Parkour Research on Arboreal Locomotion Published in Journal of Human Evolution
Some time ago we facilitated a fantastic study with researchers at the University of Birmingham around the biomechanics and efficiency of brachiation/swinging movements in the great apes. We provided 19 of our elite athletes, along with Brendan Riley of EMP Parkour, to take part in the data gathering tests at the university with Dr Lewis Halsey and Dr Susannah Thorpe. The results of that rigorous study can now be found online here at the Journal of Human Evolution. The article is free to access until March 19th.
From the article:
‘Modern humans still share with the other apes many of the adaptations for orthograde (upright-trunked) arboreality, such as the broad, shallow chest and shoulder blades positioned on the back that allow an extensive range of motion in the shoulders (Ward, 2007 and Crompton et al., 2008).
Humans’ natural climbing ability is also used in sports and gymnastics, particularly by parkour athletes (‘traceurs’), who specialize in developing new techniques for moving through complex, three-dimensional urban environments whilst avoiding the ground. These involve the limbs in a wide range of joint positions, in suspension and compression, much like the locomotion of living non-human apes (Hunt et al., 1996, Thorpe and Crompton, 2006 and Kelley, 2011).’
The article is well worth reading, and we continue to engage in groundbreaking research studies like this one. To talk to us about facilitating similar studies through the movement capacity of parkour athletes, please contact us directly.