Warning: Old Dude Trying Parkour

So I mentioned a while back that I was going to start working on Parkour-type exercises to move my training along for the Obstacle Course Racing season in 2016. Thanks to the new book Parkour Strength Training: Overcome Obstacles for Fun and Fitness by Ryan Ford and Ben Musholt, that is becoming more of a reality. No more working off of YouTube videos and occasional articles I have run into, this is a very comprehensive book with discussions on warm-ups, posture and positioning, great fundamentals (which is where I am now) with plenty of careful progressions for each exercise, and more.  It’s fantastic stuff, and I’ll have a review of it once I’ve had a chance to get all the way through it.

One thing I did like a lot was his mention of who might be the target audience for the book – one of them was, indeed, obstacle course racers.  It was excellent to know that he had us in mind when he wrote it to some extent!

So today, I’m sharing a video for everyone to see just what I was working on this morning – the three basic exercises for increasing muscle development to do this Parkour stuff!  Well, at least two of them.

The three exercises that Ford and Musholt recommend to get started are air squats, pull-ups, and dips – to be specific, wall dips.  I have to admit I was a bit surprised that push-ups weren’t mentioned in this book as one of the basics… but when you look at the movement (which you can see my version of in the clip below), it’ll make a bunch of sense why it’s preferred over the more common push-up.

Unfortunately, the pull-up video didn’t turn out due to the darkness (yes, I’m still working out before the sun comes up during the winter) so you don’t get to see me try to do those (and not do well, by the way).  This video will contain just the wall dips and air squats plus some commentary from me on how they went and what I’m learning from the experience thus far.  I’m assuming you know what pull-ups are so that shouldn’t be a huge deal.

I apologize – it’s a little hard to see everything in the video – it is oh-dark-thirty and all.  I specifically wore that green-sleeved fleece so that you could see my arm action against the tan torso on it, I hope that helps.  It seemed to, though it’s hard to see if I actually got all the way down to touch my sternum to the wall.  I can’t honestly remember if I did, so I probably didn’t.  Something to work on, for sure.

Parkour Strength Chapter 3 Challenge Accepted!

Chapter 3, where Ford and Musholt introduced these exercises and their progressions, offered up a Challenge for moving forward in the book to more difficult stuff:  10 Air Squats, Four Wall Dips, and Two Dead Hang Pull-ups.  I am pleased that I was able to complete two of these – the pull-ups are still under construction.  But that’s okay – it gives me time to develop the other two as well.  The squats are not a problem – I’ve been doing those for a while.  And doing the wall dips is going pretty well, too – I’m sure my form could be better, but I will let some of the Parkour experts out there critique that.  I was able to do the four, so refining my form is the key thing now.

The pull-ups are where I knew I’d be having problems but that’s fine, too.  I worked on doing some jumping pull-ups with negative repetitions coming down, and that’ll help to build that strength.

I will keep you posted – and hope you’ll share some videos of yourself trying these exercises out!

Are you interested in trying out some Parkour?  Have you ever done exercises like these?  Let’s talk about it below!