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15 Best Parkour Exercises for Beginners

You’re interested in learning parkour, aren’t you? It looks fun, doesn’t it? Parkour is a mysterious, exhilarating, cool-looking sport we all wish we could do. 

If you’ve ever watched District 13 or thought of Casino Royale’s opening sequence, then you know how appealing it is to turn the world into your playground.

The question is, how do you get from the couch to jumping from buildings? It takes a process to accomplish it. However, it’s not impossible. The only thing it takes is a little bit (or a lot, actually) of practice, time, and effort.

There are some steps to take, some simple moves to learn, but if you want to do it, you can start tomorrow and be in the thick of things in no time. Once you start, it’s hard to stop.

Parkour training exercises are excellent for both the body and the mind. You get to meet a lot of nice people, and it’s a lot of fun. As long as you’re sensible, it’s not dangerous at all. 

What Is Parkour?

This is quite a loaded question, isn’t it? To some, it’s about transitions and fluidity. To the rest, it’s a way to their mind and body. For a select few, it’s a religion. 

The vast majority of us, especially those just starting, tend to jump, vault, roll, and when we’re good, flip…

When you or I come across a staircase with wall railings, a freerunner or parkour runner will see an opportunity to jump the top three steps, Kong vault the railing, and run down the bank before moving on to find the next place to trick. 

The essence of parkour is to turn a city (or suburb, or even the wild) into a playground. Bus shelters become a fun thing to hang out on. Alleyways become places you can jump on. Walls become obstacles you have to overcome. 

But hidden among all that seeming randomness lies the repurposing of something mundane into something exciting. 

There is a risk vs reward exchange going on with parkour, a demanding, physical sport. Then why do people fall off things? Probably because we prefer to fly down icy slopes on laminated wood. It is the same reason we build dirt jumps in the dirt and then fly off them on bicycles. There is something about it that stirs our senses.

What Equipment You Need When Doing Parkour Exercises

Getting started with parkour exercises requires the proper equipment. You can do parkour exercises at home this way without having to purchase an expensive gym membership. It’s also important to find out where the best places are to practice parkour in your area because you can also do parkour exercises there.

You’ll need the following equipment to do parkour exercises:

  1. Pull-up Bar

One of the most effective exercises to build upper-body strength is the pull-up. That’s why you need a pull-up bar. You can install one of these on the openings of a door in one of your rooms. You can also get one that you can hang on your home’s wall. Furthermore, you can install free standing pull-up bars in your backyard. There are also street workout gyms you can use. You’ll always find pull-up bars there.

  1. Dip Stand

You can do the dip as the next best parkour exercise after the pull-up if you have dip stands. As the name implies, you will be using these to do dips. In addition, they are cheap and easy to use, do not require installation, and are portable. If you want, you can get installable ones, which will be more stable for doing dips and other parkour exercises. If you want to get the full range of motion, you need to get dip stands that are high off the ground. Instead of buying dip stands, you can replace them with chairs. Be sure to use stable chairs.

  1. Wooden Boxes

You may wonder why wooden boxes are needed for parkour exercises. Basically, you’ll be unable to improve your parkour skills unless you learn box jumps and improve your parkour jumping technique. Moreover, you can do other parkour leg exercises as well as practice basic parkour vaults if you can get the right-sized boxes. 

Build your own wooden boxes using a DIY project if you’re crafty. You may also build or buy ledges around your home that are approximately four feet off the ground if you do not want to build your own.

Easy but Impactful Parkour for Beginners

If you’re just starting out with your parkour exercises and wondering how to do parkour at home, then you must do exercises that only match your present fitness levels. Parkour beginner workouts will help you learn easy, basic parkour moves faster than you would if you did not do them. Here is a list of parkour moves that provide parkour training for beginners.

1. Push-up

The push-up or press-up is a conditioning exercise. The exercise is particularly helpful in gaining upper body strength in parkour and freerunning training. Push-ups work primarily the deltoids, abdominals, pectorals, and triceps.

Technique:

  • Lie on your back with your hands beneath your shoulders (don’t put your hands in front of your shoulders). Tuck your elbows in (no greater than a 45° angle from your body). Maintain a straight line throughout your body; don’t bend your neck, hips, or back. Avoid sloping your shoulders toward your ears.
  • As you push yourself up, exhale. Do not let your weight rest on the bottom part of your hand, since this can lead to overuse injuries. Push up all the way.
  • As you come down, inhale. Keep your breathing smooth and controlled. Make sure your chest and chin almost touch the ground.

