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Parkour Strength Training 101: Get Started With Parkour

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This is our new series on Parkour fitness training. Since most people are unaware of what Parkour is, we decided to bring you this parkour strength training manual. 

If you are a beginner looking to improve his reflexes then this parkour training manual is for you.

In this article, we will discuss upper body workouts for parkour and how they can help you in your daily practice.

“There’s no substitute for a regular, smart trainning. No shortcuts, no secrets. Practice well and often, and you’ll get there.”
― David Belle

Upper Body Push: Wall Dip 

For parkour strength training, the wall dip is a useful upper body pushing movement. Though it may come off as slightly tougher than a basic push up, a strong wall dip will improve movements such as vaults, as well as the second half of a climb-up or the popular muscle-up. Advanced progressions are recommended once you can easily do 10 or more wall dips in perfect form.

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Lower Body Movement: Air Squat

A simple lower body movement, air squats can be perfected very easily before moving on to more intense and complex forms. In the discipline of parkour strength training, this is one exercise often overlooked, but top form on squats and landings is what builds endurance. It is advisable though, to practice and perfect the air squat before moving on to high impact jumps and landings. If one wants to work on strength building in your posterior chain, and also increase mobility in the hips and ankles, the air squats past 90 degrees is the most beneficial.


Leg & Upper Body Strength: Monkey Plank

For building leg and upper body strength, the monkey plank is a practical yet challenging movement. Slightly close to what one may think of as an obstacle-based burpee, or a box jump for someone on steroids. This covers more space vertically and forces one to put in more work and bunk up the intensity for a full-body workout. The monkey plant lands one into a standing/squatting position on top of an obstacle, ready for a start into a jump or run. With ample practice, one can make advanced progressions to difficult versions like top-outs, and double-kongs.

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Core: Knees-to-Elbows (dead hang)

Knees-to-elbows from a dead hang requires moving your knees towards your chest, an intense movement that exercises the core. An important element in parkour skills is that you have to learn to lift your body using your core, which comprises the abs, lower back, hip flexors). This makes it easier to learn techniques including underbars, pullovers as well as laches. The movement bringing knees to chest is also identified in other vigorous exercises including the backflip, vaults, jumps. 

Strength Training: Wall Handstand

The handstand is as significant in strength training as it is in gymnastics, as it increases balance, upper body strength, full-body tension as well as spatial awareness. Handstands also make the right base for flips and spins, while practicing body control when upside down. The way to get it right is to initially try it with your stomach to the wall instead of your back to the wall.  

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Power Movements: Broad Jump

One of the most prominent strength training power movements in parkour is the broad jump. This is a full-body exercise that helps develop power, mobility, and builds strength and coordination. For parkour strength training, the broad jump basic move is applied to gap jumps, precision landings, and cat leaps. It is known that broad jump is used as an important measure and athlete assessment for coaches and athletes from parkour to other sports. 

Parkour Strength Training: Quadrupedal Movement 

In parkour, Quadrepal movement is used as a strength training exercise as well as a practical skill, with its most simple form being the reciprocating forward-moving variation. This killer movement is a full-body movement that works the coordination and balance that’s required for vaults. Generally the quadrupedal movement comes useful as a means to navigate through irregular surfaces and sneak in and out of small spaces or movement through varying heights. 

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Strength Training: Vertical Jump to Soft Landing

What’s new here is the variation from the simple vertical jump to a soft landing in the parkour strength training movements. While the jump builds up a fiery shooting power, the soft landing helps develop leg strength, which is required for mighty landings. Safe landing increases the ability of absorbing the impact after a high jump and is the perfect way to a seamless technique.

Parkour Upper Body Strength: Dead Hang Pull-up

The dead hang pull-up is known as one of the simpler and safer exercises that help build strength in the upper body. This helps set the tone right for better brachiating, improved climbing skills as well as swinging or traversing. A minimum of 5-10 dead hang pull-ups with immaculate form is all you need to get started, before you can beat yourself to some of the more complex pulling movements. These may include the kipping pull-up, kipping muscle-up, the glide kip. Though kipping pull-ups may generally be linked with practical parkour movements, it is recommended to develop the dead hang pull-up first. 

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