Parkour

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Parkour

Postby AlphaSquirrel » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:28 am UTC

I was never (NEVER) a very physically fit guy in any way what so ever. I was in football my 7th and 8th grade and we went to the weight room 3 days every week. Throughout those entire two years my max bench went from 45 to 55, and I worked really hard. However I discovered something, Parkour! You don't need a diet or a workout regiment, all you need is something physical that you're interested in. Parkour is the art of getting from point a to point b the quickest way possible (whether it be jumping over a rail or climbing a building) and that's what I've been doing my entire life. My nickname is Squirrel cause I'm always climbing shit. It was just something that interested me, and I always did it I just never had a name for it.
Parkour saved me physically. I went from scrawny 40 pound kid to ninja-like 900 pound hulk in like 3 months practice.
I started this Topic because I wanted to get other people's opinion on this sport. If you still don't know what it is here is a pretty good example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUeFSOEpbUA .
I'd love to discuss the mindset of the sport itself and the beliefs that come w/ it.

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Re: Parkour

Postby Ragavin » Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:22 pm UTC

AlphaSquirrel wrote: Parkour saved me physically. I went from scrawny 40 pound kid to ninja-like 900 pound hulk in like 3 months practice.


I hear POWERTHIRST also helps with this. Seriously though, that is an AWESOME "sport". Very fun to even just watch and it seems like it would be a great workout.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Durandal » Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Parkour? Ah, I've heard of it. Isn't it that stylish way to kill yourself kids are all about these days?

On a more serious note, your ability to be good at Parkour is largely a product of your environment - I, for instance, live in an architecturally boring almost-city. Even the older section really doesn't have much stuff like what you generally see in Parkour videos.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Barbie » Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:04 pm UTC

Parkour is definitely cool. It's a really functional form of exercise that makes you better at moving around in other aspects of life. I would go so far as to call it meditative because you need complete awareness of your body and of your environment all the time. If your mind drifts for even a second, you can find yourself laying flat on your back wondering what happened. It's really rewarding to master your mind, body, and environment in this way.

The only problem I have with it is the high chance of injury. As I said in the Tricking thread, there's no way to progress risk-free into a back tuck. If you decide half way through that it's too hard, you don't have the option to stop and try again later. I went to a Parkour/Tricking workshop once, and it was amazing to see people who could move with that kind of precision, but many of them had various joints taped up and all of them had their share of scars.
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Re: Parkour

Postby notallama » Fri May 02, 2008 2:45 am UTC

Barbie wrote:Parkour is definitely cool. It's a really functional form of exercise that makes you better at moving around in other aspects of life. I would go so far as to call it meditative because you need complete awareness of your body and of your environment all the time. If your mind drifts for even a second, you can find yourself laying flat on your back wondering what happened. It's really rewarding to master your mind, body, and environment in this way.

The only problem I have with it is the high chance of injury. As I said in the Tricking thread, there's no way to progress risk-free into a back tuck. If you decide half way through that it's too hard, you don't have the option to stop and try again later. I went to a Parkour/Tricking workshop once, and it was amazing to see people who could move with that kind of precision, but many of them had various joints taped up and all of them had their share of scars.

that doesn't sound like a very good group. the group i go with tries to /avoid/ injuries.
like, that's the entre point of parkour.

anyone can get from point a at the top of a wall to point b at the bottom.
the trick is doing it without killing yourself/fucking up your knees.
(and going up, of course)

really though, parkour is giving yourself the most mobolity you can. if you're wrecking your knees, you're doing the opposite.
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Re: Parkour

Postby recurve boy » Fri May 02, 2008 7:20 am UTC

notallama wrote:that doesn't sound like a very good group. the group i go with tries to /avoid/ injuries.



