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Parkour 101: Learn the Basics of This Amazing Movement Art

Introduction: What is parkour and who invented it?

Parkour is a natural method for training the human body to be able to leap and move from place to place by climbing, jumping and flipping. This 'art of displacement' requires neither specific structures nor accessories for its practice: The body is the only tool. It takes perseverance, guts, and discipline, but the end is rewarding.


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Parkour originated in France in the 1980s, developed by a group of young people who sought to push physical and mental limits through creative and risky movements. The main founder of parkour is David Belle, who was inspired by his father Raymond Belle, a former soldier and firefighter who trained in a military obstacle course method called "parcours du combattant". David Belle and his friends called themselves the Yamakasi, meaning "strong spirit" in Lingala, a language spoken in Congo. They practiced parkour in the suburbs of Paris, using buildings, walls, rails, and other urban features as their playground.

Parkour became popularized in the 1990s and 2000s through films, documentaries, video games, and advertisements. Some examples of media that featured parkour are the James Bond movie Casino Royale (2006), the documentary Jump London (2003), the video game Mirror's Edge (2008), and the Nike commercial "Angry Chicken" (2005). Parkour also spread to other countries, where national and local organizations were formed to promote and teach the discipline. Today, parkour is practiced by millions of people around the world, from different backgrounds, ages, and abilities.

Benefits of parkour: How parkour can improve your physical and mental health

Parkour is not only a sport but also a lifestyle that can bring many benefits to your body and mind. Here are some of the advantages of practicing parkour:

  • Physical benefits: Parkour is a full-body workout that can improve your cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, agility, speed, power, and reaction time. Parkour also helps you develop body awareness and control, as well as prevent injuries by teaching you how to land safely and roll out of falls. Parkour can also help you burn calories and lose weight by keeping you active and engaged.

  • Mental benefits: Parkour is a mental challenge that can improve your concentration, focus, creativity, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, confidence, self-esteem, resilience, courage, and discipline. Parkour also helps you overcome fear and anxiety by exposing you to controlled risks and encouraging you to face your obstacles. Parkour can also help you reduce stress and depression by releasing endorphins and dopamine in your brain.

  • Social benefits: Parkour is a community activity that can help you make new friends, learn from others, share experiences, cooperate with teammates, respect others' opinions, communicate effectively, and have fun. Parkour also helps you develop a sense of belonging and identity by connecting you with people who share your passion and values.

Safety tips: How to avoid injuries and accidents while practicing parkour

Parkour can be dangerous if not done properly or responsibly. Here are some tips on how to stay safe while practicing parkour:

  • Warm up: Before starting any parkour session, make sure to warm up your muscles and joints by doing some dynamic stretches, mobility exercises, and some light cardio. This will help you prevent injuries and prepare your body for the movements you are going to perform.

  • Start slow: If you are a beginner, don't try to do advanced or complex moves right away. Start with the basics and master them before moving on to the next level. Learn how to land, roll, balance, and vault properly before attempting jumps, flips, or wall runs. Progress gradually and don't rush yourself.

  • Train with others: It is safer and more fun to practice parkour with other people who can help you, teach you, spot you, and motivate you. Find a local parkour group or community that suits your level and style. You can also join online forums or social media platforms where you can share tips, videos, and feedback with other parkour enthusiasts.

  • Choose your spots wisely: Not every place is suitable for parkour. Avoid areas that are crowded, private, illegal, or dangerous. Look for spots that are open, public, legal, and safe. Check the surfaces and structures for stability, cleanliness, and potential hazards. Respect the environment and the people around you. Don't damage or litter the property or disturb the peace.

  • Listen to your body: Parkour can be physically demanding and exhausting. Don't push yourself beyond your limits or ignore the signs of fatigue, pain, or injury. Take breaks, drink water, eat well, and rest when needed. If you feel any discomfort or discomfort in any part of your body, stop immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

Basic techniques: How to perform some common parkour moves such as rolls, vaults, and jumps

Parkour is based on a set of fundamental techniques that can be applied to different situations and obstacles. Here are some of the most common parkour moves that you should learn as a beginner:

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  • Roll: A roll is a way of absorbing the impact of a landing or a fall by distributing it across your body. To perform a roll, you need to land on the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent and your arms in front of you. Then, tuck your head to one side and roll diagonally from one shoulder to the opposite hip. As you roll, use your arms to protect your head and neck and push yourself back up to a standing position.

  • Vault: A vault is a way of passing over an obstacle by using your hands to propel yourself forward. There are many types of vaults, but one of the simplest ones is the speed vault. To perform a speed vault, you need to run towards the obstacle and place one hand on it while swinging your legs sideways over it. Then, push off with your hand and land on both feet on the other side.

  • Jump: A jump is a way of leaping from one point to another by using your legs to generate power and momentum. There are many types of jumps, but one of the most basic ones is the precision jump. To perform a precision jump, you need to stand on the edge of a platform or a gap and bend your knees slightly. Then, swing your arms back and forth and jump forward while extending your legs. Aim for a precise landing on a small target such as another platform or a rail.

Advanced techniques: How to perform some more difficult parkour moves such as flips, wall runs, and cat leaps

Parkour also involves some more advanced techniques that require more skill, strength, and courage. Here are some of the more difficult parkour moves that you can try once you master the basics:

  • Flip: A flip is a way of rotating your body in mid-air by using your hips and core muscles to generate torque. There are many types of flips, but one of the most common ones is the front flip. To perform a front flip, you need to run towards a ramp or an incline and jump off it while tucking your knees to your chest and throwing your arms forward. Then, rotate forward until you see the ground again and extend your legs to land on both feet.

  • Wall run: A wall run is a way of climbing up a vertical surface by using your feet to push yourself up while running along it. To perform a wall run, you need to run towards a wall at an angle and place one foot on it while leaning slightly backwards. Then, push off with that foot and place the other foot higher up on the wall while leaning slightly forwards. Repeat this motion until you reach the top of the wall or grab onto something.

  • Cat leap: A cat leap is a way of jumping from one point to another by grabbing onto a ledge or a rail with your hands and swinging your legs over it. To perform a cat leap, you need to run towards a gap and jump off it while extending your arms towards the target. Then, catch the target with your hands and pull yourself up while bringing your legs over it. Land on the target with both feet and balance yourself.

Equipment: What kind of shoes, clothes, and accessories you need for park

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