Simple Parkour moves
If last week's Thrive video introducing parkour got you interested in learning more about this exhilarating way to get in shape while having fun, then you don't want to miss today's episode. You probably never thought you could become a superhero and leap from building to building. But with parkour, that's a real possibility. That's why AskMen's resident fitness expert, Dr. Patrick Owen, went to a local parkour gym to meet with instructor Danny Ostafichuck. His goal was simple — to learn the three basic parkour movements everyone should know. So let's not waste any time and get right into the three most important moves you’ll have to know if you want to become a parkour pro and real-life superhero:
1. The Kong Vault
First up is the Kong vault. This is a great way of moving over long objects such as large barriers or low walls. You can also use it to go flying over any rails and fences you encounter while fighting crime — or, you know, just free-running. You should keep in mind that Kong vaults are typically used for gaining distance and power rather than speed. As you run towards the obstacle, bring both arms forward and down. Then, use your momentum to vault up and over the obstacle, bringing your feet through your arms only as you land.
2. The Wall Climb
Next up is the wall climb, the most basic wall climb you will learn in parkour. There are many other more advanced variations but as the saying goes, you must first learn how to walk before you can run. Speaking of which, it's important to use your own body's momentum to your advantage and get a running start before attempting to climb up. When you reach the wall, place one foot up at a 90-degree angle as high up as you can, then push up on that leg, swinging your arms to grab the top of the wall. Finally, pull yourself up with your hands as you push up with your legs.
3. The Cat Leap
The cat leap is the final basic technique you should know. This is one of many different types of jumps in parkour and can be done either from a precision stance (i.e. standing still) or while running onto a ledge or wall. If you are a beginner, a slight running start is often a good idea as you want to ensure you have enough momentum to carry your body across the gap. Ostafichuck recommends bringing your feet forward as you jump to focus on your point of landing instead of the wall — you don't want to be preoccupying yourself with your hands. If the wall you are leaping towards is similar in height to your starting point, you should definitely land with your feet first — near the top of the second wall. Delay grabbing the ledge or wall with your hands by a split second so that your body can drop a little down the wall. Finally, it's important to brace yourself for the impact of landing on the wall with your legs before pulling yourself up and over.