2. Pull-ups

Pull-ups are conditioning exercises. As it is an excellent way to build upper body strength, it is extremely useful for parkour and freerunning training. The exercise primarily targets the biceps,  latissimus, trapezius, rhomboids, deltoids, and forearm muscles. Among the most common variants is the chin-up, a variation in which the palms face the body instead of forward.

Technique:

  • With the palms facing away from the body (reverse if you’re doing a chin-up), grab the bar over your head with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your chest up and look at the bar.
  • Squeeze the glutes together as you cross your legs and bend your knees. Extend your arms fully.
  • Bring your chin up to the bar. Keep your elbows pushed down.
  • When you exhale, raise your chin as high as you can. Lift your chin as quickly as you can.
  • Slowly inhale as you come down.
  • Repeat.

3. Muscle-up

Muscle-ups are exercises in which you go from an overhand pull-up position to a cast position (with the bar at your waist). It can be done on rings, branches, bars, or any sturdy surface that is easy to hang from. Although commonly used for exercises (because it is easier to perform a bar kip), it is also used occasionally in parkour since it is impossible to perform both a climb-up and a bar kip in certain places (such as beneath an overhanging ledge).

Tips

You need to be able to do at least 20 pull-ups before you can do a muscle-up; dips are also an important exercise for gaining strength (dips are an advanced exercise, so you need to have some upper body strength to do them safely).  

4. Parkour Climb-Up

In parkour and freerunning, climb-ups are used to reach the top of a wall from a hanging position. This exercise is similar to a muscle-up, but it also uses the feet to push off.

Technique:

  • As you hang, bring your feet up near your hips.
  • Your hips should move away from the wall as you push with your feet.
  • Pull up with your hands at the same time.
  • Put your palms together and push down.
  • You can easily put one foot on top of the wall in a cast position; however, you may need a shinbone to get over the obstacle (although you should avoid this if possible).

5. Crunch 

The crunch is an abdominal conditioning exercise.

Technique:

  • Face up on the floor with your knees bent. Hold the arms over your chest. If they are used to pulling the head forward, placing them behind the head can result in a neck injury.
  • Using only the abdominals, lift the upper back and shoulders off the ground without lifting the lower back (this is a sit-up). Breathe out while lifting.
  • As you come back down, inhale.

6. Underbar 

Underbar is a parkour movement that involves swinging under a bar fluidly.

Technique:

  • Jump up feet first and place your hands on the bar with enough forward momentum.
  • Extend your body as you swing under the bar.
  • Your back should be arched.
  • Follow through.

7. Side Vault

A side vault, or the two-handed vault, is a vault that will benefit beginners, people of low strength, and those with little momentum. The one-handed vault can be performed by using one hand. They are commonly used from waist height to chest height.

Technique:

  • Run up to the obstacle.
  • Hold the obstacle with both hands.
  • With the legs to one side, jump over the obstacle.
  • Release the arm nearest to the legs.
  • After that, release the other hand.
  • Move away from the obstacle smoothly or run out of it.

8. Climbing 

Climbing is a movement performed using the hands and feet to climb up a vertical or very steep slope. It is often practiced in conjunction with parkour and freerunning but also serves as a competitive sport in many cultures and regions. Often, this is considered part of parkour since it is often the quickest route to a destination. It is also used extensively in urban exploration. Climbing is an excellent conditioning exercise.

Technique:

Climbers generally keep their arms straight to prevent muscle fatigue caused by bending them. It is common for rock climbers to keep their hips close to the wall, but parkour is often performed in places with varying surfaces, so sometimes it is necessary to break that rule (such as a climb-up).

As this will provide a longer reach, weight should be placed on the toes or ball of the feet, not on the middle or heels. Likewise, the hips are turned perpendicular to the surface (rather than parallel) to extend the reach.

Climbers must be able to hold onto something while the force pulling against them is opposite to the force pulling towards them. To maintain their grip, climbers must push their legs outwards when they are holding on to vertical cracks or edges.

9. Squat

Squats are conditioning exercises. This exercise is excellent for building lower body strength and is very helpful in parkour and freerunning training. The exercise is indispensable for landing safely. Quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings are the primary muscles worked, as well as many other muscles indirectly.

Technique:

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart in a natural stance. Keep your weight on your heels, not on your toes.
  • Bend your knees and push your hips back. Be sure to keep your back upright.
  • Lower your calves to the point where your hamstrings touch your calves slowly and controlled.
  • Get back up. You can add weights to make it harder.

