Are there any prerequisites to learning Parkour?

5 July 2021

Whether you are a child or an adult looking to give Parkour a go at one of Parkour DXB’s classes, there are no formal prerequisites. We will help you from any age or fitness level. You might however be thinking, “But I can’t do those big jumps or climb over a big wall, surely I’ve got to be strong, fit and fearless before I try?” and you wouldn’t be alone. Let’s explore why this isn’t necessarily the case and what your first few months of training Parkour might look like.

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It’s very easy to get swept away by what we see of Parkour on YouTube and in movies and assume that this is what Parkour is, but the best question to ask is, “How did they get to be able to do those things?”. Obviously they didn’t just wake up one day and have super Parkour skills. It takes many years and hundreds of hours of practice to do much of what they do. However it doesn’t take very long to pick up the fundamentals.

There are no rules:

One of the biggest advantages to choosing to practice Parkour is that it has an extremely broad choice of movements, styles and approaches that suit almost anyone. Where one person can enjoy big jumps, another might enjoy climbing or maybe acrobatics is more their thing. Some people like the fast and efficient style and others may like the more aesthetic and creative style of moving. You can choose any, all or none of these things for your Parkour practice. It might be far too early for you to know and choose, but know that you have many options and not just one path to follow.

Parkour is non-competitive:

While there are various Parkour competitions that have sprung up over the last few years, the practice of Parkour itself is not competitive. When training with friends, there is no advantage to being “better” than them and there is no way to “win”. Your focus is, and should be, on yourself and whatever goal you are working towards. Parkour offers so many opportunities to celebrate your progress. Every new movement unlocked feels awesome!

We are all here just to have fun:

And who says you have to take it so seriously anyway? Parkour is a playful sport so whether you want to push the boundaries of the sport or stick to what you’re comfortable with, the most important aim is to enjoy yourself. Enjoy spending time with your training partners or classmates and celebrate one another’s achievements, no matter how big or how small.

What can I do if I would like to prepare?

If you would like to prepare yourself for your first Parkour class, or you would like to complement your classes in your own time, there are a few fundamentals that can be easily practised at home.

If you are new to Parkour and have not practised any high impact sports in a long time then you will need to build a foundation of strength to prepare and protect your body. This is one of our first priorities to work on in your classes, but here are a few things that will help you.

Jumping: There is a lot of jumping in Parkour – if you haven’t done much before, it can be a shock to the system and you can expect some muscle soreness the day after! Practise jumping up and down or as far forwards as you can on the floor, aiming for 10 or 20 times at least. Focus on landing softly with a generous bending of the knee. Doing this alone will build some strength and endurance into your legs ready for your first class.

Balancing: Another invaluable skill is a good sense of balance. Start simply by spending time standing on one leg. Can you hold it for 30 seconds, or a minute, or more? If that’s pretty easy, try closing your eyes or changing your body position. Remember to always train both legs.

Hanging: This is something that we find many kids and adults have not done enough, and also maybe one of the more difficult ones to practise at home. You will need to find something secure to hang on: a pull-up bar at home or in the gym, or perhaps a bar in the local park, would work great. You simply need to hold onto the bar with your arms straight and feet off the floor for as long as you can. 10 seconds can be a very good start and build from there. If having your feet off the ground is too much you can use a stool or chair to support one leg and take some of the weight off. If you suffer from any back pain, there are some huge benefits to hanging regularly.

Core: Almost all movements in Parkour require a strong core (abdominals, obliques and lower back). Your core ties your upper body and lower body together and enables the full body movements that we use in Parkour. A great start here is with a Plank Hold. Lie on your front and then prop yourself up so your elbows and forearms are holding you up on your toes. Your elbows should be positioned beneath your shoulders and your body should be as straight as you can from your head to your feet. Hold this position for as long as you can. Aim for 30 seconds or a minute.

These simple exercises will help you or your child prepare themselves for their Parkour classes and help accelerate their progress. As mentioned above, this is not required to come and give Parkour a try but it can be a great help.

How do I sign up?

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of what to expect from your first Parkour classes and also what you can do to prepare if you want to. We have no-obligation, free trial classes available for both Kids and Adults on a weekly basis, so there is no reason not to give it a try.

You simply need to contact our team or use the Book A Free Trial link and follow the steps.

We can’t wait to see you there!