Wall run Parkour
At 5’9” with a weight of 168 lbs, I have an average adult male build. Without having formally measured it, let’s guesstimate that I have a vertical reach of seven feet and my standing vertical jump is 24. In theory, I should be able to jump and touch the top of a nine-foot wall without difficulty. But what about getting myself completely on top of that same wall in fewer than five seconds?
Hauling your entire body to the top of an overhead wall with speed presents an entirely different challenge. In fact, just standing beneath a nine- or ten-foot wall and contemplating how to get on top of it can be daunting. It might even invoke a mini fear-response. If you’ve ever paddled a surfboard through overhead waves, you might know what I’m talking about.
Yet, it’s not impossible. The technique for getting yourself on top of an overhead wall is known as a wall run, and can be learned through a few basic steps.
Note: Are you an aspiring obstacle course racer? Listen up. This technique will help you glide over barriers faster than the competition.
At this point, it’d be helpful for you to go back and read an earlier Breaking Muscle article about a parkour technique known as the climb-up. Having a strong climb-up in your movement arsenal will have a dramatic impact on your ability to perform a fast and effective wall run. Without being too repetitive, a climb-up is basically the skill for getting your body from a hanging position to the top of a wall. By piecing together a way to jump and grasp the top of a wall, with a way to pull yourself up and on top, you will have the skills to perform a wall run.
It should come as no surprise that to perform a wall run, a bit of running is involved. It’s not much, but you’ll need an approach to the wall that allows for at least three to four running strides. More running is fine - just don’t wear yourself out on the approach with a super long run.