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parkour for beginners

Course 2020

 

Beginners course

house

keeping

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 can improve the course.

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Beginners course

schedule

Wednesday 19 Feb, 6:30pm 

MEETING PLACE - Floral clock

Landings and precision jumps, balance, introduction to vaults 01

Wednesday 26 Feb, 6:30pm   

MEETING PLACE - Big Rocks at Birrarung Marr
Plyo's, strides, running precision jumps, vault revision and cat passes.

 Wednesday 4 March, 6:30pm 

 MEETING PLACE - Broken Pier, Southbank   

Cat Pass revision. Pop vaults, wall runs/intro climb ups. Tic tacs.

 Wednesday March 11, 6:30pm    

MEETING PLACE - Enterprize Wharf, Southbank
Tic tacs/pop vault/climb ups revision. Arm jumps. Shimmy's. 180's. Rolls.

 Wednesday 18 March 16, 6:30pm   

MEETING PLACE - Big Rocks at Birrarung Marr
 Pre's/balance revision. Rail pre's. Underbars/r. underbars. Turn vaults.


 Wednesday 25 March 4, 6:30pm   

MEETING PLACE - Floral Clock
Reach and escape situations. Fear training. Carry's/drags. Graduation + group photo, hooray  

 

Session 1

MOnday Jan 13

WARM UP

run or jog

We aim to run in a similar technique to POSE running, with weight in the balls of the feet and any noise and impact minimised. 

joint rotations

Joint rotations are included in almost all of our warm ups, to both check in with and prepare your body for training. The basic idea is to take all major joints of the body through their whole range of movement.

wrist warm up

It's very important to warm up wrists especially well before quadrupedal movement, or anything that puts a lot of your body weight through the wrists. Here's a great video of a wrist warm up routine.

quadrupedal movement

We introduced several forms of quadrupedal movement (aka QM aka quadrupedie.)

Including cat crawl, side monkey and inch worm. 

Session 1

MOnday Jan 13

landing techniques

Landing technique

We spent some time learning and drilling landing technique. The way we land in parkour minimises impact and damage, which can add up over years of training. So, poor landing technique could contribute to chronic injuries long term. Our landing techniques help distribute impace into the muscles (rather than bones and joints).

 

This is going to be something you'll just have to do thousands of times, both to build up muscle memory (might not need as much reps as I thought!), but also to improve muscle and bone density in your legs. 

Basic points to remember:

- Land with weight in the balls of your feet, with knees bent to approx 90 degrees. 

- Even when jumping downwards, keep a 'rainbow arc' in your jump. This will ensure your momentum goes directly down, and help avoid slipping out backwards. It also gives you more control on tricky landings. 

- Land on an 'invisible motorcycle.' The idea here is to remember to use the muscles in your upper body too - keep your lats and abs switched on. 

- Quiet landing is a good landing. Sound is an indication of how much impact is going back into your legs. Low sound = low impact.

Session 1

MOnday Jan 13

jumping

Jumping 

We moved to the rockery area in a playground, to work on jumping from one spot to another. Here's a good blog post by Dan Edwardes that talks about various landing techniques as well as jumping.

Basic points to remember:

- Try to land with only your forefoot on the rock or obstacle you are jumping to. This is a good habit to get into, as it will give you more control, and more options for bailing, as your confidence and jumping ability increase. 

- Don't forget to use your arms! A big, full-extension throw will give you a lot of power, so make sure you use it. 

- As you get closer and closer to your max jump, your 'rainbow arc' may flatten out a bit. But make sure you're still jumping up, even when moving downwards or level to level. 

- Hang your toes over the edge of your take-off point. That will give you extra centimetres on your jump for free!

Session 1

MOnday Jan 13

agility and strides

Agility

 We worked on running and striding across rocks, to improve agility and efficiency. 

Basic things to remember:

- Aim for a consistent pace before upping the speed. It's more efficient to move through terrain smoothly, rather than moving between a sprint and a hobble. 

