Parkour Conditioning for Beginners
Part 1Conditioning Yourself
- Train with your own body weight. Nothing else will train you to really move and push your body through the environment than working with it from the get-go. Do the following routine 2 times each workout session. If you can't do it all, do what you can. Aim for improvement above all else. If you can do it all, consistently increase your number of reps and/or sessions bit by bit.
- 10 squats (building up to plyometric box jumps)
- 10 push-ups
- 10 leg lifts on your back with both legs
- 10 pull-ups
- You should run at least 7-10 miles (11-16 km) per week. Running is a big part of parkour, and you should be able to run long distances, as well as sprint fast.
- Other cardio exercises that are helpful to do are lacrosse, boxing and swimming. Yoga will tone up your muscles, too.
- Strength is another important aspect of parkour. You can't just hang on the wall; you have to somehow climb over it. Work with the routine described above and combine with weight training for optimal results.
- Do not become obsessed with how much weight you can lift. Perfect form and endurance (number of reps) are much more important. After all, you'll be working with the weight of your body, not lifting cars.
- Parkour can be a dangerous sport if you are not conditioned, so be sure to stretch properly beforehand. If you do not warm up before you stretch, you could lose up to 30% of your muscle's possible strength and power. What's more, make sure you stretch to prevent injury or strain.
- Don't miss any part of your body. Parkour may seem like it uses mostly legs, but your arms, neck, back, and shoulders are equally important. If you have an injury, you should not be stretching without a physical therapist (or doing parkour in the first place).
- Eat a healthy diet. The high carb vegan diet is the most efficient, and non calorie restrictive diet, that will provide the highest energy levels for intense sports like parkour. Raw till 4 is the most popular high carb, low fat vegan diet, and one of the best. Whole and unprocessed foods are best for parkour athletes (traceurs). Your main source of calories should come from fruits. That might sound crazy to a society that has been taught that fruits and veggies are just snacks, but it's true. Eat a lot of high calorie fruits, along with vegetables, and greens. Cooked carbs such as rice, potatoes, and gluten free pasta are perfect for dinner. Animal products such as eggs, dairy, and meats, are actually toxic for our bodies. Don't worry about protein, or any other nutrients. A non-junk food vegan diet is rich in nutritional value. Drink plenty of water-at least 64 ounces per day. Many traceurs consume at least one gallon daily.
- Cut out the high-fat, high-sodium processed goods. A healthy weight and muscle-to-fat ratio is important for succeeding at this skill. It's much easier to lift up 180 lbs (82 kgs) of stream-lined muscle over that wall than 220 lbs (100 kgs) of not-so-streamlined fat.
- You'll be peeing a lot, but it'll be worth it. You will be healthier, and your body will transform into a well oiled machine! Make sure to chug water after each workout session. Parkour can be incredibly hard on your body and your body needs the hydration to stay in top form.
- Get a good pair of shoes (unless you want to go the barefoot route). Your own success at parkour can depend a lot on what shoes you have. Consider getting ones with grip (for climbing); they should be sturdy enough to handle the motions you'll put them through, but also flexible to ensure your feet can bend properly. They should also be light enough so that they don't weigh you down.
- Specialist parkour sneakers are starting to appear on the market. They are designed with the grip, support and stability needed for hard impacts as well as traction for a variety of running surfaces. K-Swiss, inov-8 and Vibram Five Fingers are all popular choices.
- You will figure out soon enough that you destroy sneakers faster than you can buy them and that it's not worth spending big amounts of money. Buy cheap sneakers; when you destroy them, get a new pair. Grip and durability are not as important as technique, but make sure the sneakers do have some traction, as it will make climbing a bit easier. Make sure that the soles are not too thick to promote bad landing techniques and to gain more feel for the environment.