How to Learn Parkour

Ready to learn Parkour and looking for tips on how to get started? That’s awesome! You’ve also stumbled upon the best online articles to help you get started. This blog post will help you get started with the most important fundamental parkour techniques.

Before we get into the moves, let’s talk about what Parkour even is. Simply stated, Parkour is all about overcoming obstacles and is often called “The Art of Movement.” Parkour practitioners are often drawn to the sport because of its themes of self-reliance, fitness, and self-expression. If you’re interested in learning more about what Parkour is, read this article for a more in-depth about the history, culture, and philosophy of the movement. With that said, let’s jump right into some basic parkour techniques!



Parkour Tutorial Video Library

We link to a number of videos through this article. We're always adding more parkour tutorial video content to our online playlist. Follow our parkour YouTube channel and be sure to watch the helpful guides in the tutorials playlist!





Landings

How to safely land in parkour
Parkour athlete demonstrating typical landing posture

Proper landing technique while practicing Parkour is paramount for joint longevity, injury prevention, and proper strength training. The most important thing about landing properly is to align the bones and joints such that your toes and knees are pointed forward.


Oftentimes, new practitioners will have “baby deer legs” or pigeon-toed feet when landing. This can be bad for your joints, and it’s important to stop these postures before they become habitual.

An easy way to learn to land properly is to study proper squatting form. If you’re landing straight on, these postures should be the same.

How to fall

how to learn parkour roll
Jereme Sanders vaulting into a controlled roll upon landing.

Falling is an important part of learning parkour, and it should be trained just as much as regular techniques. In a nutshell, make sure to land with your feet on the floor and try to disperse and absorb the impact of your fall.


We made an in-depth parkour roll tutorial ranging from beginner to advanced rolls, watch it here.


Vocabulary tip:  The art and practice of falling safely is called Ukemi. 

Balance

balance

Balance is one of the most essential parkour skills and while it has a high skill capacity, it’s fairly easy to pick up. The most important thing for balance is making sure that your feet are firmly planted on whatever you are balancing on. I like to focus on keeping my center low, so staying in a crouched position can be beneficial to stabilizing.

Lastly, try to keep the core muscles activated and stiff. This should make balancing a lot easier. Here are some parkour balancing drills that do not require any equipment.

One more point: start balancing on objects low to the ground. Once you develop confidence and bailing skills, try taking those drills to taller objects.


Hand balancing is another fun way to develop strength and balancing instincts. Watch this hand-balancing video guide for beginners here.

Vaulting & Climbing

vault

Parkour athlete Lorena Abreu performing a safety vault. 


Mounting and vaulting in Parkour is an extremely diverse and versatile subject. To keep things simple, I’d like to talk about some general rules when it comes to getting over obstacles. First, and most importantly, try to avoid using your knees! Knees are fragile and offer a poor connection to the ground (which offers poor balance and reaction options) so we want to try to use primarily our hands and feet when climbing and vaulting things. Watch this video for three easy-to-learn parkour vaults, a great place to begin your parkour journey.


Here’s an effective breakdown of the wall climb as well.

Jumping

jump

Jumping is fairly straightforward, and we’ve already covered how to land properly. For parkour, debatably the most important jump is the “precision jump.” This is where you jump from both feet and land on both feet to something precise. Some important bits to keep in mind when jumping is to make sure that you are using your arms to generate momentum and have proper timing on your arm swing. Here is a video tutorial covering basic parkour jumping techniques.

Where to train parkour

Parkour training largely takes place outdoors. The sport was born outdoors and most of an athlete's training should take place outdoors. The most common places you may see athletes training online may include spots like schools, university campuses, parking structures, public parks, and anywhere else interesting architecture may be found.

Keep in mind, many property owners are now going to allow you to do parkour on their stuff. The vast majority of “good” parkour spots are on private property. We, of course, do not recommend that you ever trespass, but if you find yourself in a sticky situation, please be respectful and leave politely if asked to do so.  #LeaveNoTrace

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Athlete Jimmy Davidson training balance skills at an outdoor park in Temecula, CA


Parkour Gyms: PK Gyms are an awesome way to meet people that also train in parkour, learn from experienced coaches, and connect with the greater parkour community! There are lots of benefits to being part of a gym setting. f you live near Freedom in Motion parkour gym, that's our favorite gym for parkour. Otherwise, just hop on google and search out the nearest parkour gym to you!


Try Some Challenges!

Want to try out a few parkour movements for yourself? After you learn some basics, come back and check out our movement challenge articles. They contain a volley of movements ranging from easy to expert, they may be useful in tracking your progression and gaining a sense of what to learn next.


For local athletes near us in the Temecula / Murrieta California area, we made this beginners parkour challenge video at a nearby training spot. Even if you don't live near us, its a good watch to get some creative ideas.

Parkour kong vault in Temecula CA
Athlete Jacob Blake performing a kong vault.

Train Safe!

These moves and concepts are just the beginnings of the literally endless ways to move your body. Hopefully, you’ve been inspired to learn some moves and start practicing the fundamentals! One thing that always gets me motivated is watching people who are really good at moving! Watching other athletes creative styles is a great way to improve your own techniques and creativity. Want to see some fun-to-watch athletes that we recommend? Click here for a blog post we did about pro parkour athletes.


Read our Book!

Freedom in motion wrote the only book that combines parkour training, community, and the culture of parkour all into one easy-to-read experience. If you’re serious about learning parkour, we highly recommend that you begin here in this book! Pick it up here on Amazon. 

Share your experience

Are you a parkour athlete? Are you a friend or a family member to someone interested in Parkour? Is this your first time ever learning about this sport? Have any questions or need help? Sound off in the comments, and we’ll try to help you out the best we can.


Let us know about your experience in the comments below!

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