Parkour is all about the freedom to do whatever you want, to turn a city into a toy. In the course of doing so, there are a few particular tricks you can focus on, and a wide range of ways you can perform them. Check out these beginner Parkour tricks and, before long, you’ll be mixing and matching them to form your own style.
The key to pulling off flips when practicing Parkour is to make sure you have enough clearance went taking off. If you’re just jumping from flat ground onto similarly elevated ground, it might be difficult and dangerous to try and also do a flip, especially if you’re moving forward. But if you can get more elevation, that’s when the situation becomes right. The other concern is to make sure you have a safe landing. If the jump is mostly just a drop from a high spot, then it doesn’t matter much as long as you land on your feet. In cases where you’re moving forward and doing a flip, though, your momentum will be such that you want the ground to be conducive to a roll when you land. This will help control your speed and movement.
Walls are a huge part of Parkour because walls are a huge part of cities. There are plenty of things you can do with a well-placed wall. One of the most popular is a wall run, which is exactly what it sounds like: running along the wall as though it were the ground. There are variations on this as well, including the one pictured here, a wall spin, in which you use your hands to pivot yourself on the wall and then spin around them. The important thing about utilizing a wall is that you take advantage of your momentum and speed to fight gravity. That’s how you keep yourself off the ground. If you don’t have enough velocity built up, you’ll just harmlessly bounce off the wall and fall back to the ground.
One of the most crucial moves to parkour is the wall climb, which allows for proper exploration of terrain on a vertical level, not just a horizontal one. Climbing walls requires concentrated strength and technique — the climber has to be able to push himself using very small spots of contact with the wall’s surface, and then to keep that movement sustained despite the pull of gravity and inertia. Then at the end, there needs to be the arm strength to pull oneself to the top of the wall. Climbers will often use other walls as boosts or opportunities to propel themselves to the top of the wall they want to climb as well.
One of the most impressive skills the best Parkour runners can show off is basic jumping. That’s because it usually involves either extreme elevation, a distance between where they jump and where they land, or a difficult landing surface, such as a railing or the edge of a building. Jumping, of course, also carries with it the most risk. If you botch your liftoff or landing, it could be a long way to go before you land, and a highly unideal place you might land in. This is the true challenge of Parkour, ensuring that you not only use the terrain around you to create opportunities for explosiveness and style, but also as a sort of safety net to make sure that you don’t end up injured or unsupported.
Interestingly enough, in many extreme sports, the focus is often on the tricks an athlete pulls off while in the air. With Parkour, the focus is more frequently on the terrain and how it’s being used, but, at the same time, there’s still a large opportunity for midair theatrics. We already mentioned flips, but that’s slightly different, because that’s part of the jump. Other aerial tricks involve putting the body into a situation where it’s parallel to the ground and spinning, or otherwise less likely to land. Then the jumper needs to right him or herself before crashing down, which is often even more impressive and exciting than the actual trick itself.