6 Creative & Challenging Parkour Movements On The Total Gym

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Parkour Training on The Total Gym

Tap into your inner child and accomplish things you never thought were possible by parkour training!

What Is Parkour?

Parkour is a method of training your body and mind to overcome obstacles with speed, efficiency, and power. The practice of parkour includes many challenges that need adaptability, creativity, and strategy to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

Parkour athletes are unique and diverse in their skill set. They are known as traceurs and traceuses who use movements such as running, climbing, swinging, balancing, vaulting, hopping, and passing over/under obstacles. Parkour’s movements relate to other fitness disciplines such as freerunning to add a ‘sport-ish’ flair. Extraneous or purely aesthetic moves like flips, spins, and twists are typically not considered parkour.

So when you’re watching YouTube videos of people doing flips, wall spins, and acrobatics, that’s freerunning. If they’re jumping and vaulting over objects without acrobatics, then it’s considered parkour.

Parkour also allows you to see the environment in a unique way… as an unlimited playground! It will teach you to overcome fear, set goals, and think outside the box to execute a progressive plan!

Who Is Parkour For?

Truly, anyone can do Parkour workouts. It’s not a discipline for the athletic, fearless, or younger crowds. All walks of life participate in this method of training due to it being mentally and physically challenging – not to mention fun!

Not for you? 

No problem! But I bet I can change your opinion on this! You don’t have to jump, flip, and roll around to get the hard-core challenge of Parkour exercises. There are many movements you can perform that develop functional strength without putting your body through a circus.

How To Prepare At Any Level

The best way to prepare your body for parkour movements is to start doing it! Everyone begins at a different level and there are no prerequisites prior to starting. Nothing has to be extremely difficult or high impact. Movements can be performed safely to build stamina, strength, and body awareness.

Practice simple tasks such as balancing along curbs, stepping over benches, short runs from A to B, hopping over a tree branch… you get the picture. Repetitively doing these types of drills will not only build your fitness level, but it will also instill courage and mental strength!

If you are concerned about injuries with this diverse training style, try practicing exercises that develop a strong fitness base. Focus on good form to safely do the exercises. Some exercises may include:

  • Cardio (jogging, running, sprinting, biking up hill)
  • Bodyweight exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, dips, planks, squats, lunges)
  • Plyometric basics (squat jumps, hops, leaps)
  • Agilities (skipping, quick directional changes, running and/or athletic drills)
  • Stretching movements

These types of movements help develop functional strength and moving with ease. Be sure to also include ‘new’ movements/drills often so you don’t get bored or hit a fitness plateau!

Discovering the how to push yourself to your own limits, exploring creativity and experimenting with all types of dynamic movements is what it’s all about!

Where To Do Parkour

Parkour exercises can be practiced anywhere as long as there are obstacles to interact with! It really makes training simple without the use of extra equipment. It also allows your mind to think creatively and view objects as a tool to maneuver around.

Parkour enables anyone to learn how to overcome all types of obstacles in the workouts as well as develop strategies for every day life. Whether you’re training to hike a mountain, step over a bench, or do a backflip, parkour will teach you to believe in yourself, explore your abilities, and improve upon your own capabilities.

A Few Parkour Basics That are Important To Learn

Learning some basic parkour movements will help your body excel when strategizing an obstacle. These primal movements relate to functionality of childlike play. There is no magical learning formula of parkour basics. Everyone has their own strengths, weaknesses, and fear factors. The most important thing is to play safely and have fun!

When beginning, be creative, experiment with movements, and push your own limits not someone else’s. Start with simple techniques and slowly build up to more complex movements. Be patient for progress to occur!

1. Quadruped Movement– movement low to the ground on all four limbs.

WHY: This is a fundamental movement that focuses on weight transfer skills, coordination & total body conditioning. Helps develop the skill to clear low obstacles, uneven terrain, and pass irregular surfaces.

2. Landing– It’s important to stick a good landing! Proper squatting and standing techniques are prerequisites.

WHY: Gentle, quiet landings reveal true skills and limits the risk of injuries.

3. Falling– You will fall, fail, or bail on your parkour journey. It’s important to learn how to master a ‘good’ falling technique.

WHY: Whether it’s an accident or intentional, be familiar with rolls, handstands, cartwheels, and full turns to reduce the risk of injury. These skills also increase confidence and endurance.

4. Balancing– Movements may end in unbalanced positions. Balance is part of every movement in parkour training. Practice moving along lines, rails, or curbs.

 WHY: When balance improves, so will the rest of your training.

5. Jumping– Jumping skills are learned from a stationary position then progressed to other drills; taking off or landing on 1 or 2 feet, across an obstacle, into a flip, etc.

WHY: Many techniques incorporate jumps to pass over obstacles.

Parkour & Total Gym

Parkour is all about dynamic movements that work the entire body as a unit! There are a ton of functional strength exercises that can be done with your own body weight, external equipment, or the landscapes outside! There are also many exercises that can be performed on the Total Gym to enhance whole body strength, coordination, and core dynamics! I have created few dynamic exercises to try using your Total Gym equipment.

Please note: These exercises are not for everyone. They incorporate a few acro-moves as well as advanced strength drills. Always exercises safety first!

Please refer to the accompanying video to see how these moves are performed.

Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. http://www.groovysweat.com http://www.groovysweatstore.com (purchasable workout videos) http://www.youtube.com/groovysweat (workout clips)

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