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An introduction to Parkour


A Parkour Tracuer vaulting over a gap.

Parkour, can be described as the “Art of Movement”.  It is essentially getting from point A to point B efficiently, through natural movement; running, jumping, climbing, etc. It is a little different from Freerunning, (and there are those who will disagree) which more about style and acrobatics but it has the same spirit. It is also about overcoming environmental obstacles in your path, and many Parkour practitioners known as Traceurs (males) and Traceuses (females) treat this as a metaphor for life itself. It can also be described as a form of self-expression. Anyone young or young at heart can pick up this lifestyle-sport, there are practitioners in their 50’s!

As with any physical activity there is also a risk of injury, but this can be avoided through proper conditioning and training. Controlled progression of movement is the focus of training. For example, let’s say, at first you are only able to stand on a rail for a few seconds. After continued practice, you are able to walk a distance on that rail. Then finally you are able to accurately and precisely jump from one rail to another. You are only limited by your physical ability, your imagination and of course, common sense. To practice Parkour all you really need is a good pair of running shoes and a safe place to train, but practicing with others can take your skills further. There are Parkour communities growing all over the country and Gyms are opening as well. Train hard, be safe and most importantly, have fun!

Here are some helpful links to more information and examples of Parkour:

Professional Parkour Traceur David Belle

Examples of Conditioning Exercises for Parkour