"[T]ries" being the key word. If you are interested in being good, you will eventually get injured when you do sport.
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Re: Parkour

Postby notallama » Fri May 02, 2008 1:37 pm UTC

yeah, it does happen.
the injury rate is a lot lower than "many of them had various joints taped up" though. the fact that they're bandaged up and still continuing shows how much they care about their joints.

also, i didn't read all of that before. i think the tricking part explains it.
the parkour folks generally don't do flips, since they're not really useful for getting places and they increase your chances of hurting yourself.

the most dangerous thing in parkour is probably rolls. (or jumping from too high, but that one is more obvious)
if you do it wrong on a sidewalk, you could hurt your back, which would suck.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Nath » Fri May 02, 2008 10:31 pm UTC

notallama wrote:the most dangerous thing in parkour is probably rolls. (or jumping from too high, but that one is more obvious) if you do it wrong on a sidewalk, you could hurt your back, which would suck.

Do you train on judo/wrestling-style mats? From what I've seen of parkour rolls, they seem very similar to what martial artists tend to do.
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so, in a general sounding-out query

Postby incas » Sat May 03, 2008 2:46 pm UTC

how does one actually parkour? or learn to parkour? is it simply taking the shortest, most direct path (e.g. ignoring a winding uphill road and climbing the hill straight?) or does one take lessons, as apparently mentioned above?

incidentally, parkour is like breakdancing while walking.
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Re: Parkour

Postby ZLVT » Sun May 04, 2008 2:51 pm UTC

Parkour originated (apparently) as a martial art based on escaping as efficiently as possible. There are professionals who teach, and groups who go out and train regularly. They plot a path and follow it. Just jumping off houses is a quick way to die.
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Re: Parkour

Postby recurve boy » Mon May 05, 2008 11:08 am UTC

ZLVT wrote:Parkour originated (apparently) as a martial art based on escaping as efficiently as possible. There are professionals who teach, and groups who go out and train regularly. They plot a path and follow it. Just jumping off houses is a quick way to die.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkour
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Re: Parkour

Postby ArchangelShrike » Wed May 07, 2008 9:06 pm UTC

From what I understand, Free-running is more breakdancing while walking, as it's more showy, with flips and such to look cooler while you move. Parkour is simply to get from Point A to Point B as fast as possible, the barriers be damned. There's probably a local group close to you that does Parkour that you could hook up with, here are some videos from the group close to me on how to get started here.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 07, 2008 9:34 pm UTC

It's heaps of fun, but primarily only cool for the gymnastic means people apply. Also, it can be EXTREMELY dangerous. So for every video you find of some rednecks beating each other up, or 10 year olds backyard wrestling, theres a flick of some idiot nutting himself on a railing because he's A) Not in shape for the jump B) Stupid and miscalculates the jump or C) Unlucky.

I apply the same sensibilities to my city biking. Traffic weaving, situational precognition, and squeezing in the elbows.

Dig it.
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Re: Parkour

Postby pavelludiq » Sat May 10, 2008 9:28 pm UTC

Last spring i started just trying out some jumps and started climbing on walls and on rocks(my town is close to a plateau and has a very beautiful terrain) I injured my self(not during any stunts, i just tripped and hurt my ankle while i was running :D ) So i couldn't walk for a month and couldn't run all summer and when i got better school started and there was no time. Recently i started training again, but due to fucked up global warming, we've been having some really strange weather these few last years in Bulgaria and its been raining very often all spring. and even on sunny days it's slippery on some shadowy places. So im not training that often, but i spend a lot of time in front of my pc and its physically exhausting and parkour or any other activity(i like basketball and joging too) just helps me not to drop dead somewhere :D
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Re: Parkour

Postby Fate » Mon May 19, 2008 11:16 pm UTC

For Parkour, look up David Belle in Youtube, he is amazing. For Free Running try Urban Ninja in Youtube.
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Re: Parkour

Postby ZLVT » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:06 pm UTC

assuming one were completely out of shape, what would need to be done exercise-wise in order to bring one to the level required to begin parkour?
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Re: Parkour

Postby Sykotic1189 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:42 pm UTC

ZLVT wrote:assuming one were completely out of shape, what would need to be done exercise-wise in order to bring one to the level required to begin parkour?


