Introduction: Free Running/Parkour Guide

About: Okay let's get this straight. I'm fond of origami and free running. I just can't get enough of drawing. So far, I only have 1 instructable, which is on free running. I'm hoping to make some instructables on ho…

Ok, you see these videos on Youtube of people jumping insane gaps and moving like monkeys. You think, wow, I want to try. Next thing you know your blacked out and have a broken arm. That's because you didn't train for free running. This guide is all about training and exercising for parkour and free running. With exercises, warm ups, and stretches, this is an awesome work out to get you fit, and eventually parkour well. This is my first instructable, please leave nice comments.

Step 1: Key Terms/ Definitions

Parkour:To Get from point A to B, with awesome moves added in
Free Run:To have no desired destination, but to still run around with cool moves
Landing: To land, to land on the balls of your feet, and bend the knees
Balance: To position yourself so it is difficult to fall
Cat Crawl: Quadrupedal movement along an obstacle (like a cat)
Underbar: To swing under an obstacle
Drop: To drop...
Swing: To swing from a "bar" to a different place
Wall Run: To run on a wall
Vault/Pass: To move over an obstacle with hands to ease the movement
Turn Vault/down: To 180 when falling or vaulting
Kong Vault: A horizontal vault
Dash Bomb: A flipping vault
Roll: To roll forward...
Wall Jump/Tic Tac: To jump off a wall to overcome another obstacle (like the picture in the intro)

Step 2: Warm Up

There are a few different warm ups, depending on how strong you are, and other aspects.

Stretches for levels 1-3
Butterfly (hold all of these stretches for 10-25 seconds)
Strattle, to left,right,down the middle, and with legs together
Figure four on both legs
Knee to chest both legs
Hurdle stretch both legs (Lay on back, bring foot by ribs still on ground, force knee to ground)
Pretzel both legs
Elephants: Put one arm across chest, fully extended horizontally. Bring other arm under and hold.
Touch Toes: Stand then bring hands to feet. Then do left over right, then right over left.

Warm Up Level 1:
Run 2-400 meters
10-15 squats
10-15 pull ups
10-15 push ups
2 X 30 second Samson Stretch on each side (Interlace fingers overhead so palms are facing the ceiling, step forward into a lunge, with back knee touching ground. Stretch hands up and sink into lunge, look up, hold for 3-5 seconds)
Do 3 rounds.
Agility Warm up Level 1
High knees 25 times forward and back
Side step 25 times forward and back
Butt kicks forward and back (bring back of foot to butt)

Warm Up Level 2:
15 Burpees (squat thrust, but when you go to the push up position, do a push up)
20 steps quadrupedal movement
10 tuck jumps (stand with feet shoulder with apart, jump as high as you can while tucking knees into chest, when you land, jump slightly to soften the landing)
10 bench dips (put arms fully extended vertically while sitting on a bench or chair, slide legs down, stretching arms forward)
16 lunges
2 X30 sec samson stretch on each side
Repeat twice

Warm Up Level 3:
Run 200 meters forward, 100 back, then do 50 meter side shuffles each side
20 steps quadrupedal movement (monkey style, i'm not sure how to exactly do this, but i think it's when you sit, but balance on your feet, then leap forward with legs close together, then land on both hands at the same time, repeat quickly)
20 steps bounding (leap forward,land on balls of feet, then jump on the other leg, repeat)
10 body rows (find a bar that allows you to lay on the ground with arms fully extended vertically. With knees perpenicular to the floor,reach up and bring your hips off of the ground. Pull the upper body up and make your chest hit the bar.)
10 Skull Crushers/French Curls (lay on a bench, with back on it and feet on floor. Select a dumbell or a barbell.Hold it up above your chest in a vertical position. Slowly move the weight behind your head in an arch. Bring the arch back to the starting position)
45 second L-Sit (hanging or posted)
2 X30 sec Samson Stretch
Repeat 2

Step 3: Dumbbell Exercises

Great! You got past the warm ups. Now to the arm exercises. This will be tough, so just try to atleast to 25 or more.

Dumbbell Thruster: Go into a squat position with dumbells held vertically by chest. Jump up. While jumping, bring arms above head while tilting the dumbells horizontally. When landing, bend knees back to the starting position)
Dumbbell Lunges: Lunge with dumbbells down, then up above head.
Dumbbell Swing: Squat with dumbbels in hands, arms down. Stand up while swinging the dumbbells out above your head. Remember to keep your back in a neutral position.
Overhead Dumbbell lifts: Have your arms full extended above your head. Pull dumbbells down to angle your arms in a 90 degree position.
Dumbbell Squats: Squat with dumbbells. Try overhead and infront.
Dumbbell snatches: Only try if you think you're ready for it. Start in a low squat position, dumbbells in hands, arms down at side. Propel the dumbbells up in a forward arching motion, while jumping. Briefly let go of the dumbbell and then snatch it in your hand, with arm fully extended.
Normal Dumbbell: Put a dumbbell in one hand, or both. Lift dumbbells then put down.

Step 4: Upper Body

Now onto the upper body exercises. These exercises will increase your strength to climb, and to do vaults. Try to do as many as you can without killing yourself.

