Written by Nick Faircloth
Published on Thursday, 13 August 2009
Because our feet and legs are further away from our eyes than our hands are, we often forget to pay attention to them. However, in parkour our feet are at least as important as our hands (if not more so). They are in charge of our landings, our takeoffs, and everything in between the individual movements in a given run. It is extremely important to be aware of what is happening in the lower half of your body at all times
Next time you’re training, pick a line (high walls won’t work for this) and run through it using only your legs. Do it until you get it perfect. Rinse and repeat. If you train like this often, you will begin to see a marked improvement in your judgment of distances and foot-eye coordination.
Personally, one of my favorite movements in parkour is the stride. Generally this consists of moving on top of obstacles a set distance apart in a running/jumping motion. This is different than a series of static jumps in that you put only one foot on each obstacle in succession for the sake of speed. It is also different than a single jump with a run-up because you have to conserve your momentum in such a way that you can continue the run indefinitely. This requires coordination and balance. The best part is, you can do these almost anywhere. Use the lines on the sidewalk, in an empty parking lot, etc. Then, when you are confident, try it at a height. You can make it even harder by striding on a series of obstacles that vary in height and distance apart.
Ultimately, this exercise provides benefits to all your parkour transitions and run-ups. And while you may not be able to directly practice getting up a high wall with only your feet, the stride is a very similar motion to the last few steps of a run-up to a wall climb.
Happy training 🙂