Starting Parkour? Here's 5 Training Tips and Misconceptions You Need To Know.

Fitness Health Parkour

This article is contributed by Training by Glen.

When some of us talk about parkour, we think of its impact nature... And yes it IS true - Parkour is an activity that involves high intensity and high impacts from jumping, landing and bouncing off obstacles. Therefore it is important to understand and take caution when practicing parkour to avoid injuries.

If you are serious about maintaining longevity in practicing and doing parkour, follow these simple rules and tips to avoid joint problems as much as possible:

1. Very gradual progression

Increasing the difficulty, intensity and volume of training in a very gradual and incremental manner. Too big of increments may cause difficulties in adapting and may result in injuries.

2. Varying your training

Not doing too little all the time, and not doing too much all the time. Find a balance of both not only helps to keep you injury free from too much stress and over stimulation, but also helps you stay motivated, and keeps your training interesting and fresh, etc.

3. Listening to your body

When you feel that there's any bad signals such as sharp pain, joint discomforts building up too much, significant light headedness, you know it's time to back off. Listen to your body as it will allow your body more time to recover and adapt to the training to give it a chance to come back stronger. Remember, there's always another day to train, rather than having to wait for several weeks if you get injured from failing to listening to your body.

4. Good diet

Pretty self explanatory. You need proper nutrients for your body to recover and regenerate from training for it to get stronger. Get in a good healthy and nutritious diet.

5. Good health practices

Practicing good health will help your body to recover more optimally for your training. Things such as not drinking too much alcohol, or smoking, etc. This might be common sense to some, and you'd be surprised at the difference it can make you feel, perform, recover.

Common misconceptions

- Parkour is dangerous

Parkour is as dangerous as you make it to be. And statistically speaking, it is mostly less dangerous than sports such as skateboarding, bmx biking, basketball, etc. In parkour, you are in control of your own body. There will always be risks and danger for any physical activity that you do. And the fact is that, parkour when practiced properly, can be safe with very minimal risks. 

It can be considered safer than other sports such as mountain biking, BMX biking, skating, rugby, basketball, etc. In parkour, you are in total control of how you move your body. And it is always a choice to make everytime the practitioner executes a move. 

With proper training, the risk can be reduced to as low as the equivalent to an average person crossing the road - What are the risks of getting hit by a speeding vehicle on an average day? Probably 0.04383% Consider this - A person who hardly moves and exercise, decides to run up and down the stairs. 

The risk of tripping and falling can probably be about 2.493% An experienced practitioner who have trained regular for the past 5 years, walks along a thin rail - The probability of him falling is most probably less than 1% Take an untrained person to do the same task - and the probability of him falling, is most likely more than 90% The danger is still the same for all of them, BUT the risk can be minimized through constant intelligent practice and training. Therefore, with proper training, the individual CAN minimize the risks involved! Furthermore Parkour, is a healthy, stimulating activity that will make you a stronger, fitter, more agile and better person who is more physically capable of moving.

Practicing and training indoors with padded and cushioned environment and training outside is actually not much different in terms of safety, if you look at the broader picture. Think about this - When you practice outdoors, you would train yourself to be cautious and mindful of controlling all your movements. In training, its all about taking small steps at a time, and a lot of repetition is done in training to gain familiarity with the movements. All this mindful training outdoors will eventually train you to be capable of controlling your movements better when you put parkour to practical use. After all, parkour is intended to be a practical art. Parkour is meant to be done outside as real as it can get - if you want your Parkour skills to be practical. 

- Parkour is for fitter/younger individuals

Most passionate practitioners and coaches of parkour would say that its suitable for anyone of all ages, as long as you can move! Everyone has to start off from somewhere. It doesn't matter if you're unfit, middle aged, etc. What's most important is that you have the heart and interest to train parkour. 

Parkour can be adjusted and scaled accordingly to suit the individual's need for progress. Parkour is the art of running from point A to B in the fastest most efficient way. You train Parkour with that aim in mind - Not jumping across rooftops and taking big impacts from movements. 

Not everyone has to train to jump across roofs. You can train for parkour with the ultimate aim in mind, and simply adjust and scale it accordingly to suit your own individual needs. 

Remember, parkour is meant to help you become stronger and more capable of moving - Therefore you should aim to be better than your past self!

The contributor, Training by Glen, provides top-notch personal training, swimming lessons, parkour lessons and outdoor skills training anywhere in Singapore based on your convenience. TbG also conducts online personal training for anyone around the globe. Their dedicated and certified team of coaches will work closely with you to achieve your goals in an effective, safe and enjoyable manner.


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