Parkour was never invented by anyone, it's always been here.

Sébastien FoucanFounder of freerunning and an early developer of parkour.

It looks extreme, urban, underground, gritty and inaccessible. Appearances can be misleading.

Parkour is one of the disciplines that everyone should add to their active diet.

At its essence, it’s the art of moving from one point to another as efficiently and quickly as possible, using the abilities of the human body.

You were born to seek thrills, but society may have edged that out of you. It’s time to unleash your inner thrill-seeker. It takes time, but the learning curve is fast and the goal is the exhilaration when you finally land that high altitude jump or propel yourself up over a wall that you thought humans should never be able to reach. Today is the start of your journey towards standing on top of the world.

Parkour is about reconnecting with our bodies and minds and realising that we are infinitely more physically capable than we allow ourselves to be. Society sits us down from the moment we start school. We forget the most basic things – how to climb, do handstands, land on our feet.

The most beautiful thing about learning Parkour is that we re-calibrate our and sharpen our sense of spatial awareness and judgement. We become better at assessing distance and heights.

Grown ups possess more fear than is legitimate. We worry about dying, hurting ourselves, embarrassment and a million other things.

How

The experts always suggest taking a class with trained instructors to learn the basics. Getting hurt or pushing yourself too hard to begin with, is a surefire way of making sure that you’ll quit before you ever learn to vault.

A search on Facebook can find you FREE training groups. Women only training groups are also great for starters. Parkour classes can be expensive. There is a moral balance between paying for an instructor who can help you progress safely and quickly, versus the fact that Parkour is often practised in urban settings where everyday objects are completely free to access.

As with climbing, men tend to use brute strength rather than technique, which is why a course is highly recommended.

Youtube is also great for tutorials, but without someone to assess your form, you run the risk of sustaining injuries or ingraining bad habits that hold you back later on.

You should start building up a core level of fitness separate from your Parkour training. This includes cardio, strength and flexibility.

What

Whether you decide to go it alone or take classes, there’s always the trusty Youtube to turn to for additional tips and tricks.

The Tapp Brothers have created some decent free and paid resources and guides. The Ronnie Street Stunts channel also houses tonnes of videos. As with any training, don’t just stick to one instructor. Variety is the key to mastery.

The basics are critical. Don’t go for broke. Have patience. Learn the beginner skills and get these right.

When

They say routine becomes habit after 66 days, right?

Practising Parkour about three days a week seems to be the go, but keep these sessions to about an hour or so, rather than living and breathing it for hours at a time. That’s the fast lane to an ACL tear or muscle strain. Let your body recover. Consistency rather than overdoing it, is the motto.

Where

The world is your playground.

Low metal rails surround a lot of public parks and are great for traversing, landing on, finding balance and crawling. Higher rails are great for vault work, cat passes, etc.

Brick and cement walls of any height are perfect for wall climbs, jumps and vaults.

Monkey bars can be used in the intended way to strengthen your shoulders, but get on top of them for a quadrupedal crawl. Don’t forget that you can also practice chin and pull ups.

Quadrupedal movements build strength, endurance and coordination. It works the entire body – your wrists, core, back, legs. The ability to move around effectively on all four limbs is vital and can be practised at anywhere, even getting from the bedroom to the kitchen. Read up on the proper technique.

Staircases and your sofa lounge at home are pretty cool devices for practising vaults and jumps.

Bouldering and rock climbing is brilliant for building upper body control, wrist and grip strength.

Train not to get something right. Train so that you can never get it wrong.

David BelleFrench actor, film choreographer, stunt coordinator and Parkour pioneer.

There’s so much that our bodies are born to do, but never get to fully experience.

The Parkour or free running movement has had its ebbs and flows. The sport hit its growth peak in the early 2000’s and has maintained a fairly steady following since. It’s definitely here to stay.

There’s plenty of resources out there for the willing, so there’s no better time to get started.