How completely out of shape are you? I'm 6' 00" and weigh close to 210lbs. and a pretty good gut with it and I still manage to get out and do some parkour every now and then. Pretty much you gotta be able to run and lift about 50lbs, considering you need hand supprt a lot, and jump about a foot. Parkour is mostly about strong hands, strong legs, endurance, flexibility, and determination.
Good times?


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Re: Parkour

Postby ZLVT » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:22 am UTC

5'10" 183lbs, decent legs but shit knees and no endurance at all
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Re: Parkour

Postby Sykotic1189 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:27 am UTC

Meh, you'll be fine. Endurance builds up over time. As far as the knees go, I tore about half the ligaments in my left knee two years ago and I still get out there when I can. I'd recommend a cheap knee brace like you can get in Wal-Mart for $3.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Felstaff » Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:24 am UTC

In regards to safety, Parkour isn't nearly as dangerous as blogging.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Axman » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:31 pm UTC

A friend talked me into joining his parkour class. It starts in three weeks today. I used to be Mr. Kickboxing but I got hit by a car, got lazy, and here were are.

Anyway, I'll report on it once we get started. I'm going to have to work on my endurance, which is OK, but I can't exactly do chin-ups as well as I used to. Actually, I'll bet I'm in chin-up territory.

Bonus, it's $100 for five weeks of training, and you can train anywhere else in the gym. There's a lot of cross-fit stuff, which, whatever, but an honest-to-God Scotch teaching classic boxing. Bonus bonus: Plaid still boxes for money.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Fossa » Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:57 am UTC

Fossa (a few days ago) wrote:I'm contemplating heading out to a meet this weekend to try and get started. If I end up going I'll be sure to post impressions/results/coroner's report.


Just got back from my first session. We were out there for a little over 6 hours moving from place to place in downtown LA. We drilled certain things in each place from precisions to tic tacs to a variety of vaults and cat grabs.

We moved on whenever the group leaders decided it was time to move (which more often than not was when cops and security guards asked us to move along).

I was amazed how much I was able to do from the get go if I was willing to commit. I managed some impressive tic tacs, precisions, and speed/lazy vaults in addition to a hand spin or two (technically not parkour but still cool) on angled walls. Couldn't get over my fear of diving head or feet first over things to pull off a proper Kong or Dash though (something I'll work on when I can feel my legs again).

Scraped up my right forearm and elbow pretty badly doing tic tacs to a cat grab and both my knees doing... everything really. Concrete is unforgiving when you're new.

Still, had an absolute blast and really felt the workout in most of my body. I'm going back every week now.

Edit:

Holy hell I have never been this sore in my entire life. My forearms, triceps, shoulders, chest, upper back, abs, quads.... walking up and down stairs is excruciating. This isn't going to stop me from going back next week, though. It just means the workour really was that good.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Fossa » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:42 am UTC

Just an update for anyone who's curious:

I'm 2 weeks in and loving it.

I'm going out each Saturday for 5-7 hours with my group. We move from location to location as a large group and drill individual techniques and styles of movement. From whenever I stop feeling sore through Thursday I do stuff independently. I drill the techniques I'm weak on, work on exercises to improve my balance and coordination, gain muscle memory, etc.

I'm still having trouble committing to some of the techniques, but its a mental block not a physical one. I'm overcoming them slowly as I get more comfortable with my body as a whole. One big example is the "Kong". This consists of running full speed, jumping and diving head first over an obstacle (hips should come up to shoulder height), planting your hands on whatever you're leaping over, and pulling your legs up through your hands from the slap so that you land on your feet and can keep going. Diving head first over concrete? Still working on committing to that one...

Overall I've made great progress though. My balance and body awareness have gone through the roof (I can jump from one smooth railing to another, etc) and my body is seriously transforming before my eyes.

