You’ve made it to your first parkour lesson! Before we get started, each lesson is broken down into modules to help you learn quickly and easily. These are the modules for this lesson:
- Parkour Warm Up – What You Can Do and Why
- Roll Progressions pt. 1
- Vault Progressions pt. 1
- Lower Body Strength Training for Parkour pt. 1
- HIT Exercise – Sprints
- Putting it All Together
Parkour Warm Up – What You Can Do and Why
At the beginning of parkour training or jam session, it is very important to warm up your body. When I say “warm up”, I mean small, simple exercises that will activate your muscles, get your joints ready for exercise and increase your heart rate. If you would like a more in-depth explanation about warm ups and their importance for your parkour, and why you need to use them, you can find it here: Parkour Warm Up
So you are ready to warm up for your first parkour training session! While there are many ways to do this, here is the method that I personally use and have taught my students.
Begin by finding a flat area about 30 ft. long. This will be your warm up playground. Refer to the following video for a detailed explanation for every exercise. Start with your mobility exercises and follow along for a full warm up:
- Arm Swings
- Arm Circles
- Elbow Circles
- Elbow Points
- Knee Circles
- Leg Swings
- Knee to Wall
- Cook Squats
- Duck Unders
- Walk Outs
- Shoulder Presses
- Hip Drives
- Quadrupedal Movement (QM)
- Spider Mans
- Butt Kicks
- High Knees
- Hand Kicks
Now you should be all warmed up! Your body should feel ready for action and there should be no joint or muscle pain at any point during the warm up.
◊ Training Tip: Here is a PDF which lists all the exercises in order, and the number of recommended reps of each to get you warmed up. Print it off and take it out training with you so you don’t forget what exercises to do!
Basic Roll Progressions pt. 1
Your first parkour skill! The parkour roll is very important to start practicing at the very beginning. The ability to roll will help you to take bigger jumps without hurting your muscles and joints down the road. Without further ado, the parkour roll.
Tip: When practicing the parkour roll, it takes repetition to get very good. This is an uncomfortable move for beginners and might leave some bruises. What most traceurs won’t tell you though, is that even when done properly, a roll can still be uncomfortable. This applies to people with bony backs or that are very skinny. It will take some time to build muscle mass and proper technique so that your rolls become comfortable. Practice, but be patient, this skill takes long term effort to master.
Basic Vault Progressions pt. 1
Now that you have started your roll technique, lets get you up and moving around like a true traceur! This section will cover basic vaults to move over an obstacle and how you can start progressing in your vaults starting right now.
The first vault is the step vault. This movement is first because it is the most basic and will get you started with the right motions for efficient movements. Watch the video below to get started with your vaults. In this video you will learn:
- Basic vault motion
- Step Vault
- Speed Vault
- Lazy Vault
- Thief Vault (Slide Monkey)
Congratulations, now you are a traceur! You have learned your first parkour movements and have conquered the basic vaults! In order to keep progressing, you will have to continue to practice these skills, and learn more in the following lessons!
Lower Body Strength Training For Parkour pt. 1
Now that we are developing some parkour movement techniques, lets work on our strength to prepare our bodies for bigger and more complex movements. These strength exercises will both help us prevent injury, and build strength increasing our jump and movement power. It’s no secret that the best traceurs are incredibly strong so to get there, we have to put in a little work. Lets get down and dirty with these exercises for some lower body parkour strength training!
Lower Body Strength Exercises
- Body Weight Squats
- Reverse Lunges
- 1 leg jumping dead lifts
- Calf Hops
Final HIT Exercise – Sprints
We are almost done! So we’ve learned some techniques and did some strength exercises, now we need to throw in a little bit of intense exercise to boost our endurance and our mental toughness! These exercises will generally at the end of practice sessions and will be the final test of your training session before you get to relax.
For each lesson, I have created a different exercise to really get your heart pumping, some are more unusual than others but they all accomplish the same goal, to tire you out. This is the last effort you will have to give to your training for the day so muster up all the energy you have and give this last exercise everything you’ve got. For Lesson 1, we will do 3 short sprints to get you used to the idea. View the video below for more details.
Putting it All Together
Great! Now we’ve learned how to warm up and why we do it before practicing parkour, rolling techniques, some foundational vaults and lower body strength exercises. All we have left is to put it all together for our first training session. This PDF outlines the Training For Parkour Lesson 1 listing the exercises and movements to work during your training session. Print it out and take it with you so you don’t forget what to do next. Keep in mind you will have to remember what each exercise is and I recommend re-watching the videos after your first training session. This will help you check to make sure you were doing the techniques properly, but will also help you ingrain the movements in your body by re-watching them after your practice.
Good work today! Normally, lessons will end with a stretching session but I know you wanted to get moving so we’ll save it for Lesson 2. As mentioned in the Overview articles, it is necessary to rest the body after working out so go get a good meal and relax. Generally it is also a good idea to take a day off between lessons when starting out as well so come on back in two days or so and we’ll continue to Lesson 2!