- Uneven terrain is excellent for both challenging your agility, and improving the strength and resilience of your ankles and lower legs. 

- Don't forget your arms when striding either! You can get a lot of power our of your arm swings.

Session 1

MOnday Jan 13

intro to vaults and balance

We did a very quick introduction to some common vaults, which we will return to next time. 

step vault

(aka safety vault or simple vault)

lazy vault

 

thiEf VAULT

(aka outside leg lazy vault)

And we finished up with a little bit of balancing on a nice wide rail. Balance is a very important skill, arguably the most important, so we'll be doing a lot more of that, on some trickier obstacles. 

 

 

beginners course

Session 2

Wednesday 26 Feb, 6:30pm   

MEETING PLACE - Big Rocks at Birrarung Marr

 


 

Session 2

Wed FEb 26

WARM UP

We had a little taste of some old-school parkour training, with a stair set involving pyramid sets of jumps and hops. 

If you want to learn more about that approach to strength and conditioning, you can look at Yamakasi style training. 

We use a lot of small jumps and hopping movements to build up strength in the lower leg and ankle, as well as to improve endurance. 

We did this at the large stairs near the Big rocks. If you're looking for a way to add some intensity to any training, look for stairs. You can always make things more difficult (and therefore get more strength gains out of it) by adding in movements (or obstacles) that mean you drag your own body weight up and down. 

Remember: as you get tired, it can mean higher risk of stumbles or injuries. Be sure to stay safe, and modify (or slow down) what you're doing if fatigue is adding danger. 

Session 2

Wed FEb 26

STRIDing

We worked on striding across some of the smaller rocks. 

Striding is basically running across obstacles, using a one-foot landing and continuing the run onto the next obstacle. 

Key things to remember: 

- Stay safe! Start small and slow, to gain familiarity with the obstacles, and only add speed when you're feeling confident. 

- Try to keep your attention on the step you're taking, not the one after. It can be easy to slip or misstep if your attention isn't where it needs to be. 

- Remember to land on the forefoot/ ball of the foot, not the heel. 

- Keep your weight forward. You want your chest and shoulders to be leading the movement.

Session 2

Wed FEb 26

Step and speed vault

We moved to one of the nicest rails in Melbourne to learn some vaults. 

A step vault, aka safety vault, involves placing a hand and the opposite foot on an obstacle, and stepping the other leg through the space between those two. It's a very safe and stable vault, a nd pretty instinctive. 

A speed vault  is a step vault without the step (look at about 2:40 in that video for a really good indication of that). Ie., a step vault done at speed, so that the step on the obstacle becomes obsolete. 

Key things to remember:

- The "step" part of the step vault is what gets you distance and momentum. Remember to really extend the leg as you step and land on one leg, to continue the run out. 

- Establish the habit of running out of vaults for two or three steps. This avoids building a unhelpful muscle memory of turning out of a vault, and instead builds a useful habit of continuing on course. 

- Always remember the invisible rails! They're everywhere. It can be really useful when trying a speed vault for the first time on an obstacle you can confidently step vault over. 

Session 2

wed feb 26

lazy vault

and ThiEf Vault 

>>>

Session 2

wed feb 26

gate vault

>>>

Session 2

wed feb 26

TURN VAULT

Turn vaults are used to get over an obstacle and land on the other side, having turned 180 degress.

These are very useful to control a descent down a high wall (with a rail on top, usually), or even to check how to continue a route without committing to going all the way over an obstacle.  

Key things to remember:

- As this technique does require a turn, the grip on the bar needs to be a kind of 'mixed grip', with one hand facing up and one down. This means the arm which you pivot around never has to release as you turn. 

- This is a vault which has a lot of practical value for safe movement, as you can approach a rail or obstacle and get over it, then decend safely, or check the other side. As such, try and keep the weight of your shoulders above the rail, which means your less likely to slip at the end of the movement, because your momentum is controlled. 

