Learn how to do a straight underbar. The straight underbar allows you to smoothly pass under and/or between bars or other obstacles, e.g., under a ledge.
When first learning the straight underbar you want to progress very slowly. If you go too fast too soon you will probably end up getting injured.
The information in this post has been taken from the Essential Parkour by Sam Fury.
How to do a Straight Underbar
Find an obstacle with a good-sized gap to pass though. Going from low to high will be easier than going from high to low as it will give you more control with your feet on the other side.
When doing the underbar your feet lead the body and your hands grab the obstacle to help control your body as you go through.
Stand next to the bar and stick one leg through, and then the other.
Slowly work your body through. Use this slow speed to become familiar with the distance between your body parts and the obstacle as you go through.
Give extra attention to your back and head as they are most likely to hit. Be very careful you do not hit your head.
Once you are comfortable gradually get faster and faster. Also try to get straighter with your body, as opposed to side on.
Lead with your feet, lean back a little, and reach forward to grab the bar with your hands so you can pull yourself through.
Lay back as you pull so your upper torso and head can pass through. Direct your legs upwards.
You can swing your legs slightly to the side if needed to avoid hitting your knees or shins.
Next try different variations. Practice high to low, low to high, smaller gaps, more speed, coming from the side, gap jump to underbar, etc.
When you’re doing gap jumps to underbars aim with your feet similar to the way you would with a precision jump. Aim them through the gap so the rest of your body will follow along the same path.
Don’t lean back too much and as soon as you grab the bar control the rest of your body through.
Note: When you are going under (not between) something about chest to head height doing the underbar is usually unnecessary, but you should still use your hand on the obstacle above you as a guide so that you don’t hit your head.
LEARN MORE essential parkour skills in the book Essential Parkour Training by Sam Fury.
Got anything you want to say about how to do a straight underbar? Feel free to leave any questions and/or comments below.