the momentum of your parkour run. When you land, push with your arms for the roll and tuck your legs and head close to your stomach and chest respectively. Try rolling on soft grassy ground or soft mats first to prevent injury of you’re just beginning.
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