Parkour Training: Maintaining Our Tools

Parkour Training: Maintaining Our Tools

Oiling gears, tightening screws, checking tyres and replacing ball-bearings may well be common practice in most extreme sports but the Parkour practitioner is forced to take care of a much more complex machine.

This machine must be well maintained and is in a state of constant repair, it must be supplied with the necessary fuels in order to function at an optimum level and it requires a delicate blend of being pushed to its limits then allowed enough time to heal for it to thrive. Of course the only machine the traceur, or Parkour practitioner needs to maintain, is his or her body.

This may well be one of the most appealing aspects of Parkour, the fact that you don’t need any equipment or need to rely on an external factor for safety or successful movements. You never need to wonder if the brakes are going to fail you or if a part is weak since your body gives you immediate and constant feedback as to its condition and state. If it’s tired or in need of rest, you will know about it.. and it’s listening to this voice that keeps us safe and stops us from getting injured.

Training the body to be functional and efficient and to succeed in a Parkour context is no easy task. You must condition it to endure long bouts of muscular effort, should we need to traverse a long ledge to reach the other side.. you must train it to be able to lift, pull and push your bodyweight with ease in any direction, it must be adapted to being powerful and explosive to leap between the walls and it must yet be kept supple and flexible to avoid injury when you must stretch to reach the top of the climb.

Over half of most Parkour practitioners’ time in training is spent on conditioning and preparing the body to move. Since concrete is a hard and unforgiving man-made substance and there is indeed no equipment there to take the force when we land, it is not a board nor a bike we must maintain, it is our bodies that must be looked after and prepared for such impacts.

Whilst this all may seem like a lot of hard work and hassle, there is no substitute to the freedom felt as you execute that new jump you’ve been building up to and preparing for this past month. You didn’t just make the jump, you made it easily and could repeat it 50 or 100 times, perfectly.

Those 50 hours of training have given you those 3 seconds of complete and absolute freedom, where no bike nor board were needed for you to achieve your dream.. it was just you and you alone who earned every second of it.

To Be and To Last

‘To be and to last’ is a common phrase found in Parkour circles and its message is simple. Train hard to be strong and train hard so you will last in this discipline.. this is not a practice where you compete for a few years and then retire in a blaze of glory to give way to the new generation, this is a lifelong mission to become stronger everyday and still be around when all others around you have grown old at heart.

Here at Parkour Generations we’re commited to helping new athletes become stronger individuals and give them the tools needed to excel in Parkour. We pass on the techniques, training methods and most importantly the spirit and approach needed to reach a good level in Parkour and our classes run 6 days per week, 52 weeks per year. Come rain or shine.

by Chris ‘Blane’ Rowat