Workouts for physical fitness are assuming several forms and names with varying degrees of difficulties. Parkour is one among them.
A method of physical training, a spirited sport, a natural movement that produces great effect…Parkour is defined in several ways. My favorite is Parkour being called the fitness trend that treats life as one big obstacle course! As one student who enrolled for Parkour class put it, “It’s like dancing at high speed.”
Origin of Parkour: Originated and developed from France, Parkour combines elements of gymnastics, high jump, rock climbing and similar athletic fields. The objective is to enable Parkour practitioners to carry out vigorous athletic activities like jumping over benches and guard rails or climbing up steep spots nimbly and with minimum effort. Parkour is hugely inspired by military training methods.
Using Parkour techniques: Parkour can be a part of anyone’s fitness routine and can be applied through life. It enables you to face challenges as well as have fun with creative ideas. You can set up equipment in a workout room or use whatever is in your path as you go about your routine. You don’t need expensive and fancy gear; even the existing surroundings will suffice. Either way, it prepares you to put your physical as well as mental limits to test.
Parkour for beginners: Beginners can enroll for Parkour classes. After a warm-up with squats, push-ups and pull-ups, students are educated on the basics of parkour techniques including safety norms. With makeshift scaffolding and vault boxes, students are taught to walk, leap, hurtle or weave out from the obstacle course. Start with a few sets of activities every day and progress to more and harder tasks.
Integrating Parkour into routine: You can introduce Parkour exercises into your day-to- day activities. Every time you have to climb up or down the stairs, you raise the bar. Start by jumping one step, then two, three or even four. Pay attention to your posture and balance the first few times and you will find yourself naturally landing softly on your toes after a few times. Parkour mostly involves vigorous short sprints, take-offs and landings.
Sense of awareness: Parkour is a personal choice of activity. One should have a high sense of body awareness. If you are more into gymnastics, practice flipping and vaulting over monkey bars and see the ease with which you can vault over picnic tables and park benches. If running is your thing, sprint a bit longer every day on even as well as uneven ground and you will be able to run up even a construction crane. Make sure you are well aware to make the right choices of high-rush activities.
For inspiration, you can watch some of the movies, games and advertisements that feature Parkour’s energetic moves. The most popular among them is the chase sequence in the James Bond film, ‘Casino Royale’.