Jump to Strength With Parkour

November 02, 2015

I still remember that day, approximately 10 years ago.

I was returning back home when three adults passed right in front of me running straight towards an 8 feet wall. It sure looked crazy.

I kept walking while looking at them curious of what they were planning to do.

parkour workout vault

Then, as they approached the wall, the first guy jumped, took two steps on the wall, he reached for the top and quickly climbed his way up.

The other two stepped on the wall and performed a back flip.

I was astonished!

I had no idea what just happened.

Most importantly…

Would you like to download the Parkour Training Program Workout Sheets to your phone or computer for FREE? Click the button below…

 

Download the Workout Sheets Here

Download The Parkour Training Program Workout Sheets Here (FREE)<==

 

How was he able to climb that wall so easily!?

Of course, if that was to happen now, I would know that these guys were doing Parkour and that climbing walls with ease is just a skill that you can learn.

Even though I didn’t know what exactly it was back then, I was still quite impressed by what I saw.

Later on, as Parkour started to become more popular and I learned more about it, I started to see the value in it. As it turned out, Parkour isn’t only about climbing walls, but it’s a complete, whole body fitness discipline.

Most importantly (for the SOA community) Parkour can be considered a calisthenics discipline since it doesn’t require any equipments and you are training with your own bodyweight.

If you ever wanted to achieve Parkour skills all the while getting better and stronger with calisthenics, then this article is for you.

What Exactly Is Parkour?

parkout workout jump

Before we move on, what is parkour exactly?

Most of us when hearing the word “Parkour” we get the image of a guy jumping off a rooftop or doing some other crazy maneuvers.

However, this is not an accurate image of what Parkour is all about and it only scratches the surface.

First of all, there are 2 basic types of Parkour:

Traditional Parkour

The traditional Parkour has a clear and definite purpose:

Move from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. In most cases that being a straight line.

This requires intense focus and a lot of awareness of the environment.

Parkour allows a lot of personal expression, but efficiency is most of the times more important and the main emphasis is placed on overcoming obstacles.

Freerunning

Freerunning can be considered an evolution of traditional Parkour.

Here, the target is no longer efficiency and you have more freedom to express yourself through movement.

So, for example, in an empty space where in traditional Parkour you would simply run, in Freerunning you may practice some aerial along with your running.

In Freerunning, you can learn all the movements from regular Parkour, but the discipline includes some movements coming from other disciplines as well, mostly acrobatic movements and aerials from martial arts.

I personally find traditional Parkour more appealing because of the intense focus required, which reminds me of my Kenpo practice.

Benefits Of Parkour Training

parkour workout back flip

So, why should you consider training with Parkour exercises in the first place?

Like any other discipline, there are lots of benefits that come from training with Parkour, even if you aren’t interested in overcoming obstacles or achieving the tricks themselves.

Here I am going to outline some of the most basic ones.

Benefit #1: It’s Really Enjoyable

This is one of the biggest benefits any discipline can have.

The more enjoyable the training is the more likely you are to stick to it.

What makes Parkour more entertaining than other forms of training is that it has a big element of unpredictability.

Of course, everyone has a different taste and so it might not be so enjoyable for you. But you have nothing to lose if you try.

Benefit #2: Get in touch with the surroundings

In this day and age, everyone is consumed with their own thinking and don’t notice what’s happening around them.

Even those who are more focused and aware of their surrounding, most of the times their connection to the environment is superficial.

With Parkour however, you are actually going to feel like you are a part of the environment.

A tree is no longer going to be a just tree. It is going to be something that can help you do a trick, something you can climb, etc.

Parkour will expand your perspective in whole lot of ways.

Your environment will feel alive again. The world will be your play ground, like when you were a child.

 

Benefit #3: Train wherever you are

This is a more general benefit of calisthenics. However, with Parkour this goes on a whole new level.

With Parkour, you aren’t only able to train outdoors, but you are supposed to.

If you train only indoors, you’re not really doing Parkour.

You have to train outdoors and explore new environments.

Benefit #4: Become very Creative

Training with Parkour sometimes feels like solving puzzles.

You see an obstacle or an object and you start thinking of ways to overcome it or how to climb that thing in a different way, a faster and more efficient way, etc.

Parkour is one of the most creative training disciplines out there.

Benefit #5: Develop All The Different training qualities.