Basically every time I go out I burn every bit of glycogen I have. The workout is total body and very demanding, but absurdly fun so that I don't mind doing it. I used to run and do situps and pushups three times a week, but dreaded it to some amount. I'm seeing better muscle definition and feeling more energetic and better about myself.

In the process I've gotten a few scrapes. Concrete is a harsh teacher but we're actually very safe. Minor scrapes are common for beginners. One person bruised a rib, but it was very unusual and still not serious. Although I am paranoid about developing joint problems so I've started taking a supplement to maintain healthy cartilage preemptively. Still, if done safely it really is a non-issue. The first thing you learn is how to land so that you don't stress your joints. I just like having a safety net so to speak so that my joints stay healthy even if I slip up.

If anyone is curious and has any questions let me know. I'd be happy to answer them. Also, if anyone is in the LA area and free this Saturday I invite you to swing by the Pier at Huntington Beach this Saturday around noon. The second ever Southern California Parkour Meetup is taking place and should last until sunset. PK LA (my group) is going to be in attendance along with several others. All told there should be 50-100 traceurs of various skill levels to give you a good idea of what it is we do.
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Re: Parkour

Postby sparkyb » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:30 pm UTC

I've always thought Parkour was really cool. Even before I knew about it I was always climbing things (when I was younger some people called me Monkey). About a year ago I decided that I wanted to start doing Parkour, but so far I haven't had much luck getting into it. For a few days I tried practicing some things I read about online on my own. I got really sore, which might have been a good thing, based on what I've read, but I really had no way of telling if I was doing things right or wrong. Since then I haven't really done anything. As far as general fitness, I used to run 4mi 3 times a week, I haven't been so consistent in the past few year but that is still the distance I run when I do which is sort of off and on (I just got a new Nike+ so the past week has been part of what will hopefully be a longer on phase).

I'd like to find a group or class or something to help me learn Parkour. I've read on some other forums about meetups, but I'm not really sure if they are good for a beginner like me that really wants to be told what to do. I trust people here so I'm asking if anyone knows any Parkour groups or classes around Boston that would be good for someone in decent-ish shape but no clue what he's doing? I also probably need to find some training regimen of my own to do between meetups, whether Parkour exercises or just a general lifting or calisthenics workout to build strength.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Fossa » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:15 pm UTC

Yeah, groups can be really hit or miss and will make or break your experience as a beginner.

I'm on the wrong side of the country, but maybe this will be some help. I found my group on http://parkour.meetup.com and had great success. You can read what other members say about the group and what rating they've given it, so that should help you know what the group is like before going.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Axman » Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:40 pm UTC

This is a real program, with indoor and outdoor stuff, the guy who runs it's been on ESPN, and featured in a cool New Yorker and a shitty TIME editorial, too (Ryan Ford). If you're near Denver it's obviously a great deal for five weeks/ ten sessions @ $100.

That said, I went to my first session last night, and I'm having problems standing up and sitting down. I used to be in a lot better shape, and I know it. At least I'm not at the bottom in all areas--years of martial arts and I'm not afraid of throwing myself at the mat, but I set a new low record of one (1) pull-up. I'm also going to have to twerk some of my footings compared to their methods because of my f'ed up toe (car accident). But mostly, my recent hard-core office conditioning has left me winded and on the verge of puking. But I didn't! Puke, that is. Another dude did, though.

I have discovered that I don't have a clue how to move some of these muscles in tandem. The quadrupedal movement (henceforth QM) is alien and peculiar, and your torso has to be in as good or better shape than your legs. You also need to be able to completely support your body on just your arms and I don't just mean pull-ups. Running on all fours and handstands will obviously become easy or I'll find myself leaving after the five weeks.

Like with martial arts, you feel the power of your body when you move correctly. If you're off-balance you're not doing it right, and I have never been so lithe as while I catwalk QMed. You know, until I fell over.

It's a lot more flexible in personal style than martial arts, which often focus on forms (which is tough for me, since I'm good at forms and have grown accustomed to explicit instruction) but freedom's obviously a good thing: parkour isn't about doing it in a particular way, just doing it and not getting hurt.