L Pull Ups: Start on a pull up bar, or something else stable enough for you to hang on. Start with a dead hang. Slowly bring your legs outwards infront of you, so you're shaped like a sideways L. Now, do a pull up.
Push Ups/Press ups: Everyone should know what that is.
Diamond Push ups: Start in a push up position, but with elbows out, so your arms make a diamond shape.
Close Grip Push ups: Place hands about an inch apart in a push up position.
Wide Grip Push Up: Place your arms as far apart from each other as possible, so your face is about 4 inches off the ground in the push up pose.
Clap Push Ups: Go down into a push up position. When you go down, push yourself off of the ground with all of your force, and perform a clap before hitting the ground and doing another clap push up.
Pull Ups: Widegrip pull ups, close grip, and jumping pull ups. A jumping pull up is when you jump, grab the bar, and then perform a pull up.
Bench Dips: It's explained in the warm up section.
Skull Crushers: Warm up section.
Wall Handstand push ups. Lean your belly against a wall, vertically. Then bring your self down, like a push up, then lift yourself back up.

Step 5: Lower Body

Now onto the lower body exercises.
Pistol Squats: Stand on one leg. Slowly swing the other out, so your legs make a 90 degree angle. With the leg on the floor,slowly bend down so your leg thats sticking out is about 9 inches off the ground. Now slowly stand back up.
Wall Sits: Make your legs a 90 degree angle, close together. Place your back against the wall.
1 legged wall sit
Split squats: First off, you'll need a bench with cushioning on it. Now start by the bench, take a step with one foot, then place the back ankle of the leg thats closest to the bench onto the bench. Hop forward a step or to get a good stance. Slowly go down, with your head up.
Shin Raisers: For this one you need to rest on the back heel of your feet. Bring the front of your feet up as high as they go, without letting your feet touch the ground again. Repeat until desired.
Calf Raisers: Bring the heel of your foot to your butt. Repeat until desired on each foot.
Squat hops: Get into a very low squat. Raise onto your toes and repeat. On your last one, jump up as high as you can.
Step Up: Find a sturdy bench. Jump up with one foot, the other landing on the bench. Bring the jumping foot on the bench, then reverse the motion. Repeat.
High Jumps: Jump as high as you can.
Bounding: Leap forward, a little to the side with one foot, landing on the balls of your feet. Jump with the landing foot and then land with the jumping foot. Repeat.
Lunge with Twist: Do normal lunges, but twist your back.
Box Jumps: Stand in front of a platform that you're able to jump on easily. Keep your feet together, and bend down slowly. Explode up onto the platform. Then back down. While doing this, the whole point is extending the hips.

Step 6: Core Exercise

Now, almost done. You don't need to do all of the exercises in this instructable, but if you do, make sure you don't kill yourself by over dehydrating.
Frog Stand: Start on the floor, hands on floor, elbows out to the side. Slowly bring your knees onto your elbows. Hold for desired time.
Sit Ups.
Leg LIfts.
Planks: Get on the floor, forearms flat and toes standing straight up. Kind of like a push up position, but with your forearms on the ground. Hold for desired time.
Russian Twists: Sit ups, but when you go up, you swing your arms close together to the sides.
L-Sits on bar: Kind of like the L Pull up, but you just hang.

Step 7: Other Exercises

Here are some extra exercises, like quadrupedal movements, and ground kongs.
Quadrupedal movements: Try backwards, forwards, to the side, and ground kongs. When you do a ground kong, your kind of jumping.
Rail shimmy: Hang on a rail, shimmy to the sides.
Tuck Jump to silent landing: Jump high, tuck knees to chest, and land on the balls of your feet. When you land, you should slightly bound back up.
Climb shimmy: Hang from a rail, shimmy to the side, and propel yourself up by your arm strength.
Cat Balance: Stay on all fours, hands on ground, knees almost 6 inches from chest, feet staying up. Try moving around on a cat balance. When moving, move on foot up, then the opposite hand up after the foot has stopped moving. Then repeat with the other hand and foot.

Step 8: Landing and More

Basic Landing:Two pull of a basic two footed landing, you need concentration. When you jump, bring your knees in front of you. Your knees should be slightly angled, almost at 90 degrees. They should be placed near your torso and quads. Keep eye on your landing spot. When you're close enough to the ground, extend your legs straight, using the balls of your feet as your landing gear. When they touch the ground, naturally go down in a fluent motion. When you do this, your knees should bend at about a 90 degree angle, and tuck your body in between, then placing you hands on the ground. This position allows for rolls or sprints to be easily achieved. To practice, start with a low height, then build up comfortably.
Turn Vault: (this is with a drop on the other side) Start a couple feet away from the rail. Place your left hand on the rail with the palm facing up. The opposite for your right. They should be straight out in front of you. Start by jumping over the rail while keeping your left hand on it. As you're going up, take your right hand of a turn 180. Don't land yet. With arms fully extended, place your right hand back on but on the other side of your left hand. Keep an eye on the rail when you're doing this. You should be coming down. Try to absorb the impact by landing in a crouch. You should have your legs tucked in your body when you do this. Place your feet firmly on the wall, and place your knees a few inches from your chest. When you turn to jump, spot where you want to land. You should turn 180 on the way down.

Step 9: Tips

Okay, this is the end of the instructable. If you do this exercise everyother day, picking about 6-10 from each category, you could be fit in a month and awesome at free running. Just make sure you stretch before you work out, and drink water while exercising. Make sure you have comfortable shoes for free running. Nike has a brand of free running shoes just for this occasion. Hopefully, this instructable does good. Most of this info came from American Parkour, excellent site! Also Worldwidejam, also an amazing site if your looking for tuts on free running and parkour.