- Keep the weight of your shoulders and chest over the bar or rail. Avoid landing with your shoulders below and away from the rail - this can mean if you slip, you're more likely to fall away from the rail, which is potentially risky. (Many youtube videos include this kind of turn vault, which is why there is not a video linked here.)

- There are several variations of a turn vault, with legs separated or using a 'belly spin', which are a little less scary. Build up your confidence with those. 

Session 2

wed feb 26

hanging

We had a little introduction to hanging, and specifically to the difference between an active hang and a passive hang. 

Both are useful and both have their place. A passive hang can be a lovely stretch for the back and shoulder muscles. 

Active hangs are really important for all our climbing, descents, swinging and even vaulting movements, as they keep the muscles of the back and shoulder girdle enganged, and protect the shoulder joint from jerking and wrenching. So you should keep in an active hang whenever you're climbing, descending, traversing, hanging, swinging... 

Key things to remember:

- If your ears are touching your shoulder or arms, it ain't active hang. 

- Hanging is a great way to building strength for pull ups, climb ups, etc etc. Try to hang a little bit every day. 

 

Session 3

wed mar 4

WARM UP

This session was with John, at Enterprize Wharf. (also called The Totems.)

Session 3

wed mar 4

Rolls

We use rolls when landing from height, especially at a height that means the impact of the landing would be too much for our landing techniques to absorb. Rolling will distribute impact of the landing over the whole body, and over time.  A parkour roll is similar to the break rolls used in many martial arts, and very dissimilar to the rolls used in gymnatics and circus arts (which, due to the soft surfaces they are done on, tend to go directly along the spine.) 

 

Basic things to remember:

- the first contact point with the ground in around the shoulder blade. It's pretty normal when you're learning to land on the top point of the shoulder, but on hard surfaces that can hurt and bruise. It can be very useful to develop the skills on soft surfaces like grass, but always make sure to practice on concrete and the like as well. 

- you'll need to twist through the thoracic spine (mid back), in order to travel diagonally across the back from shoulder to opposite hip. Improving thoracic mobility can really help your rolls. 

- when you need to use a roll, there will only a very brief tap on the ground with your feet before the roll. You almost fall into a roll. If there is any pause on your feet, it's almost not worth doing the roll at all. It's very important to practice rolling with a little momentum, in order to avoid stopping in the middle. (That doesn't mean you have to add height though!)

 - There are many, many differences in anatomy between individuals that can affect how you roll. Differences in height, lever lengths, fat distribution etc, can mean you might need to roll (or learn o roll, or approach a roll) quite differently to someone else for maximum safety. The key is experiement!

Session 3

wed mar 4

cat pass

Cat pass is a vault used to get over obstacles in a symmetrical way. Unlike other vaults, in a cat pass your legs pass between elbows, so there shouldn't be a left- or right-sided bias. (It's very normal as you're learning to lean to one sied though!)

Just a note on naming - what we call a cat pass is often called a kong vault in other countries. In Australia, we've generally used direct translations of French names for vaults (here saut de chat became 'cat pass'). Don't worry too much about naming conventions - the vaults aren't discrete ideas separate from each other, but are families of movements with many connections.

Basic things to remember:

- It's tricky! This is one of the more counter-intuitive techniques, so be kind to yourself if it's frustrating you

- Practice what we call a monkey up, at whatever hight suits you. THis can help get you comfortable with the legs-between-the-arms thing. 

- A cat pass is often easier on obstacles above your hip height, as the approach requires you to get under the obstacle as you get close to it. If you're practicing a cat pass on something below the height of your knee, you're making it trickier. 

- Hips up! That advice works for almost everything we do. Get your hips up high! Higher!

Session 3

wed mar 4

Pop vaults

- A pop vault is basically a combination of a wall run and any vault. 

- You use a pop vault to get over a wall or obstacle that is too high to get over without the 'pop' (wall run part of a pop vault), or using only the vault. 

