Freerunning and Parkour

April 13, 2011 // Al Kavadlo

While freerunning and parkour both involve traversing urban obstacles with quickness, skill and grace, there are subtle differences between the two styles of movement.

It may be common to see a back flip or a human flag in freerunning, but you won’t see those moves in parkour unless they are needed in order to get from point A to point B.

Parkour is chiefly concerned with efficiency, while freerunning is more about fun and personal style. Whatever your preference, movement offers each individual a chance for self-expression and personal growth. The workouts are about overcoming obstacles, both literal and figurative. Parkour and freerunning can build strength, agility and stamina, but perhaps more importantly, confidence and character.

Last spring, when I was beginning parkour, I started by practicing some basic moves like underbars and precision jumping at Tompkins Square Park. As I got more comfortable, I progressed to trying things out in other places. After all, parkour is about adapting to your environment and not feeling restricted by circumstance.

Since I love both styles, I’ve been combining different elements from each in my fitness training. We had a beautiful day here in NYC on Monday so I did some freerunning and parkour around the neighborhood, making my way to TSP where I worked on kip-ups, vaults and of course, muscle-ups.

Watch the video below to see how it went: