With the current global lockdown limiting everyone’s movements, with gyms being closed, and us all being locked up, now is a great time to start some simple home work out exercises.
These exercises help improve your parkour abilities, enhance your overall health and well being, and they are fun and easy too. The best part, you need little to no equipment to train.
With parkour, the key movements involve running (usually short distances), jumping, sticky landing (landing in one spot), vaults (jumping over obstacles), and rolls to break falls and help prevent injury.
The goal of the exercises we set out in this section below are to help you improve in all those areas. Check out 8 key parkour exercises you can do at home today.
Disclaimer – perform these exercises at home at your own risk. If your child is performing any exercises it should be done under adult supervision to prevent injury.
Bear crawls are an amazing exercise for warming up your muscles and joints to be ready for your parkour workout. this can be performed anywhere and you don’t need a lot of space.
- Place your hand’s shoulder-width apart and arms straight
- Bend your knees and line them up with your belly button but keep your knee as close to the ground as possible
- When starting the crawl make sure every muscle is fired up and try moving forward using opposite limbs, for example, move together with your right arm and left leg keeping your hand and knees as close to the ground throughout the movement
- If this is too difficult you can let your knees come off the ground more, bum higher and practice until your controlled enough to keep your knees low
- This movement can be done forwards, backwards and sidewards always moving opposite limbs
- Try to do this for up to 1 minute and repeat for 3 sets
- High knees will get your body flowing through the body and warm up those legs
- Standing in one spot you want to pretend to run driving your knees as high as possible and swinging your arms (bent) front and back
You should now be super warm and ready to start your exercises.
7 Parkour Exercises you can do at home
It’s important to stretch and warm-up before any workout to help prevent injury when training. Make sure to spend 10-15 minutes stretching key areas (legs, back, arms), and warming up.
We would recommend crawling on your hands and feet as this warms up every muscle and loosens the joints in your body. Start with the warmup section above for more info.
Here are 7 easy key parkour exercises to include in your home workout:
1. Standing Long Jumps
One of the most common movements in parkour is jumping, that could be jumping gaps, doing precisions, and cat leaps. Performing standing broad jumps is a great full-body exercise that will help improve power, strength, and coordination.
Standing jumps are a simple and effective movement that will really improve your parkour training.
Performing Standing Jumps
To perform a standing jump do the following:
- Keep your feet side by side (parallel)
- Squat to around 45degrees loading your leg muscles, bringing your arms back behind your body
- Explode up and forward, swinging your arms forward to provide momentum
- Move your feet out in front to spot your landing (not too far, you don’t want to fall upon landing), and upon landing make sure to bend your legs at the hip and knees to absorb the shock
- You should practice landing in the one spot, this will really help improve your precisions when performing parkour.
- Repetition is key, the more jumps you practice to more consistent they will be.
2. Bodyweight Squats
When done right, squats will strengthen your legs, and glutes, improve lower body mobility and your core muscle. Air squats are a great compound exercise that can be incorporated into any workout routine.
Adding bodyweight squats to your routine will increase power and allow you to jump further, run faster, and land safer.
Performing bodyweight Squats
The movement is relatively simple:
- Stand with your feet facing forward, shoulder-width apart, keep your hands out in front of you (you can hold them together if you wish)
- Keep your back straight and spine neutral, keep your weight on your heels
- Start the movement with your hips (imagine sitting on the toilet) keeping your core tight
- On your way down, keep your knees in line with your toes until your thighs are parallel with the ground, make sure to keep a tight core through the whole movement
- Once at the bottom, push through your heels, and move back up slowly to the standing position
3. Short Sprints
Short sprints are a big part of parkour as you run from one obstacle to the next. You don’t need a huge space for short sprints, we recommend about 20m for this exercise.
Performing Short Sprints
- Start from a standing position
- When ready explode into a sprint at around 80% of your max speed
- When you reach the end, turn and run back
- Repeat as needed (you can take a small break between each set)
4. Box jumps
Box jumps are another great exercise focuses on building your jumping power. This will allow you to develop how high you can jump over time and improve leg strength. You don’t need a specific box for this, just an object that is flat, a good height to start would be 30cm (12 inches) off the ground. Height can be increased as you improve your jump, landing and coordination with this exercise.
Performing Box Jumps
- Set feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees, loading your springs
- Explode out of the bottom position through both arms into the air and the direction you want to travel
- Bring your knees up together and spot your landing
- Landing feet together bend your knees to absorb the impact and stand up on top of the box
- Try your best to land these with control and as quietly as possible
- Repeat anything between 5- 10 reps take a rest and do two more sets
A push-up is a total body movement, great at strengthening your upper body and core strength. It’s a must-have in any home work out and has a lot of variations that can be added once you’ve mastered the regular push-up.
- Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Keep your toes on the floor and keep your core tight
- If this is to difficult you can use your knees or try to perform the push up on a higher obstacle; for example a sofa or a step
- Make sure your back is flat and your core is tight so your body is neutral and straight
- Lower your body, keeping your core strong, and your body neutral in a nice straight line (don’t tuck your head down or stick your butt up in the air)
- Your elbows should remain close to your side and your chest should just about touch the floor.
- Whilst keeping your core engaged, push back up to the starting position and repeat.
Planks provide a great way of improving your core strength, this is super important for your overall health, and can really help connect your lower and upper body.
- Place your hands or elbows shoulder-width apart, keeping your body straight and toes on the floor
- Push into the ground through your hands (or use forearms if just starting with this exercise) pushing your shoulder blades together
- Tighten up your core, abs legs and bum and hold the position for 30 seconds to a minute
- Repeat as many times as you like usually between 3 – 5 sets
7. Vertical Jumps
Practising vertical jumps is another great way to improve explosive jumps, but it also gives you the opportunity to practice soft landings which will aid you in your parkour training.
Performing Vertical Jumps
- Place feet shoulder-width apart
- Load your legs arms behind your body
- Through your arms int the air and explode from your legs at the same time, trying to reach the maximum height possible
- It’s good if you can do it beside a wall or tree, somewhere with flat ground and have someone mark where your hand touches, this will be good to keep a record of your jumps and to see the progression
Using the above exercises we have put together a quick home workout that you can use. Feel free to change the number of repetitions if it’s too easy, or too difficult.
- Warm-Up – 10 mins
- Standing Long Jump x 8
- Bodyweight Squats x 10
- Short Sprints x 5
- Box Jumps x 10
- Press-ups x 5-15
- Planks x 30 seconds
- Vertical Jumps x 10
Repeat three times
Remember the goal of your training is to become better at parkour, whilst improving your mental and physical health at the same time. But remember to always have fun, move, run, jump, roll, and generally just play. The more you do this, the better you will feel.
Special thanks to Joshua for the video content, make sure to follow him on Instagram for more parkour content:
What are your favourite exercises that you do at home? Share with us in the comments!