If you search the internet for parkour videos, you'll see plenty of high-adrenaline shots of people jumping between buildings and doing stunts. Still, you don't have to actually get involved in these heart-stopping exploits to get many of the muscle-building benefits.
Shaking up how and where you exercise, especially with a set of the best cross training shoes for multi-exercise support, has its benefits, too. Parkour, or free running, uses outdoor spaces and the urban environment to improve your fitness and build practical muscle.
The moves, like climbing, running, and jumping, require muscular and core strength to perform safely, especially given the unusual environments in which parkour enthusiasts find themselves.
Fortunately, you don't have to be preparing for an adventurous inner-city free run to benefit from a stronger core and functional muscle. If you're after a focused, practical workout, then fitness YouTuber Adam Sinickihas has you covered with his exercise plan for free runners.
Watch The Bioneer's strength and conditioning plan for free runners
In the video, Sinickihas likens parkour to the adventurous exploits of video game characters, who often have to climb over walls, jump between buildings, and navigate obstacles. These moves use muscle we don't usually work, so it requires specific training to get parkour-ready.
He advises incorporating exercises like dips, crawls, squats, and push ups into your routine and challenging yourself with some variations on these popular moves. Alongside these, you should add in climb-ups, whether on an actual wall or using a pull up bar, and rope climbs.
Interestingly, you'll probably be familiar with many of the moves suggested throughout the video, like skipping, which builds ankle stiffness and helps you practice sticking to a rhythmical action. Similarly, cartwheels are an ideal way for beginners to simulate falling and build agility.
As Sinickihas notes, it's also essential to work on your cardio ability. So, add long-distance runs and sprints into your training to improve your fitness and prevent you from getting over-tired and injuring yourself while performing some of the more strength-based moves.
As you develop these muscles, you'll probably find yourself with DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness. You can support an effective and speedy recovery by getting yourself one of the best foam rollers to promote blood flow into your affected muscles.
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James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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