There are a few tips to take note of when signing up for parkour classes. Parkour is all about speed and efficiency of movement. If you see someone in a movie, or even in your own neighborhood doing amazing stunts, chances are they’re already at an advanced level. Parkour classes can safely help you learn the tricks to get to that same level. It’s not just about getting from one point to another while planning three steps ahead. There’s a mentality to it, a spirituality to it, as well as learning the proper safety techniques. There are a few things you need to be aware of before you even begin your journey that can only help you along your way. (It’s not just about having the best parkour shoes or the best parkour gloves)
Conditioning Your Body
You really need to get yourself in shape. You can’t just start imitating the moves and expect the magic to happen. Parkour is partly about advancing in levels. You need to build your muscles so your body can handle the moves that you’ll be making. The classes you’ll take will condition you and help you learn how to jump, land, roll, and vault safely. You need to do your part by getting your body ready to accept the hard training it will take to learn those techniques.
There are some programs out there that will help guide you in choosing the correct exercises that will help you in your training. You can start at home just as easily by doing some basic calisthenics such as pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and sit-ups. Start small, and work you way up to do as many as you can. It will only help you build that endurance.
If you’d rather just get your body moving and skip all that, you honestly can just keep yourself in shape through any other sport that keeps your body limber and active. Anything from running, swimming, boxing, or even yoga will do the trick. Just as long as you’re working your muscles and building your endurance.
Play It Safe
If you advance in parkour, you will need to push yourself to get stronger. But when you are just starting out it just may be the wrong way to look at things. Before you start pushing yourself, you need to know what your limits are, and in parkour not knowing this can get you hurt. For now, when you start out your parkour classes play it safe. Trying to push yourself before you’re ready is one of the best ways you can get yourself hurt. You need to know your own comfort zone. Know this before you set foot inside any parkour classes, and be confident enough not to set outside of it until you’re sure you can handle it.
This is actually why training at a gym with an instructor or partner nearby can be crucial. When you’re just learning the basic moves that will be the building blocks of your future techniques, they can help correct you. They can also be there to watch over you as you advance in case you need help. Even after you have mastered some of the more advanced techniques, you may find it helpful to continue training with a partner nearby to spot you.
Don’t Skip Courses
It’s really tempting to want to skip straight to the cool parkour classes, but don’t be impatient. One of the easiest ways to hurt yourself is to not have learned any of the foundational movements. Parkour training is progressive. Even the top traceurs in the world start from somewhere. Every step builds on the next, and if you skip one you increase your chances of failure somewhere down the line.
Attempting a dangerous stunt before you’re ready will likely get you hurt. Conditioning your body builds your muscles. Your groundwork and learning the basic moves builds the muscles and reflexes you need to move on to the advanced techniques. Your instructors will also be able to teach you how to fail in a safe way so that if something happens you can recover without hurting yourself. Allow yourself to learn each step of parkour as the instructors have given the courses to you. They know what they’re doing. Allow them to guide you and help you to be the best traceur that you can be.
Don’t Be Afraid
Parkour is a truly unique training experience. Traceurs love new people, and it’s always fun training them. Don’t ever be afraid before showing up to parkour classes that you’re going to embarrass yourself. Even the experts still do it, and they just laugh it off. It’s part of the training, learning to keep that positive attitude. It’s hard to remember, but that confidence will become much more important later on in your training.
Remember that part of parkour training is endurance. Even if you fail, you just pick yourself up and keep trying. Your instructors are there to help you in your success. It happens to everyone, so don’t ever be afraid of making a fool of yourself. Just go out there and have fun. Yes, it’s hard work, but part of the philosophy is to keep a positive attitude.
Training can be rough. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert. The conditioning and groundwork won’t hurt you much. But once you start learning the basic moves, you might start to see a few bruises, cuts, scrapes. The gym may very well have a first aid kit on hand for you. However, many traceurs don’t realize they’ve been hurt until much later. It will serve you well to keep a first aid kit on hand in your parkour bag just in case you need it.
You can search on the internet for parkour classes in your city and country and will usually find at least something nearby. Your best bet to find them is in the larger cities, so be prepared to travel if you live in a smaller city.
A tip for you if you can’t find one close enough to you. Search out for a local parkour jam. You can usually find them on the bigger cities as they tend to be networked better for parkour. Many of the groups will have private training available. Attend of the training sessions and ask around. A surprising number of the expert level traceurs offer private training, or at least know someone who does. Just known the community is open and welcoming to new members. They are always ready to help someone new if you let them know you need help.