Workouts Across the World: Parkour

| Fitness

world workouts

parkour woman
(Photo: Rising Traceuse)

While historically speaking, knowledge of this elusive sport has remained a secret to the mainstream, Parkour has begun to take our country by storm in recent years. We see this predominantly through movies like Casino Royale and Live Free or Die Hard, where the toned and sexy hero cleverly navigates the obstacles erected before him by performing a series of elaborate jumps, leaps, and other physical feats that leave us breathless. Well, good news ladies! That perfectly sculpted and powerful body is within your reach. French-inspired Parkour is a fantastic way to utilize your natural surroundings and get that lean, carved, and hot body that you crave.

Although it has been practiced by many cultures all across the world, Parkour was not actually defined until recently. Parkour originated in France in the 1980's as a structured form of exercise by a group of young men who referred to themselves as "Yamakasi," or "strong man, strong spirit." Because of the intense nature of Parkour, this group was seen as wild men by the locals.

Parkour Acrobat
(Photo: Wallpapers Design)

However, the true nature of Parkour is anything but wild. It is based on the French training method utilized by the military, and is intended as an obstacle course. George Hebert, a French soldier and a founder of Parkour, was inspired by the natives he encountered while he was serving in Africa. He admired the African people's physical abilities, especially the freedom of natural instinct, the stripping away of any sort of conditioning in order to return to the innate, and the effortless movement or "flow state" of the body. He utilized his experiences in Africa to create a new type of fitness, the "Natural Method," where exercise was based on the completion of obstacle courses, and fitness was measured by one's ability to completely control the body.

The purpose of Parkour is to get from one place to the next as efficiently and swiftly as possible. Participants must be able to navigate obstacles quickly in emergency situations. Parkour is very specific to an individual's physical abilities, and every obstacle course can be completed in a variety of different ways.

woman parkour

Parkour became more mainstream in the 1990's, even though it was surrounded by an aura of caution and risk. It can be incredibly dangerous for participants if they are not trained properly. Parkour consists of movements like flying leaps and jumps, and a whole range of physically trying moves that demand total control of the body. Practicing Parkour enhances physicality and knowledge of the body, so that a simple walk around the city can become an opportunity to push yourself to triumph over natural obstacles.

If you are looking for a way to improve your strength, speed, agility, coordination, stamina, endurance and precision, then it may be time for you to consider joining a Parkour team! Parkour is a full-body workout that can be adjusted for any level of fitness. It can give you that gorgeous, toned body and a boost of confidence, exhilaration and self-esteem that you may be missing out on during your routine trips to the gym!

For more information on Parkour, check out our sources: Parkour GenerationsParkourTrainParkour Visions, Rising Traceuse

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