How to Parkour for beginners?
Part 1Gathering Your Materials
- Invest in a good pair of shoes. You want a pair that has decent grip and shock absorption (forefoot absorption, too!) - no skating, soccer, or football shoes. The ones you'll be wearing need to be flexible and light; it's less about protection and more about morphing with your foot to the surface. It is also recommended by many top traceurs (those who practice parkour) to have a shoe that does not have hard plastic in the center of the arch as this will cause your ability to balance on things such as rails to decrease significantly as well as raising the chance for injury.
- A shoe with a good flat sole and as few pieces of rubber as possible is preferable as the little rubber nubs as seen on most running shoes will tear off with ease when training. Ideally the sole of your shoe should have one to two piece of solid rubber that way it will not tear free as easily and you will get more use from your shoe.
- You may want good toe bumpers to cushion your cat leaps. And, of course, regardless of the shoe, if it doesn't fit well, it won't work. The shoes must be snug or else you are increasing your risk of injury on landings.
- Don't concern yourself with brand names. If you are practicing as much as you should be, you will wear those suckers out in a few months. In addition, since you will be practicing outside, they are going to get dirty. Do not waste money on the looks of your feet.
- Get some comfortable clothes. As long as you can move quickly and your clothes are not restrictive, you are good to go. Just make sure they stay on and you will not find yourself messing with them as you move.
- Climbing pants, since they allow you to move freely, and are durable, fit well, and don't get in your way. Gramicci, Prana stretch Zion pants (good), North Face, and Arborwear are recommended. Dickies are also durable and offer free-range of motion. Jeans are not recommended, as they are too stiff and do not allow enough freedom of movement. Again, if you have that favorite pair of sweats (that stays up!), go for it.
- Shirts do not have to be anything fancy, but it is good to have a sweat wicking type. REI and running shoe stores have these. Consider wearing long sleeves to prevent scrapes while first learning.
- You are going to want to stay cool, so you'll probably want to don cotton.
- Don't cave to the need for gloves. You may think your delicate little mitts need protection from all the hard and possibly dirty surfaces you gallivant over, but resist the urge. You do not want to deprive your mind of the sense of touch - after all, you need to know how a surface feels to know how easy it will be to climb. You may get a few scrapes, but you'll be all the better for it.
- For the first few weeks, you may come home seeking the ice pack. Soon enough, your hands will get used to the work you are putting them through.
- Find a friend. Not only will your friend help keep you motivated, but they will show you things that did not even occur to you, forcing you to learn.
- Another choice is a Parkour coach. Someone who has been in the game for a while will be an invaluable resource in shortening your learning curve - and they will help keep you from getting hurt. If your social network isn't pulsing with the energy of a thousand traceurs, start doing some research; there are Parkour groups worldwide that are always looking for new members.
- Find a few places to train. Find some area of the concrete jungle that looks enough like a maze but poses less of a challenge (and danger) than the Great Wall of China. Once you have found one, find another. You will need various obstacles to keep your mind and skills fresh.
- Before you go darting from parking garage to parking garage, however, try mastering your way through a park first. Grass stains are a lot easier to take care of than broken femurs.
- Stay off private property. The police will not look at you and go, "Sweet, man! How would you get your leaps to look like that? Can I take a look at the definition in your calf muscles?" If trouble does find you, be polite and go on your merry way. Few will understand the purpose of what you are doing, and that is fine.