I was also a little bembarassed; I bought shorts for the thing--having become a little more used to being supplied a uniform--and they kept falling down. They're also less flexible than they appeared to be under Target's lights. You need clothes that stay on while sliding across mats.

Of course, regular rules apply: if this is your first really difficult exercise in a while, skip lunch and don't smoke for the first couple of meets.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Fossa » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:56 pm UTC

Glad you found a program you like, but it doesn't have to be based out of a gym for it to be a "real program".

Two people in my group who started attending my meetup group the same week I did had come from a gym background. One had taken formal classes while the other had just practiced free form in a gym where he teaches gymnastics and learned that way.

On the one hand they had a pretty solid base, didn't get scraped up when they were learning, and they were able to learn it knowing they were safe.

However, because of how forgiving the mats were they learned to do a lot of stuff incorrectly. They didn't know they were doing it incorectly until they did it on concrete and got hurt. Now they're having a really hard time forgetting what they learned and learning to do things properly. Also, rails, which are very common and very fun, are completely foreign to them.

At any rate, my instructor ran with David Belle for a few months, has done motion capture for a half dozen movies that I know of (the Whitehouse Nightcrawler scene in the first X-Men, etc), and is in the Mazda 10 car dash commercial. I trust his expertise and instruction despite the fact that he isn't charging me $100.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Axman » Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:36 pm UTC

Fossa wrote:Glad you found a program you like, but it doesn't have to be based out of a gym for it to be a "real program".

It's the guys who run that make it real. And it only starts in a gym, after the first few weeks of basics, we'll be moving outside.

Parkour session 2 insights:

Pull-ups, push-ups, and handstands are killing me. To move is to pain. Everyone should be able to do fifty, including squats--a "half", for now, later, a "full"--of each and do an against the wall handstand for an entire minute.

If you're like me, you know, office-conditioned, your legs can take much of it. Squats are relaxing. The upper body stuff, uhg, it's... my arms won't listen. I've faceplanted a handful of times in QM. Falling onto your face should be an impossibility when you're walking on all fours, but there you have it.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Fossa » Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:47 pm UTC

Your goal is fifty pull ups? You sir, are going to have the worlds most amazing under bar. :shock:

As for conditioning, you should really work dips into the equation in addition to pushups if not replacing them outright. Much better at strengthening the chest and back muscles used to muscle up out of a cat grab or the ones used in a dash vault.

Out of curiosity, what style of QM do you use typically?

On notability:

Apparently someone is attempting to make a "Jump USA" production to highlight Parkour in the US similar to Jump London in style. The pitch footage for this program is coming from my PK group. :D
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Re: Parkour

Postby Gunfingers » Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:53 pm UTC

How are you guys doing dips that they work your chest?
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Re: Parkour

Postby Fossa » Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:55 pm UTC

Chest is the wrong way of putting it, I just don't know how to accurately describe the muscles on the front and back of the torso used to pull your arms down to your sides from an outright position (the way your pecs straighten your arms in a pushup).
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Re: Parkour

Postby Gunfingers » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:06 pm UTC

Latissimus dorsi? That's on your back, but that's where i usually feel my dips. Well, that and my triceps.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Fossa » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:16 pm UTC

Thats part of it, yes. However I did feel it on my chest as well after a particularly brutal conditioning session. If I put my hand under my arm and attempt to "brace" the muscles used to lower it to my side I feel it contract. Its the inner most edge of my pectoral.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Drake » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:42 pm UTC

Fossa wrote:If I put my hand under my arm and attempt to "brace" the muscles used to lower it to my side I feel it contract. Its the inner most edge of my pectoral.


Inner most edge of your pec by your armpit? I'd call that your "lower chest" because it gets worked out on exerscies that focus on your lower chest (decline bench press, dips, etc...)