With Parkour training, you can train for whatever quality you want.

Parkour itself requires a lot of endurance, explosiveness, strength, precision and intense focus.

Benefit #6: Become A Diverse Athlete

By diverse I don’t just mean that you are going to develop lots of different training qualities (benefit #5), but that you are also going to be able to overcome different physical challenges.

That happens because Parkour is a chaotic type of training.

This can also lead to an increase in confidence since you are going to feel like you can face any challenge.

Parkour Exercises

parkour workout exercise

Basic Movements

Here we have all the basic Parkour movements that can help you to get started in overcoming obstacles.

Parkour Exercise #1: Step Vault

Parkour Exercise #2: Speed Vault

Parkour Exercise #3: Dash Vault

Parkour Exercise #4: Lazy & Thief Vault

Parkour Exercise #5: Monkey & Kong Vault

Parkour Exercise #6: Precision Jumping

Parkour Exercise #7: The Basic Parkour Roll

Parkour Exercise #8: Tic Tac

Parkour Exercise 9#: Cat Balance

Parkour Exercise #10: Cat Leap

Advanced & Intermediate Movements

Here belong moves that are progressions from the previous ones and can help you become faster and more efficient and help you overcome even more obstacles.

Parkour Exercise #11: Gate Vault

Parkour Exercise #12: Double Kong Vault

Parkour Exercise #13: Advanced Parkour Rolls

Parkour Exercise #14: Wall run & climb

 

Parkour Exercise #15: Tic Tac to Precision

Parkour Exercise #16: Kong Vault To Precision

Parkour Exercise #17: Tic Tac to Cat

Parkour Exercise #18: Vault To Cat Grab

Strength & Conditioning

To get the most out of Parkour training, you should combine the various skills with calisthenics strength and conditioning training.

Your conditioning and strength training is largely going to depend on your current level of fitness.

If you are a beginner you can train with exercises like:

If you are intermediate or advanced you can train with exercises like these:

Parkour can be considered an advanced form of running. So, regardless of your training level, you should always have some weekly running sessions where you train with sprints, hill sprints or distance running to improve your overall ability.

More on how to implement this later on in the training programs section.

Where Should You Train?

parkour athlete hanging from a wall

Todd, I would like to train with Parkour, but where should I train?

The obvious answer to that question would be outside, but if you ever practiced with Parkour, then you know that some indoors training may be required as well.

Since most of the practice is based on calisthenics exercises you will be able to train wherever you want.

The best option, in my opinion, is to train both indoors and outdoors.

For indoors practice, you can either train at a Parkour facility or at the comfort of your own home. Of course, there will be more training options at the training facility, but you can still train for a variety of skills in your house. Some of these skills are:

  • Rolling variations
  • Precision and broad jumping
  • Height jumps (with exercises like squat jumps, etc)
  • Balance exercises
  • etc

Regardless if you train at a facility or at your home, you would still need to train outdoors to get the full benefit of Parkour training.

But how do I find a place to train outside Todd?

This is a question that I used to ask myself a lot and I think it may be the most common question among people who want to train with Parkour.

What I have found out is that if you start doing Parkou, even indoors, you will start to recognize potential training places and opportunities way more often.

What I would recommend you to do is to start training indoors with exercises that don’t require much space.

Then once a week go and train outdoors, at a park, a forest or any other open space with the exercises you have practiced indoors.

A good start for you may be a park at your local neighborhood. If you are lucky, you may find some other Parkour athletes training there as well.

The key is to always be on the lookout for potential training places.

How To Warm Up For Parkour Training

parkour athlete sliding down stairs

Warming up for a Parkour workout is no different that any other form of training.

The main thing that can make it a little more complex is that you will have to warm up differently in case you want to train with Parkor skills during the main workout.

Some days you will have to train for strength or conditioning. During these days, you can follow a general and simple calisthenics warm up.

However, when you are going to train with Parkour specific movements you should follow a more elaborate warm up that will help you perform better and learn faster.

Warm Up Sample #1: Strength & Conditioning Workout

This warm up sample can be used when you are going to train with simple calisthenics movements that improve your strength or conditioning. This is only an example and you can easily modify it according to your own needs.

