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parkour for beginners

intensive January 2020


Intensive group



- I have sent you all ​coupon codes for your added free class, and for any sessions of this intensive you missed. These codes are valid for our Parkour for Everybody classes on Saturdays, or for our regular Movement Milestones workshops. 

- We have a Parkour for Beginners six week course coming up, starting on February 19. The content is similar to the intensive, but we have more time and so go into more details. I've also send you all a code for $20 off that course if you'd like (or feel free to pass it onto a friend)

- If you have any feedback, suggestions or complaints, we'd love to hear them so we

 can improve the course.

- Or if you'd prefer, you can provide feedback anonymously here 

- If you haven't already, please tell Kel your t-shirt size :D

- We have a Facebook group if you'd like to join: Melbourne in Motion Community

There's also the Parkour Melbourne group and Women of Melbourne Parkour


If you have a minute, we'd appreciate any reviews on our Facebook page and/or on the googles.

Also follow and tag us on insta, @melbinmotion

Session 1

MOnday Jan 13


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



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


 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



(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. 


sesson 1

Session 2

friday 17 Jan

This session was with John


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 2

friday 17 Jan

Wall runs

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 2

friday 17 Jan

Climb ups

Climb ups are a very useful 

Session 2

friday 17 Jan

Turn vaults

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.  

Basic 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. 

- 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

friday 17 Jan

speed vaults

This session will be with John, meeting at the same location (behind the Floral Clock)


Session 2

friday 17 Jan

reverse vaults

Session 2

friday 17 Jan

intro to 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 2

Session 3

MOnday 20 jan


- The session began with a short jog around Tianjin Gardens. 

- It was a very wet and rainy evening so we practiced 'running like a penguin'. (Not that you're aiming to look like a penguin, it's jus​t an easy way to remember how to run in wet or icy conditions.) Keep the weight of your shoulders almost directly over your feet, and take smaller, controlled steps. You won't get as much speed as normal running, but you'll have much more control and balance in slippery conditions. 


- We also did some landing practice, off some low rocks and back up onto them. 

When landing in the wet, all the basics of landing technique remain the same, and become even more important. 

- Always jump in an arch shape, to keep your momentum going directly down into the ground (rather than at an angle than at an angle that would put you at risk of falling backward.)

- Respect the conditions! In the wet, you will most likely not be able to safely jump as far or as high,

Session 3

MOnday 20 jan


We ran to an undercover carpark to practice 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 3


Pop vaults

Ran to a different undercover carpark. 

- 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



- 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 3


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 3


Descents and 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 3
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