- We worked on a pop-to-step-vault, as that is the simplest to learn. Once you are comfortable, you can remove the step on the top of the wall, or pass your legs between your arms instead. 

Basic things to remember: 

- As with tic tacs and wall runs, your foot should meet the wall at about your hip height.

- The aim of the pop vault is to make use of the momentum of the wall run part. Try to avoid slowing down or stopping when you reach the top of the obstacle. 

- The key is to get your hips as high as possible, and then the legs follow. Focus on driving through the hips. 

- Don't get ahead of yourself! THere are several steps in a pop vault, but if you focus too much on what's going to happen at the top of the wall, you can forget about foot placement and other important things.

Session 3

wed mar 4

wall run

A wall run is when you run at a wall (yeeeaaaah), and you the momentum of the run to contine running up the wall. This is often used with a climb up or a pop vault to get onto the wall (or obstacle). 

This is also a great excuse to share maybe my favourite parkour video of all time.

Basic things to remember:

- your foot should meet the wall at about the height of your hip, to avoid either slipping down or losing momentum. 

 - Always remember to train this (and all) movement on both left and right sides.

- It can help to break the wall run down into smaller parts. Sometimes if you think too much about what's going to happen at the end of a wall run, you can foget to focus on the beginning. 

Session 3

wed mar 4

climb ups

- We worked on climbing down safely from one level of the car park to another. 

Basic things to remember

- As with most climbing, make sure you've got three points of contact at all times. 

- Get into the habit of checking surfaces before climbing - shake bars or rails to see if they are loose, look for crumbling bricks or concrete, look for slippery or wet areas, ALWAYS look before moving over a wall or rail. 

- Remember to move efficiently. If you use rotations to climb up to down, try to keep rotating in the same direction. Use your legs to push yourself up or control movement down, rather than pulling with your arms, where possible. 

- Don't use your knees to get up onto or down off a wall. Always use your feet instead (which can require a little more hip mobility, or to get your hips up higher). Your knees are not capable of taking weight in the way that your feet can. 

Session 3

wed mar 4

tic tacs

In a tic tac, you run towards a wall or other upright surface, and then kick of that surface and use it to redirect your momentum as you run.  

Basic things to remember: 

- Always warm up your ankles and lower legs well. Moves like this often mean putting your ankle near the end of the range of motion, sometimes outside neutral alignment, so make sure they are prepared for it. 

- Your foot should meet the wall at about the height of your hip. Too low, and your foot will slip right off. Too high and you won't be able to get much power. 

- Use your other leg to drive towards your new direction, or intended landing point. 

- Remember to land as softly and quietly as possible.

Session 4

wed mar 11

WARM UP

This session was with John, at Enterprize Wharf. (also called The Totems.)

Session 4

wed mar 11

Revisions

We revisiting several of the techniques from previous weeks. 

Key things to remember:

- Your brain does a lot of work without you even knowing! Sometimes, learning a new skill or technique can be really frustrating and seem impossible the first time. Then, a few days later, you try again, and inexplicably it seems to come easily this time. Without having practised or even conciously thought about it. That's because your brain may have been mulling it over in the background, and figured something out. 

So! Don't get too frustrated. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to take a break, and try again later. 

Session 4

wed mar 11

Traverses

>>>

Session 4

wed mar 11

Balance

>>>

 

Session 5

wed mar 18

WARM UP

>>>

Session 5

wed mar 18

Hanging and brachiation

We revisiting several of the techniques from previous weeks. 

Key things to remember:

- Your brain does a lot of work without you even knowing! Sometimes, learning a new skill or technique can be really frustrating and seem impossible the first time. Then, a few days later, you try again, and inexplicably it seems to come easily this time. Without having practised or even conciously thought about it. That's because your brain may have been mulling it over in the background, and figured something out. 

So! Don't get too frustrated. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to take a break, and try again later. 

Session 5

wed mar 18

running jump

We revisiting several of the techniques from previous weeks. 

