Parkour 20091128

Warm-up:
Run four blocks (it was so cold out... Next time I'll wear sweats instead of shorts), 10 push-ups, 10 squats, 10 pull-ups, forward QM (quadrupedal movement)
Surprise! We had to repeat this.

Vaulted these (left to right: 34", 36", 42", 47", 46")
Main Training:
A circuit was created.

(1) Use forward QM to crawl through three... er... I'll call them short tables. (See Photo at Parkour 20091205) They seem like they can be used for step aerobics. But their about two feet high, so you have to stay low. (1a) Keep your steps small, compared to the forward QM during warm-up, which can also be small steps, but can be larger.

(2) Shimmy across two of the wooden obstacles, so six feet. (See Photo Above) This shimmy is done with your arms under you, hands on top of the obstacles, feet are on the side of the obstacles and help shuffle you along. (2a) Step-by-step: Begin by propping yourself on your hands, arms rather straight, almost as if down by your side. So say we're shimmying to the right. You would lean onto your left hand, move your right hand over about half a feet or a feet, depending on what's comfortable, shift your weight to the right hand and move your left hand close to the right, resuming approx. the shoulder width distance. All the while, the feet should know what to do and shuffle along with the hands. (2b) The more weight (upper body) you get over your arms/hands the easier it will be to shimmy.

(3) Walk across a beam. About 4 feet long. 1 feet high. A foot's width in diameter. I got better each time, but this part of the circuit was pretty hard for me.

(4) Wall run. So the goal would be to get yourself up onto a wall that you wouldn't be able to reach just by jumping. It wasn't a focus of this class as it was when John attended two weeks ago, but the idea is you come up to the wall and plant a foot as if you were running up it. Then your hands can reach the top edge of the wall, as your feet continue to help you get up. (4a) Less dynamically, you would be in a hanging position and the feet help you get into a position where your upper body is above your arms, like in the shimmy section. But if you were to do this move fluidly, then it would take less effort. (4b) The feet help, one of the instructors said, but a lot of this movement still requires muscle. (4c) You don't want to put your elbows down on the object. Or was it knees... Perhaps you want to avoid both. (4d) To get down, somewhat reverse the process: Place the hands down, then go from the upper body above to the hanging position. Then jump down.

(5) Roll

(6) Two vaults

(7) Swing across the pull-up bars. (See Photo at Parkour 20091121) So rather than the monkey bars back in elementary school where the bars are like a ladder, think of swinging across just a pole. But the motion is still the same monkey bar feel. (7a) You want to retain a pull in your shoulders. This gives you strength as you swing across. This contrasts with keeping the shoulders loose, where you lose a lot of the strength. (7b) Make sure the legs don't struggle with your motion, rather, they should contribute to your swinging motion. (7c) If you don't remember using the monkey bars, the motion is like this: Grab the bar with your right hand. Swing and grab the next forward spot with your left hand. Your body moves forward. Wait for the back swing, and then let go with the right as you move forward and the grab the next forward spot with your right hand. Now... I'm not sure, but I wonder if you time things right you can just swinging forward without the back swing. I didn't think to try such a motion, since waiting for the back swing seemed natural to me. In my mind, not waiting for the back swing would require the motion to be executed rather quickly. End circuit.

We did this circuit 5 times.

(8) Obstacles cleared and we do some safety vaults. (8a) Ending the vault, one advice was to use the planted hand and sort of push the shoulder forward in order to continue a straight forward motion rather than having that hand forcing you to turn in that direction. (8b) One of the instructors observed that I was rather hunched up in my execution of the safety vault. And advised I should open the body and also try to incline the body more horizontally.

(9) Speed vaults. Similar to safety vault, except the foot that would be planted is no longer planted. Though it should be in a position that a failure to do the speed vault would revert to a safety vault.

(10) Pop vault. What to do if the obstacle is a bit taller. So your left leg comes down before the object. Then right leg plants onto the object. You're coming up and then right hand plants on the object. Left leg plants on the opposite side. And right leg comes through to land. That is, after the plant, you end with a safety vault. (10a) The plant is actually a pop, so you get some momentum to get up and over.

(11) Crane jump. One foot lands on the object. Toe to heel, ending with the entire foot flat on the object. The second foot is down at the side, toes on the object. Your body a little sideways so you don't bang your knee on the side of the object. So we just practice a couple on an object. Then we add in one of those tables/step aerobics platform to step onto and proceed to crane jump to the object. This motion should be fluid. It doesn't have to be fast. So the platform is about 3 feet away, maybe more. Step right leg onto the platform, means the left foot will land onto the obstacle. And the right leg down at the side.

(12) Crane jump + Safety vault. So continue, left foot on to, right down at the side, you would plant your right hand down and have the right leg go through. (12a) Take time between the two movements. (12b) Planning ahead, you would land your left foot to the left of the object. Leaving space for your right hand to be in a comfortable safety vault position.

Cool-down:
Head stretches. Arm over head. Arm across chest. Hands behind back. Side. Stretch heels (use a wall). Stretch quads (use a wall, push hip forward). Floor stretches, focus on keeping back straight. Actually, even more so, pulling stomach forward... Or rolling something... it was difficult to try to do, let alone try to explain; but it was good to the hamstrings. So that was two legs forward. Then do same with one leg forward, switch. Do same with butterfly position. Then there was a yoga stretch. This one I can explain: Say you were sitting one leg forward one pulled in. Well keep the pulled in one and put your two hands to the sides of your knee. Propping yourself up on your arms, bring the leg that was forward around and behind you, so now it's facing down. So the leg that was pulled in, the heel of the foot should be close to the other leg's hip, and the toes of that foot pointed forward. You should feel a stretch in the quad or hamstring (I forget which) of the leg that's pulled in. If you need to feel the stretch lean forward. If there's too much tension somewhere, then back off.

Sore Spots:
Initially felt most sore around inner thigh, perhaps the adductor muscles. Likely due to the crane jump.
The next day, the soreness resides in biceps, pectoralis major, forearm, and a little near the shoulder blades.

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