Get Extreme Fit With Parkour
There are many videos of modern day ninjas running, jumping, gliding, climbing; seemingly defying gravity.
They pull off moves that seem to come straight out of a video game.
But there is no green screen; no invisible thin cable wires.
These are everyday, ordinary people with the incredible ability to control every limb in their nimble bodies.
This is the modern ninja. This is Parkour!
What Is Parkour?
Parkour essentially means “natural, effective freedom of movement”.
Its meaning is supposedly derived from the French word “passement” which is a term used when overcoming obstacles.
And this is what Parkour is all about. It is a physical activity that tests the ability of the “traceur” (male practitioners) or “traceuse” (female practitioners) to overcome obstacles with varying degrees of difficulty.
Parkour exploded into mainstream media with the popular TV series “American Ninja Warrior”.
In the show, contestants go through different obstacles each with unique challenges and varying degrees of difficulty.
Many of the successful contestants train in the art of Parkour.
You may think Parkour can only be done by athletically gifted individuals.
But you don’t have to train for “American Ninja Warrior” to realise the fitness benefits of Parkour.
Preparing For Parkour
Parkour involves a series of movements that require you to run, climb and jump. These are all basic skills we learn growing up.
Before you can jump from one building to the next, you need to shore up your skills by going through the basic exercises.
Here is a beginner’s workout for Parkour:
Bodyweight Squats x 10 reps
Push Ups x 10 reps
Leg Raises x 10 reps
Pull Ups x 10 reps
Start out with two sets of each exercise and do this routine every other day. Pull Ups may be a challenge for some.
Start out with what you can do and try to improve your total by 10% all the time.
Every week add 1-2 reps per exercise. Once you can do 20 reps of every exercise, add another set.
Your goal is to be able to do 5 sets of 20 reps. When you have accomplished 5 sets of 20 reps, move on to the next stage which is to do the exercise reps more explosively.
For the Bodyweight Squat, you could transition from a full squat to a jump unto a 90 centimeter box.
If the exercises have become easier and you have noticed improved mobility, flexibility, speed and explosive power, then it would be time to enroll in a genuine Parkour school and learn the more advanced techniques.
Parkour isn’t just flashy; it’s a great way to develop your overall level of fitness and build self-confidence at the same time.