Key things to remember:

- Your brain does a lot of work without you even knowing! Sometimes, learning a new skill or technique can be really frustrating and seem impossible the first time. Then, a few days later, you try again, and inexplicably it seems to come easily this time. Without having practised or even conciously thought about it. That's because your brain may have been mulling it over in the background, and figured something out. 

So! Don't get too frustrated. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to take a break, and try again later. 

Session 5

wed mar 18

balance

We revisiting several of the techniques from previous weeks. 

Key things to remember:

- Your brain does a lot of work without you even knowing! Sometimes, learning a new skill or technique can be really frustrating and seem impossible the first time. Then, a few days later, you try again, and inexplicably it seems to come easily this time. Without having practised or even conciously thought about it. That's because your brain may have been mulling it over in the background, and figured something out. 

So! Don't get too frustrated. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to take a break, and try again later. 

Session 5

wed mar 18

underbars

- An underbar is a technique to pass under a bar. Yup

- As you get more confident you can work on passing though smaller gaps. (see 0:24)

  

Basic things to remember: 

- Feet first! it may seem counter intuitive, so work on just jumping to a bar or rail with your feet first, before your hands catch the higher bar. 

- Throw the bar behind you. It's easy to forget the arms with this, but an underbar uses the whole body (Like all our techniques!), and even requires a fair amount of overhead shoulder mobility at the end of the movement. 

- If you have a pull up or monkey bar nearby that you can practice on, masking tape is a good training tool. You can tape across the uprights, and pretend that tape is another bar. (This removes some of the risk, as you can hit the tape without hurting yourself. That way, you can gain confidence and an idea of your limits, before trying in a trickier environment 

Session 5

wed mar 16

reverse underbars

- A reverse underbar is another technique to pass under a bar. The approach is very different, and it's often used if you need to move upwards while also passing under a bar and through a gap.

  

Basic things to remember: 

- One hand faces up and grasps the underside of the bar;  the other forearms crosses over the with the hand facing down, grasping the top side of the bar. This allows for the rotation needed, which follows the upwards facing hand. Don't worry too much about that though - if your hands are crossed over, you can literally only turn one way. You'll get the hang of it after turning both ways a few times. 

- A reverse underbar requires an explosive pull, to get your chest close to the bar. Speed and momentum can help with that, but if you're not confident to add speed yet, don't worry. Try using one or both of your legs on the ground to assist with that pull. 

Session 5

wed mar 18

flow and routes

- We worked on climbing down safely from one level of the car park to another. 

Basic things to remember

- As with most climbing, make sure you've got three points of contact at all times. 

- Get into the habit of checking surfaces before climbing - shake bars or rails to see if they are loose, look for crumbling bricks or concrete, look for slippery or wet areas, ALWAYS look before moving over a wall or rail. 

- Remember to move efficiently. If you use rotations to climb up to down, try to keep rotating in the same direction. Use your legs to push yourself up or control movement down, rather than pulling with your arms, where possible. 

- Don't use your knees to get up onto or down off a wall. Always use your feet instead (which can require a little more hip mobility, or to get your hips up higher). Your knees are not capable of taking weight in the way that your feet can. 

 

Session 5

wed mar 18

WARM UP

- We worked on climbing down safely from one level of the car park to another. 

Basic things to remember

- As with most climbing, make sure you've got three points of contact at all times. 

- Get into the habit of checking surfaces before climbing - shake bars or rails to see if they are loose, look for crumbling bricks or concrete, look for slippery or wet areas, ALWAYS look before moving over a wall or rail. 

- Remember to move efficiently. If you use rotations to climb up to down, try to keep rotating in the same direction. Use your legs to push yourself up or control movement down, rather than pulling with your arms, where possible. 

- Don't use your knees to get up onto or down off a wall. Always use your feet instead (which can require a little more hip mobility, or to get your hips up higher). Your knees are not capable of taking weight in the way that your feet can. 