10. Safety Vault

Safety vaults are used in parkour and freerunning. As one of the simplest vaults, it is often recommended as the first vault to learn, and many other vaults are variations of it. Additionally, it requires no commitment (it is one of the few vaults which you can perform slowly), it is not as intimidating to perform as more advanced vaults, and it is a useful vault when you have lost momentum.

Technique:

  • Face the obstacle from the front.
  • Put your outside hand and outside leg on the obstacle.
  • As the body moves over the obstacle, lift the inside leg through.
  • Land on your inside leg and continue running forward.

11. Ground Kongs

Ground kongs are another example of quadrupedal movements. With the ground kong, you can displace momentum from a drop and/or continue to flow into your next move.

Technique:

  • Begin in a low squat position.
  • Put both of your hands on the ground as you reach forward.
  • Bring your legs up to your hands (or as close to them as you can) while keeping your arms strong. 
  • Land with control and engage your core. Keep it light and quiet. 
  • Repeat this motion a few times.

12. Cat leap

This technique is used in freerunning and parkour to land on vertical objects such as ledges, walls, and fences. A cat leap is a common technique and should be learned and practiced at an early age. Running jumps, precision jumps, laches, and other methods can be used.

Technique:

  • Make sure you perform a precision vault, running jump, or any other technique that will provide you with enough forward momentum.
  • To prepare for contact, move both your hands and your feet.
  • With your legs, absorb the impact of the object and grab the top with your hands.
  • Be strong and pull yourself up.
  • Afterward, run as fast as you can.

13. Tic-tac

The tic-tac is when you move your foot off an obstacle at an angle. This is a simple parkour technique that can be used for a few things. Gaining height, clearing gaps, leaping over obstacles, and redirecting your momentum can all be accomplished with it.

Technique:

  • Run diagonally toward an obstacle or a wall.
  • As soon as you have reached the right distance, place the opposite foot on the wall and take off with the leg farther from the obstacle.
  • Now, push away from the wall with your chest, aiming upward and outward.
  • Turn your body in the direction you want to go.
  • You can land this move or link it with another technique.

14. Burpees

Burpees, also known as squat thrusts, are said to have evolved in maximum security prisons. The inmates of such facilities do not have access to exercise equipment, so the burpee was developed by them to maintain physical fitness.

Technique:

  • ​​With your hands at your sides, stand straight up.
  • Put your hands on the ground and fall forward into the push-up position after you bend your knees into a squat.
  • Then, hop your feet backward and push yourself up.
  • Push yourself up. Jump upwards powered by your legs as you reach the highest point in your push-up. Jump as high as you can.
  • When you reach the highest point of your jump, clasp your hands together.

15. Lache 

A lache is a freerunning or parkour move that allows you to swing off of a branch or bar. In the air, the traceur can grab a bar, branch, or land in a crane, cat, or precision.

Technique:

  • Hang from a branch or a bar.
  • Move your legs forward and backward to swing forward and backward.
  • Gain momentum by going back once you’re swinging.
  • With your hands, throw yourself off the bar when you reach the most forward point.
  • If you want to land on a second bar, start by popping your hips up and extending your arms to grab it. For landing in any other place, use any landing technique you choose, such as a crane, a cat, etc.

Get Better at Parkour by Having These Mindsets

Although parkour is a physical discipline, you’ll need to get your mind in gear if you want to excel at it. How you approach parkour and how you train will be determined by how you think.

When you have a good mindset, you will be able to make steady progress in parkour without having to spend too much time thinking about useless things that don’t benefit you.

The power of discipline will set you free.

When you discipline yourself, you give yourself less freedom. It is therefore paradoxical to say discipline will set you free because discipline limits your options. You do, however, become free…

You can do whatever you need to do to get better at parkour because it gives you that freedom. There’s also no freedom to do things that won’t help you improve as a parkour practitioner. You can have discipline in your parkour training by setting a schedule and sticking to it as your life depends on it.

Without a parkour training schedule, you will either not train at all, or you will train very infrequently. Otherwise, you will train but not know what to do, so you will do random things and not make any progress. The same holds true if you have a parkour training schedule but do not follow it.

The key to becoming better at parkour is discipline.

Lean into your fear and embrace it.

People are afraid of trying parkour because of its reputation for being extreme, although it isn’t. You may ask “Is parkour dangerous?” You need to know that it doesn’t involve death-defying stunts on rooftops. As long as you don’t end up like people who parkour on rooftops and die, you can do that if you like.

