The Extreme Art of Moving - All About Parkour and Free Running By Extremebodyworkout - P90X Workout
Parkour, also known as ‘the art of moving’ is the physical adaptation of one’s movement to his or her environmental surroundings. Rigorous training must be followed to enhance skills in climbing, jumping, running, balancing, vaulting and intense aerobic movements. Parkour training focuses on self-improvement and safety while valuing humility, sharing of knowledge and importance of all human life, community and places. This spiritual philosophy incorporates the progression of physical and mental health and portrays the understanding and unfailing improvement of ourselves.
What Is Parkour?
Parkour is a disciplined way of living that gives individuals the opportunity to improve themselves in both physical and mental aspects. First adapted as a natural method in the urban environment, Parkour improves a person’s ability to move in any situation or environment. This could involve walking, crawling, and swimming, climbing, sprinting or jumping. Mentally, Parkour improves concentration and relaxation skills as well as decision making and reasoning techniques.
What Is Free Running?
Free Running is a form of acrobatics where individuals, known as free runners (or traceurs), use rural or city landscapes in order to participate in various movements throughout its structures. Free Running is a ‘cousin’ activity to Parkour and differs as it’s a more creative form of movement with expressive actions such as flips and spins. The founder, Sebastien Foucan’ defines Free Running as a form of self improvement and discipline. Although similar to Parkour in physical ways, the mindset of each activity are immensely different.
Parkour Training and Techniques
Parkour requires intense physical training and one must be in good health before attempting any highly demanding movements. Trying any Parkour movements without the proper training or knowledge can result in a serious injury to yourself or those around you. No equipment is needed for this activity except for a pair of trainers and it can typically be done in street clothes. When training for Parkour, complete freedom is needed to express graceful and fluid animal-like movements.
Cat Leap: The Cat Leap consists of running and leaping from a certain point. The traceur takes off at a 45 degree angle and spots where he or she will grab the wall. Once the individual has leapt and is near the wall, they will go into a landing stance which appears as if they are sitting in mid-air. Legs are bent and arms are locked forward to grab the ledge as the feet grip the wall. Once on the wall securely, the traceur will push their selves upwards to climb over the ledge.
Roll: A roll can be done when landing from a jump. The traceur accomplishes this move by bending their knees and pushing forward to gently prepare for impact. The hands are placed on each side of the head to protect the skull and shoulders. The head is tucked in and the roll is done in one solid fluid movement. The traceur rolls and lands back on their feet and into a running position.
Precision Jump: Precision jumping can be done on the edge of a wall, roof or rail. The traceur will first spot their target landing, bend their knees and leap towards the spot with arms up and body straightened. Upon the landing, the traceur will bend his or her knees for impact, slow down and continue to their next precision jump.
Kong Vault: A kong vault consists of a running movement that results in a jump over a wall. The traceur will run full force towards a wall, stretch out his or her body and arms towards the wall with both legs parallel to the ground. They’ll spot where they will finish the jump, catapult their body forward and plant their hands. The traceur will then decide if they want to end the vault with a roll or continue to run.
Speed Vault: The speed vault allows a traceur to jump a wall without having to slow down prior to the leap. As the individual nears the wall, they’ll put one hand down on the wall and throw their body over the wall sideways. The speed vault is typically done on smaller walls so that the individual can easily land on their feet. The traceur then can continue running at full speed without interruption.
Free Running Training and Techniques
While there is no right or wrong way to train for Free running, there are tips and techniques that can help you accomplish your personal goals. It’s recommended that you get a days rest before running to allow time for your legs to recover from previous trainings. Downhill running should be practiced as this can increase your stride rate and promote a quicker leg turnover. Back extensions as well as other upper and lower body exercises should be done consistently to help you stay in shape, strengthen the back muscles, provide efficient posture and avoid unnecessary rocking of the torso.
Parkour is more then an activity, but a way of life both mentally and physically. It allows you to challenge yourself to try new things, be spontaneous and think out of the box. It trains you to face any difficult situation that life may throw at you and deal with it constructively and with an open mind. The vault and other jumping movements are simply the bi-products of this specific type of thinking. Although each person has their own idea of what they want to accomplish in life, Parkour allows each individual to travel the path that suits their needs.
Parkour and Free Running in Entertainment
Professional teams provide intense Parkour and Free running entertainment for film, television, photographic campaigns and live events. 3RUN is the worlds leading Parkour/Free running performance team that began developing their passion and skills in 2003. 3RUN provides inspiration through the art of movements and have done campaigns for popular companies such as Cartoon Network, Duracell, Puma, Ford, Nestle, Microsoft, Snickers, Cannon and more. Free running stunts have also been put into major films including Harry Potter and James Bond Casino Royale.