Article by Caleb Hutton | Owl Staff
With perfect weather enticing you outside, the urge to jump on and off, over and under things may leave your mind full of curious ideas about perfecting parkour techniques. I have often pondered many thoughts while eating my morning bowl of Wheaties.
One idea I have often contemplated is proper footwear. Although you can wear any type of shoe for parkour, some shoes are just better than others. Something to take into consideration when choosing footwear is simply where you are going to be training.
I read on americanparkour.com that training barefoot is very beneficial. I often train barefoot if I am in the grass or if I am at a playground.
If I were to go to a building or practice on cement, going barefoot would not be my top pick. K-Swiss Shoe Company designs a special shoe just for parkour, and if you can fit in them, I would suggest looking into those.
Running shoes, such as Vibram Five Fingers-the ones that kind of look like socks and go in between your toes- are also very beneficial for practicing parkour. They are the closest you can get to training barefoot while still remaining protected.
Another question I often wonder about is how to start training again after a long time off. The best way to start training again, according to American Parkour (APK), is to ease back into it and don’t stop trying. Even if you can’t get a trick down, don’t quit!
APK recently started a Parkour Day, and to be sure, this day wasn’t meant to drive the authorities crazy. Occasionally, though, the authorities will ask you to leave or ask you to be careful, but APK reminds traceurs that you should respect authorities, and I couldn’t agree more with their message.
There are millions of places to train, so if they kick you out of one spot, you can always find a new one.
In the last issue I gave some tips on how to land and roll, but in this issue, I’m going with a move I love: the front flip! With any type of flip, you have to be extremely careful and remain aware!
Start training on trampolines, don’t just go out and do a flip on the ground. What really helps me practice flips is putting a box, crate, or something low, on the ground. Then, I run at the box and try to flip over it. This always helps me get more height and try harder.
Also, I warm up with dive rolls before trying to do any flips. When attempting flips, make sure that you don’t dive forward; instead, jump up and rotate. As you jump, throw your arms up high; this will help you get more height.
After you get to your peak height, throw your arms down and rotate with them. This motion is called blocking and will help your rotation greatly.