Session 5

wed mar 18

tree climbing

- We worked on climbing down safely from one level of the car park to another. 

Basic things to remember

- As with most climbing, make sure you've got three points of contact at all times. 

- Get into the habit of checking surfaces before climbing - shake bars or rails to see if they are loose, look for crumbling bricks or concrete, look for slippery or wet areas, ALWAYS look before moving over a wall or rail. 

- Remember to move efficiently. If you use rotations to climb up to down, try to keep rotating in the same direction. Use your legs to push yourself up or control movement down, rather than pulling with your arms, where possible. 

- Don't use your knees to get up onto or down off a wall. Always use your feet instead (which can require a little more hip mobility, or to get your hips up higher). Your knees are not capable of taking weight in the way that your feet can. 

Session 5

wed mar 18

reach and escape

- We worked on climbing down safely from one level of the car park to another. 

Basic things to remember

- As with most climbing, make sure you've got three points of contact at all times. 

- Get into the habit of checking surfaces before climbing - shake bars or rails to see if they are loose, look for crumbling bricks or concrete, look for slippery or wet areas, ALWAYS look before moving over a wall or rail. 

- Remember to move efficiently. If you use rotations to climb up to down, try to keep rotating in the same direction. Use your legs to push yourself up or control movement down, rather than pulling with your arms, where possible. 

- Don't use your knees to get up onto or down off a wall. Always use your feet instead (which can require a little more hip mobility, or to get your hips up higher). Your knees are not capable of taking weight in the way that your feet can. 

Session 5

wed mar 18

fear training

- We worked on climbing down safely from one level of the car park to another. 

Basic things to remember

- As with most climbing, make sure you've got three points of contact at all times. 

- Get into the habit of checking surfaces before climbing - shake bars or rails to see if they are loose, look for crumbling bricks or concrete, look for slippery or wet areas, ALWAYS look before moving over a wall or rail. 

- Remember to move efficiently. If you use rotations to climb up to down, try to keep rotating in the same direction. Use your legs to push yourself up or control movement down, rather than pulling with your arms, where possible. 

- Don't use your knees to get up onto or down off a wall. Always use your feet instead (which can require a little more hip mobility, or to get your hips up higher). Your knees are not capable of taking weight in the way that your feet can. 

Session 5

wed mar 18

carrys and drags

- We worked on climbing down safely from one level of the car park to another. 

Basic things to remember

- As with most climbing, make sure you've got three points of contact at all times. 

- Get into the habit of checking surfaces before climbing - shake bars or rails to see if they are loose, look for crumbling bricks or concrete, look for slippery or wet areas, ALWAYS look before moving over a wall or rail. 

- Remember to move efficiently. If you use rotations to climb up to down, try to keep rotating in the same direction. Use your legs to push yourself up or control movement down, rather than pulling with your arms, where possible. 

- Don't use your knees to get up onto or down off a wall. Always use your feet instead (which can require a little more hip mobility, or to get your hips up higher). Your knees are not capable of taking weight in the way that your feet can. 

Session 5

wed mar 18

Group selfie

- We worked on climbing down safely from one level of the car park to another. 

Basic things to remember

- As with most climbing, make sure you've got three points of contact at all times. 

- Get into the habit of checking surfaces before climbing - shake bars or rails to see if they are loose, look for crumbling bricks or concrete, look for slippery or wet areas, ALWAYS look before moving over a wall or rail. 

- Remember to move efficiently. If you use rotations to climb up to down, try to keep rotating in the same direction. Use your legs to push yourself up or control movement down, rather than pulling with your arms, where possible. 

- Don't use your knees to get up onto or down off a wall. Always use your feet instead (which can require a little more hip mobility, or to get your hips up higher). Your knees are not capable of taking weight in the way that your feet can. 

 

We acknowledge the people of the Kulin nation who are the traditional custodians of the land on which we move.

We are committed to paying the rent, and donate 1% of all income to the Wurundjeri Tribe Council

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