Nevertheless, there are things about parkour that scare you even if you don’t do it on rooftops. You might have fallen victim to parkour injuries common among famous parkour athletes. Or you could be learning a new move and you bail out. But if you know how to use strategies that can help you stay safe while doing parkour, there is no need to give in to fear.

Hence, to improve at parkour, you need to embrace your fear and do it anyway.

Parkour Is All About You

It was the Yamakasi who invented parkour. They came up with a great discipline as well as a philosophy for it. Parkour’s history is dominated by them. In addition, they created arguments between parkour athletes about what parkour is and is not.

Consider the differences between freerunning and parkour and determine which is best for you (both are worthwhile learning, in my opinion). This can help you decide what kind of parkour athlete you want to be. It’s up to you to decide. You do not need to follow the advice of other parkour athletes.

Once you know what you want from it, you can get better at parkour without letting other people influence you.

Learning a new move is always a progressive process.

It can seem impossible to learn some parkour moves. That’s a reasonable assumption. It can take months to master some parkour moves, especially if you’re a beginner. Flips are a good example.

Beginners can learn some easy parkour flips, but some are very difficult. You will learn difficult flips faster if you master easy flips first. In case you’re not ready for flips, you can still do parkour even without flipping if you learn how to do basic vaults. Once you master those, you can start flipping. To learn difficult moves, you must first master easy moves.

When you are working towards something you find hard, there is no need to beat yourself up about it.

What You Should Focus on While Training for Parkour

Now that you know the mindset you need to improve your parkour skills, it’s time to figure out how you should train. You won’t succeed if you don’t back up your mindset with the correct training. So, how can you improve your parkour skills during your training sessions? Let’s take a look!

Where and How to Practice Parkour

You cannot train parkour if you don’t have a good spot to do it. If you don’t do that, you won’t be able to learn parkour. Therefore, you will have to explore your city or town to find the best parkour training and practice areas. To learn parkour properly, they must be diverse enough.

Some spots are great for climbing but bad for vaulting. That’s why if you want to get better at parkour, you need to find different places to train. You can work on different aspects of parkour in different spots as they offer different challenges.

Learn Parkour by Improving Your Strength and Fitness

For beginners, parkour is difficult to master simply because people are not strong or fit enough to do parkour moves. Due to their lack of cardiovascular fitness, they get tired too quickly. When the muscles do not generate enough power, they give out. That’s why you need to be fit and strong to do parkour workouts.

The best way to speed up your progress is to simply condition your body for parkour. You will then be able to learn parkour much more easily. Exercises involving calisthenics and bodyweight are great for parkour. You can add parkour workouts to some of your training sessions if you have a strong and fit body.

Put on the Right Clothing and Shoes

You will be able to do parkour more easily if you wear the right clothes and shoes. If you train in the wrong clothes and shoes, you will have difficulty moving. To get the most out of your parkour training sessions, you have to get the best parkour clothing. You will be limited in your ability to perform parkour moves if your clothes restrict your mobility. Even if you get the moves right, you’ll still slip and fall if your shoes don’t fit. This simple hack will help you get better at parkour.

Drink Water to Keep Your Body in Peak Condition During Your Sessions

While training, it’s easy to forget to drink water. Often, people get so caught up in training that they forget that their bodies need water to function properly. When you’re dehydrated, your body’s performance suffers. You get tired much faster, and your brain does not process information as quickly and clearly. If you don’t drink enough water, you recover from your training session more slowly.

You might find that your training sessions are short and sluggish due to this, even though it’s such a minor thing. But hydration is equally important to your training sessions since it affects your performance. If you want to improve your parkour skills, you should drink enough water during your training sessions.

Discover the most useful parkour techniques to get you out of danger, because this is a training manual like no other!

Essential Parkour Training Cover 300

Conclusion

In recent years, parkour has become increasingly popular on TV and in movies, but is it for you? Even though it may be tempting to jump in and start, you need to remember that proper training is key to avoiding injury. 

Therefore, if training in parkour interests you, consider adding it to your collection.  But before you attempt any of these moves, consult with a professional.

Well, if you are looking for a challenging sport to try, parkour is for you. It is important to have a good level of basic fitness and to be interested in community involvement. If you are looking for a new challenge after trying bodyweight training, calisthenics, weightlifting, or rock climbing, parkour might be right up your alley.

Did you find these basic parkour training exercises useful? If so, please share this article with your friends.



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