Fossa wrote:As for conditioning, you should really work dips into the equation in addition to pushups if not replacing them outright. Much better at strengthening the chest and back muscles used to muscle up out of a cat grab or the ones used in a dash vault.


I'll argue against cutting out push ups. Since your chest muscle is so huge no single exercise will work it out entirely; your chest muscle goes from just above your solar plexus to just below your collar bone. My general rule of thumb is that you need at least five exercises to completely workout your chest (ie {decline bench, bench, incline bench, close grip bench and flys} or {dips, pushups, wide grip pushups, close grip pushups, diamond push ups} ) (just giving examples of workouts to illustrate my point; I don't intend to start an argument on the 'the best')

If you have a large enough base of fitness to handle multiple chest exersices, then I agree with Fossa that you should do dips in addition to push ups.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Gunfingers » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:02 pm UTC

I think i've found the muscle you're talking about.

The Pectoralis Minor.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Axman » Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:04 am UTC

Fossa wrote:Your goal is fifty pull ups? You sir, are going to have the worlds most amazing under bar. :shock:
It's sort of a requirement, and fifty is because I'm in the beginner's class. The intermediate class does a hundred. We're encouraged to kip, though--anything to make it easier, frankly, is cool by them. They're cautious, I think, because some dude really got hurt/ hospitalized when they first started.

As for conditioning, you should really work dips into the equation in addition to pushups if not replacing them outright. Much better at strengthening the chest and back muscles used to muscle up out of a cat grab or the ones used in a dash vault.
I think that stuff is covered in the QM runs we do. We don't have a dip bar, and push-ups are requisite, so yeah. Eventually, we'll be expected to be able to do hand-stand push-ups.

Out of curiosity, what style of QM do you use typically?
Right now, we're being asked to practice every possible kind: face up, face down, reciprocating, pacing, sideways, backwards, cat- and bear-style, and in every practical combination. Once you hit intermediate, I think there's more personal choice going on, but it's somewhat discouraged, on account of their whole-body ethic. They really don't want you to have any weaknesses, and I doubt they've left out some kind of critical or superior exercise. Then again, without a dip bar, maybe they're just compensating for the equipment that's there.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Fossa » Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:36 am UTC

I just went to the gym for the first time to learn some of the tricking stuff that often accompanies Parkour. Yes, I know its not really parkour since its inefficient and unnecessary. However, the strength and body awareness from this kind of training is undoubtedly helpful. I've seen people fail legitimate parkour moves and be able to recover smoothly because of the experience they've had flipping and twisting.

Last week I watched my friend kong a rail that gave out; he tucked into a roll to land smoothly instead of landing face first on asphalt. That really demonstrated the benefit of his gym experience to me.

3 hours down there and I improved my kong, improved my dash, did my first kash, learned to wall spin and wall flip, and got my front tuck and back tuck down a bit better. All I can say is thank god for foam mats. Some of my fails would have been downright dangerous on concrete.

Only managing 10 pullups even if I pump my abs and legs into it though. I'm in awe of your goal of 50 as my biceps are my most developed upper body strength at the moment.
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Re: Parkour

Postby Gunfingers » Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:30 pm UTC

I got up to 10 dead-hang pull-ups recently, and have crossfit to thank for it. You'd be interested in today's WOD, i think.
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Parkour! (grown from the fungus of Fleeting Thoughts)

Postby Awia » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:31 pm UTC

I wonder where I can learn Parkour, The only site I can find for it in my town is this, but I don't trust the lack of grammar.

Or the fact that one of their teachers is called Ninja...
Francis wrote:Look on the bright side, if you all die I'll still be handsome
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Re: Fleeting/Random/Thoughts (now with 20% more fungus!)

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:34 pm UTC

How to learn Parkour.

Step 1. Go Outside. Find some grass.

Step 2. Fall in to it. A lot. Learn to land right. Don't break your neck.

Step 3. Jump on things. Jump off things.

Step 4. Climb things.

Step 5. Move over things slowly. Speed it up.

Step 6. You're done.
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