A: 5 min jump rope

B: squat clinic 1.0 or 2.o

C: Wrist conditioning

D: 5-10 forward and backward rolls progression

Notes

  • Depending on what movements you are going to train for, you can perform some light sets of 5-10 reps of an easier progression. So, if you are going to train with climbing during the main workout, you can do 2×5-10 reps of horizontal pull ups in your warm up.
  • For exercise D, you should perform the same reps for both the forward and backward roll. In case you don’t have the necessary space to perform the movement, replace the exercise with other low impact exercises.

Warm up Sample #2: Skill Based Workout

This warm up (or your own variation of it) should be used when your main workout is going to consist of specific skill work. The purpose of the warm up is to prepare you mentally and physically to perform with better form by practicing with easy Parkour moves.

A: 3-5 minutes jump rope

B: 5-10 minutes tic tac practice

C: 5-10 minutes rolling practice

Notes

  • You can remove or replace some of the exercises, in case you can’t perform them (e.g. no surface for the tic tac).

How To Cool Down From a Parkour Workout

man stretching

I consider cool downs to be very important when practicing with skill-based exercises, because it’s going to allow you to practice more and thus learn faster.

Contrary to the warm ups, one cool down routine is enough.

The cool down is mostly going to be targeted on the joints, since they are going to be taking lot’s of impact from the parkour training.

Cool Down Sample

A: 10-20 Shoulder 8’s

B: 10-20 wrist rotations

C: 10-20 ankle rotations

D: squat clinic 1.0 or 2.0

Notes

  • If you feel that a certain muscle group is very sore from the main workout, feel free to stretch or foam roll it.

Parkour Training Program Samples

parkour athlete jumping

In this section, you are going to find some Parkour training programs that you can follow or use as a reference to add Parkour exercises into your current training plan.

What I really like about Parkour, is that it’s a heavily skilled focused discipline. That means that it skill is more important than other physical abilities.

Being very skilled focused, Parkour training allows you to train every single day without worrying about overtraining. The key is to practice with low impact skills that don’t put too much stress on your muscles and joints.

So, the training programs below are going to be designed as 6-days-per-week programs.

Low Impact Skills

Before moving on, let’s see what low impact skills are.

With this term, I mean the skills that aren’t very taxing to your muscles, joints or neural system.

Such exercises are:

  • Balance
  • Precision jumping
  • Tic Tac
  • etc

Depending on your current level some of these skills may seem tiring to you. If that happens, choose other easier and less taxing skills to master.

It’s important to focus on mastering one skill at a time from each category.

For example, choose a vault variation and stick with it until you master it. Then move to another variation. Same goes with precision jumping. Choose a spot and train until you master it the towards something more advanced. All the skills can be approach in a similar way.

Strength & Conditioning Workout Samples

Workout #1: Running

A: 4×400 meters run

Notes

  • Rest 1-2 minutes between sets
  • Try to complete the 400 meters as fast as possible.

Workout #2: Strength & Conditioning (Beginner)

A: 3x(sub-max) push ups

B: 3x(sub-max) bodyweight squats

C: 3x(sub-max) horizontal pull ups

Notes

  • For the push ups use a variation that you can perform more than 8 consecutive reps.
  • After you are able to complete 30 consecutive push ups, 50 squats and 10 horizontal pull ups with good form you can move on to the advanced strength workout.
  • Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.
  • Sub-max means that you are going to perform as many reps without going to failure (usually 1-2 reps prior to max).

Workout #3: Strength & Conditioning (Intermediate & Advanced)

A1: 5×5 one arm push ups progression (or other hard variation)
A2: 5×5 pistol squat progression

B1: 5×5 one arm pull ups variation or
3x(sub-max) pull ups (if you are interested more in pulling endurance)
B2: 5×5 or 3×8 broad jumping

Notes

  • Perform A and B like circuits. Go from A1 to A2 and from A2 to A1 resting 60-90 seconds in between. Complete all the 5 rounds before going to B. Do the same for the exercises in B.
  • In exercise B2, your number of sets and reps is going to depend on the choice of B1. Both exercises should have the same number of sets, so that they can be trained as a circuit.
  • As you become more advanced, you can lower the number of sets to 3 instead of 5.

Workout #4: Core Training (Beginner)

A1: 3x(sub-max) lying leg raises variation
A2: 3x(sub-max) hip bridges

Notes

  • Go from A1 to A2 without rest in between.
  • Rest 60-90 seconds between rounds.

