I’m always eager to learn new ways to exercise and have fun, so when my friend Rick Seedman of the Bar-barians offered to teach me about parkour, I jumped at the chance. (Literally!)
Parkour comes from a French word meaning “obstacle course.” Basically, it involves navigating an urban landscape with quickness, efficiency and grace. As Rick says, “Parkour is about expressing yourself through movement.”
Parkour training is playful and less structured than most formal types of exercise, but there are a few basic moves that all traceurs (that’s what parkour practitioners like to be called) should be comfortable with.
One key aspect of parkour is precision jumping. Just like the name implies, this movement involves jumping and landing (often onto or off of an object) with the utmost precision–something I am still working on!
An underbar involves passing between a narrow, horizontal opening by jumping through the obstacle and landing on the other side. The most common situations to use underbars are passing through rails, trees, or scaffolding.
Rolling is used primarily to spread the impact of a jump throughout your body (so you don’t take it all in your knees and ankles). Rolling also allows for a smooth transition into the next movement.