If you’re anything like me, you probably first heard the word “parkour” and imagined some sort of vastly posh mode of putting your vehicle into a state of immobility whilst you take care of various errands. Like “valet,” but with more pizazz.
My good friend and newly minted ZAP Strategist Larz Yerian was thoughtful enough to be concerned about all our safety in the event of zombies. He’s even got the answer to the question of what you do when you’ve got a half-decayed once-human dribbling unmentionable viscera on the pavement and heading your way with a groan.
You use parkour and get your ass out of there.
There is a slumping behind you and some gross gurgling. You run down the street, glad that you’ve improved your endurance over the years. But more creatures appear down the side streets, hemming you in. You backtrack, only to face the original zombie. They fumble toward you, dead eyes glinting hungrily.
The ledge to your left! One foot there to propel you toward the railing of the fire escape, then over the railing and up the stairs. But the building is still surrounded, so from the roof a quick dash and a jump to the next building’s roof with a nice roll. Parkour just saved you from being zombified.
Parkour, you think, that’s hard! Sure, but like any physical activity, you start gradually and work your way upward. And you too can be a traceur (practitioner of parkour).
Parkour isn’t about crazy flips and dangerous tricks. It’s about moving efficiently from one place to the next regardless of what may be in the way.
So let’s go over some basics that could save your life eventually, but for now are just a fun way to work out.
There are several sorts of vaults, and their purpose is to get you over a low
obstacle in an upright position. I’ll let Epic explain the basic progression on the most basic vaults.
Wall Runs and Climb-Ups
This combination of moves will get you up a taller wall. Again, Epic has the best tutorials.
On that particular wall, Epic turned it into a sort of vault at the end and swung his legs to the side to land lower than the original wall. Alternatively, if the wall does not drop off, or if it drops off too far, you should ‘top out’ by planting both feet symmetrically between your hands on the edge.
Landing and Rolls
Perhaps the most important part of parkour is how to land safely.
Simply jumping off something is a good way to sprain and ankle or hurt knees, especially after doing so repeatedly. Again, Epic shows us how best to land and roll.
But it’s hard to just jump right into all of these moves. That’s where conditioning comes in. The two most important exercises are simple: push-ups and pull-ups. However there are a few more good ideas, so we turn to my instructor, Ryan Ford as he walks us through many important parkour conditioning exercises.
Follow this link for a list of beginner conditioning videos. Each one works a certain area of the body for more efficient movements.
So that’s it. Mastering these moves and conditioning with these techniques will place you well ahead of the pack. And ideally, parkour shouldn’t cost you a dime. You don’t need a gym membership, only some useful architecture and the willingness to get banged up at first.
Your wrists and ankles may become a bit sore. Rolling may induce some dizziness. Anything on bars will cause calluses and even blisters. Progress slowly. The pain goes away and it’s definitely worth it in the end.
Don’t become a zombie. Become a traceur.
Strategist Yerian is a long time friend of mine, writer, and fitness enthusiast. He kicks ass. You should follow his blog.