Come jump in: The basics of doing parkour

If you’re looking for a different and exciting activity to add to your routine, parkour is worth a try.

Parkour is a cool way to move around obstacles. It not only requires efficiency and agility, but also a great deal of ninja-like refinement.

Parkour is also low-maintenance. Unlike other physical sport or activity, it doesn’t require pads, helmets, and other equipment. Comfortable clothing and shoes with minimal padding are the basic gear.

So how do you get started? Get in shape and build endurance by jogging, stretching, and doing basic strength-building exercises such as squats and push-ups. provided a basic training routine that’s easy to follow.

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Then, you can proceed to learning the basic moves, such as the following:

Quadrupedal movement, or moving low on the ground using all four limbs, is essential for proper weight transfer, and improving balance and coordination. It is also fundamental to other parkour movements like landing, falling, and vaulting. It seems easy, but the real challenge is having to do it under obstacles, and over steep or uneven terrain.

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Landing, meanwhile, requires proper standing and squatting to achieve precise execution. Here, it’s not enough to just jump—you must learn how to jump and land quietly and efficiently from specific takeoff points, across obstacles and gaps, and at various angles, all while keeping your balance.

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Vaulting combines running, and proper jumping and quadrupedal movement to leap through fences and other obstacles with one hand. The vault can end with a landing, a roll, or a fall, which parkour trainees have already learned by the time they move on to this skill.

I am Brent Morgan Waco, a physical therapist and a fan of parkour and other outdoor fitness activities. Subscribe to this blog for more about how parkour works.


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