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What is parkour? Here is what you should know about it

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Parkour is a type of physical activity that involves overcoming obstacles encountered along the way. It is considered an extreme sport. Although this form of activity is extremely spectacular, it also requires a lot from the performer of parkour. In addition, it teaches physical as well as mental strength.

What is parkour?

Parkour is a form of physical activity. It originated in France and was started by an actor and athlete – David Belle. A man practicing parkour is called a traceur and a woman is called a traceuse, but in Poland they are simply called a tracer and a traceress.

Literally, the word parkour means “the art of movement,” which is what this sport is. The idea behind parkour is to efficiently overcome obstacles encountered in the city, and to do so in the simplest way possible without losing strength or speed. It develops many physical skills; it increases strength, improves physical condition, benefits the sense of balance, and the body’s resistance to injury and strain. The training also makes the body more flexible and improves orientation in the terrain. In addition, practicing parkour, you will learn how to fall safely. What is more, this training has a positive effect on your psyche. Thanks to it you will become more resistant to failure, increase confidence, learn self-discipline, and perseverance in pursuit of your goals

Parkour should be distinguished from freerunning. These sports are very similar, but freerun has slightly different rules. The latter is an acrobatic run where it is the effectiveness of the tricks performed that counts, rather than speed and simplicity. As such, people doing freerun want to complete the obstacle in the most impressive way possible, while trail runners want to complete the obstacle in the fastest way possible

Photo by Mary Taylor/Pexels

Parkour – how to start learning?

First of all, learning parkour should not be started on your own. Therefore, if you want to start training, it’s best to join a club or a trainer’s association, where you will receive the necessary guidance from trainers. Considering that parkour is an extreme sport, it is not recommended to practice it before passing the last phase of adolescence, that is, before the age of 18. The body may not be fully formed before then, and thus may not be ready for more difficult sporting challenges.

The first training sessions involve learning basic techniques such as the roll or monkey, as well as performing basic exercises to improve technique. These include jumping jacks, push-ups, pull-ups, handstands and back and forth flips. The next step is to perform increasingly complex exercises and their skillful combination in the so-called flow run

In parkour, technique is essential, but also strength, speed, sense of balance, and flexibility. Therefore, training is not only about overcoming obstacles, but also about strength training, stretching, and sprinting

Safety rules

It is important to follow safety rules during training. Before you start overcoming an obstacle, make sure that it is safe, such as that there is no glass or metal lying on it that could injure you. You shouldn’t overestimate your abilities and use caution in all cases. When you want to train difficult techniques, don’t do it alone. Get help from more experienced trainers. Also, don’t try to tackle the most difficult obstacles right away, but gradually increase the level of training. Also, avoid high altitudes in the beginning so that a possible obstacle failure doesn’t end in a serious accident

Photo by Mary Taylor/Pexels

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