How to Strengthen the Arms and Legs for Parkour

Parkour, or free running, requires a high level of physical fitness.

Parkour, or free running, requires a high level of physical fitness.

Jumping over fences and doing back flips off of walls requires bravery, strength and maybe even a touch of crazy. While you can't train or condition to develop bravery or the insanity that some of the skills in parkour require, you can train to develop the muscle strength necessary to perform them through regular strength training. Muscles do not hinder speed and flexibility; they protect and stabilize joints, in particular the shoulder, elbow and knee, preventing injury.

Warm your body up with cardio and stretching. Raise your body temperature by jogging for five to 10 minutes to relax and prepare your muscles for training. Use head to toe stretches, including neck rolls, arm circles, waist twists and lunges to loosen your muscles and lubricate your joints.

Begin your training with exercises designed to strengthen the body. For parkour you will benefit from performing two sets of 20 repetitions of these exercises: pushups, pullups, V situps, situps, handstand pushups, planks and side planks.

Increase your power through dynamic exercises designed to tone the muscles and develop speed and stamina. For best results, perform three sets of 20 repetitions of these exercises: burpees, sprints, lateral jumps, tuck jumps, squat jumps, standing long jumps and standing high jumps.

Finish your workout with a cool down consisting of five to 10 minutes of walking and stretches. Begin with a brisk pace and decrease it as you near the end of your time limit. Repeat the stretches from your warm up at a slower, gentler pace to help prevent the soreness and pain which often follows a workout.

Tip

  • Increase your results once you are no longer challenged by this routine by adding weights, such as ankle and wrist weights.

Warnings

  • Always ask your doctor before embarking on a new fitness program.
  • If you are training outdoors, examine the area for hazards, such as holes or stumps, before beginning your training.
 

About the Author

An American writer living in the United Kingdom, Christy Mitchinson began writing professionally in 2000, during her career in laboratory science, pathology and research. She has authored training materials, standard operating procedures and patient/clinician information leaflets. Mitchinson is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and creative writing with The Open University.

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