Workout #5: Core Training (Intermediate)

A: 5×5 dragon flag progression

B: 3x30s static bridge hold

Notes

  • Rest 3-5 minutes between set in exercise A and 60-90 seconds in B.

Find all of this confusing? Download the easy to follow Step By Step Workout Sheets to your phone or computer for FREE Click the button below…

 

Download the Workout Sheets Here

Download The Parkour Training Program Workout Sheets Here (FREE)<==

 

Parkour Workout Samples

Since parkour workouts are going to be based on skill training, the workouts are going to be structured in a slightly different way.

Instead of training with sets and reps, you are going to dedicate a set period of time in practicing for a specific skill over and over, that can be a roll, a vault, etc. Keep in mind that you can train with various drills that lead to the accomplishment of the skill during that time frame.

Workout #6: Parkour Training (beginner)

A: 10-20 minutes precision jumping

B: 10-20 minutes roll practice

C: 10-20 minutes vault practice

Notes

  • Rest as needed during the practice so that you can perform with the best form you can, but don’t slack off.
  • You can add more skill into the workout by setting a specific time frame for it.
  • You can remove and exercise, in case you can’t practice and replace with something else.

Workout #7: Parkour Training (intermediate & advanced)

A: 10-20 minutes wall climbing

B: 10-20 roll practice

C: 10-20 movement combination practice (e.g. kong to precision)

Notes

  • Similar to workout #6

Parkour Training Program Sample #1

This program is for those who have as a main goal becoming better with calisthenics and then as a secondary goal becoming good at Parkour.

Below I am going to describe only the first week of the program. The rest of the weeks remain the same.

Week #1

Monday: Strength & Conditioning + Core Training
Tuesday: Parkour Training
Wednesday: Strength & Conditioning + Core Training
Thursday: Parkour Training
Friday: Strength & Conditioning + Core Training
Saturday: Running
Sunday: Rest

Notes

  • You can practice Parkour during all the training day by following a workout similar to the samples, with the only modification being that you decrease the time to 5-10 minutes. You can do that multiple times per day too.
    For each category choose a workout of your choice.
  • Try to train outdoors as much as possible.
  • Every 4-5th week should be a deload week, in which you are decreasing the intensity of your strength and conditioning workouts.

Parkour Training Program Sample #2

This workout is for those who want to focus more on becoming better at Parkour.

The only difference between this and the sample #1, is that one strength and conditioning workout has been replaced by a Parkour workout.

Week #1

Monday: Strength & Conditioning + Core Training
Tuesday: Parkour Training
Wednesday: Strength & Conditioning + Core Training
Thursday: Parkour Training
Friday: Parkour Training + Core Training
Saturday: Running
Sunday: Rest

Notes

  • Similar to sample #1.

Conclusion

parkour athlete slhouette

I hope this article will help see how diverse, holistic and awesome Parkour can be.

In case you always liked Parkour but you felt hesitant about doing it, I would recommend you to take action immediately.

Start slow then keep building from there.

Learning the basic skills doesn’t take that much time and after you see how awesome Parkour really is, there is no going back.

What Parkour skill would you like to learn the most?

Personally, the wall climb is in my top priorities.

Let me know what’s yours in the comment section below.

– bodyweight Todd

photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo,photophoto,

Show/Hide Comments (5 comments)
L
5 Comments
  1. The Batman

    This article is very crazy !! I love parkour and now seeing these benefits, I’m going to leave the house now and look for where to do !!
    Thank you !!

    Reply
  2. Richard

    It’s ridiculous how much cardio and body strength parkour takes. I’ve been practicing parkour for the past five years or so, and even just practicing for a few hours a week I have noticed great changes in not only my body but also my cardio and my body control.

    That’s why I really love the idea of parkour workouts, I think it’s a great way to mimic the intensity of parkour and making it available for everyone.

    Reply
    • Todd Kuslikis

      Very true. Parkour is truly a holistic form of exercise.

      – Todd

      Reply
  3. Brett

    Parkour is one heck of a cardio workout. Before I started practicing parkour I was initially was a pretty competitive soccer play. But I soon realized just how taxing parkour can be, especially if you go for a big line. But overall it was a good article, i’ll definitely be interpreting some this into my next run on the town!

    Reply
  4. KillorDie

    Wow. This is the ULTIMATE parkour page for me at the moment. need to soak it all up. *slurrrrp* 😛

    Reply
Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.