Parkour 20091121

So two weeks ago, my friend John went to a place down in Washington, D.C. called Primal Fitness where they have Parkour lessons. Somehow he got around to telling me about it and asked if I wanted to go. Let me tell you, he didn't have to ask me twice...

Now the workout space used to be a fire station, so there's plenty of area for movement. The group, Primal Fitness, has various equipment they have to set up for training Parkour. (1) Pull up bars (2) Two tall wooden boxes, one about 7 feet and the other about 11 feet (3) Wooden obstacles of various heights, about 3 feet by 1 feet on top and 3 feet by 1.5 on bottom (4) Rails they can set up (5) Lots of mats.

The have some other things as well, but you can do quite a bit just by rearranging things and being creative.

I suppose I have to do this...
WARNING: There's no way my summary of classes can substitute for actual instruction.

(1) Balancing on the cross bar (Three pieces of wood forming an H and you stand on the piece of wood attached to the other two) [20091211: These are referred to as Precision Trainers, See Photo at Parkour 20091205]. Balance on your toes. Squat. Close your eyes and try again. Balance on one leg. Close your eyes. Balance on the other leg. Close your eyes. (2) Run four blocks (One of the four is done backwards). (3) A little more on the cross bar. This included jumping from one to the next. There were about 10 people in the class and the bars were arranged in a circle. (4) Forward QM (quardrupedal movement) down and back. (5) Sideways QM down and back. (6) 10 pull-ups. Now these pull-ups focus on momentum. So you start by swinging your body forward and then as you begin to swing back, you pull yourself up.

Main Training:
(1) Started with rolling. Mats were laid out and we are told about side rolling versus front rolling. Though I haven't done it in a while, I was familiar with this type of rolling from Tae Kwon Do. (1a) One tip is to have one foot slightly ahead of the other when starting and that foot should stay ahead after the end of the roll. (1b) To adapt the roll to Parkour, one emphasizes that the motion should continue forward at the end of the roll. Either going into a run or another roll, for example.

(2) Safety vaults. The wooden obstacles were set-up and we learned to vault them. [20091211: See Photo at Parkour 20091128] Example: Left leg steps down and the block is there in front you. You slightly jump off the left, place your left hand on the block, then your right foot on the opposite end of the block. This is a stable position and you will have room underneath you for your left leg to pass through. You'll need to bend your left leg. After the left leg has passed through, you land on it and that's it. (2a) Start the move slowly, focusing on smoothness. Increase your speed as you feel more comfortable. It should feel as if you never stopped walking/jogging/running. (2b) Use the space of the object. Like I mentioned above, these obstacles were about 3 feet wide, so we were advised to plant one foot near one end and the hand on the other. (2c) Practice both sides. (2d) With the vaults, you want to minimize excessive upward movement. Hence, try to keep more of the motion forward. (2d) See next week's practice.

(3) After a roll, turn and run the opposite direction. So say the roll started left leg forward. Then after the roll, your left leg is still forward and instead of running straight ahead, you would make a turn to your right (clockwise), and run in the direction you rolled from.

(4) Combining Safety vaults and rolling. It started off simple. A mat, and then a block, and then a mat. There were two of these set up side to side, so that you could do a sequence of roll, vault, roll, roll, vault, roll. But then we could mix it up. And then another block was added. And another mat. Every once in a while something was added. But the ideas were the same, rolling and vaulting.

(5) A square cube, about 3 ft by 3 ft by 3ft was introduced, a mat laid over the top and sides of it. The idea is to hop onto the cube, planting your hands as you would a roll on the ground. Roll on the cube. And by the end of the roll, your behind is near the edge, at which point you slide off the cube.

Various push-ups. Head stretch. Side stretch. Various other common stretches. Some new stretches.

Sore Spots:
A lot of my body was sore, but not as sore as when I tried to do wrestling one day in high school. In any case, the majority of the soreness was on the shoulders and along the sides. It might not have just been soreness, because my left shoulder was noticeably bruised. But the bruise cleared up after a day or two.

[Actual Post Date and Time 11/28/09 11:50 PM]

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