Imagine running halfway up a brick wall and propelling off of it in a Bruce Lee inspired back flip while yelling “Parkour!” O.k. maybe you can’t see yourself doing quite that. Let’s face it, there’s the whole “Expectation vs. Reality” thing. But you can take a cue from Parkour and mix it up with some outdoor exercises. Parkour? Flip it to “OurPark…ing lot.” See what I did there? Now it’s doable.
Flip Parkour on Its Head With These Outdoor Exercises
I’m talking about looking at your run-of-the-mill outdoor environment with fresh eyes and using those curbs and sidewalks you take for granted (or a typical aerobic step, a wall and an open floor) as a fitness playground. The fundamental goal in Parkour is to move quickly and creatively. Let’s roll!
Before you start your workout inside the gym, hang around the parking lot for the first half of your workout and try these outdoor exercises:
Do you see a decent stretch of pavement? Run it. Turn around and skip. Repeat.
Think you might feel foolish skipping? Have you ever seen anyone skip without smiling? Seriously. It makes you so darn happy you won’t care how you look. Plus, skipping helps running speed and form. Bonus? It makes your gluts look fantastic.
Karaoke Sidewalk Swing
No, you don’t have to sing. Same name, different thing. Karaoke is an extended grapevine that improves agility. Moving sideways, right leg crosses front, then crosses behind, etc. Turn and face the other way to lead with your left foot when you’re halfway down the stretch. Repeat.
Leap forward from pavement crack to crack to increase bounding skills.
Time to Curb Your Enthusiasm. And, by that, I mean use the curb enthusiastically to improve balance and speed.
Walk it like a Balance Beam
moving quickly forward, backward, and sideways. No curb? No problem. Use a line on the floor.
Toe Touch Hop
Quickly tap alternating toes on the curb (or a step) while moving laterally down the line. Reverse. Repeat.
Now head inside the gym for the Grand Finale- the Piece de Resistance- the thing that will make you feel like Jeanne Claude Freaking Van Damme!
The Handstand Wall Climb
Stand a body length away from a wall. Squat with your back to the wall and place your hands on the ground. Place one foot on the wall behind you. Tighten your core and place the other foot on the wall so you are holding a plank position. Walk your feet up the wall as you move your hands toward the wall. Keep going until you are in a handstand. Now what? Tell yourself you’re a Rockstar. Stay tight and walk your hands away and your feet down the wall until you are back in the plank position. Slowly place your feet to the ground and stand up. Try it again.
Stretch, shower (because if your life is anything like mine, the gym’s showers are nicer than the one at home), whisper “Parkour” once and you’re done!