Fredericksburg Ninja: Beginner parkour mistakes to avoid
Parkour can be a dangerous activity, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is why aspiring traceurs would have to be willing to dedicate hundreds of hours of their lives to training. If people were just to decide to do parkour without any form of practice or lessons from experienced traceurs, they won’t know what they’re supposed to do or worse, injure themselves.
That’s why here at Fredericksburg Ninja, we want you to be the best traceurs that you can be and we’re able to do this by providing some easy to follow tips, guides and more. In this blog, we want to focus on the most common mistakes that we see with beginners so that you can avoid committing them.
Not warming up
Parkour is an athletic activity that requires you to use almost every muscle in your body. This is why we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to warm up before engaging in it. Rookies always make the mistake of being overly excited to the point where they skip warmups which can be dangerous because it can cause muscle cramps and more.
Doing warm-ups before engaging in athletic activities such as parkour allows your body to get conditioned before being used strenuously. This is important because it ensures that every muscle in your body has proper blood circulation which can greatly reduce the chances of injuries.
It will also optimize your body so that it can perform more efficiently for extended periods without feeling fatigued. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to feel muscle cramps in the middle of your run, especially if you’re climbing. This can easily disorientate you causing you to panic which can lead to worse injuries.
A warm-up should last for about five to ten minutes to ensure that every area of your body is supplied with the right amount of oxygen and that you’ll have a better range of motion. To help you get started, here are some of the most common warm-ups that you can do to stretch your muscles:
Static stretching involves you stretching different parts of your body for a specific amount of time while staying in place. This loosens your muscles which improves your body’s mobility. Here are some of the examples of static stretching:
- Triceps stretches
- Hip flexor stretches
- Lying hamstring stretches
Warmup exercises are the best way to condition your body for more strenuous activities. Before you can start doing different parkour moves, consider doing these exercises first:
- Side lunges
- Triceps warmups
- Jogging leg lifts.
Not wearing the proper gear
One of the most important things that beginners commonly overlook is not wearing the proper gear. Sometimes, those who are getting into parkour are just in it for the sake of looking cool and don’t recognize the technicality behind its different movements.
For you to perform the wide array of moves involved in parkour, you’d have to be equipped with the right gear. When it comes to this activity, the general rule of thumb is to choose functionality over style.
Always remember that your body should be able to move freely without any kinds of restrictions this means that you should clothing pieces such as tight-fitting jeans or tops. If you do need to wear something tight, we recommend workout clothes such as fleece pants because they still allow your body to move without restrictions.
As for the shoes, there are pairs of sneakers that are specifically designed for parkour. They are notably lighter than any other kind of shoe but they still give your feet the support that they need when it comes in contact with different surfaces.
If you don’t want the design of parkour shoes, a pair of lightweight running shoes will still give you the breathability and comfortability that you need. Just make sure that it’s sturdy and durable enough to withstand the several beatings that it will inevitably take during training. Avoid wearing boots, canvas sneakers and basketball shoes because they’ll be deemed useless in parkour.
Beginner traceurs skip protective gear because they think it makes them look weak or scared but this can’t be further from the truth. This just means that you recognize the danger that comes with parkour and you prioritize your safety and overall health.
The great thing about the protective gear that you need to wear in parkour is that they’re lightweight and they won’t hinder you from making any kinds of movements. Here are some of the most important pieces of protective gear that every beginner should own:
With parkour, you’ll have to climb various walls and jump from one ledge to another. Sometimes, the surface of these obstacles is jagged which leaves your wrist prone to scratches. The last thing you need during parkour are bleeding wrists that’s why we recommend you get a pair of durable wristbands.
When it comes to gloves, you first have to assess the situation before wearing them. There are certain situations where you’d need to wear protective gloves such as in rough terrains or jagged ledges.
On the other hand, when it just finished raining and the majority of the surfaces are wet, gloves can easily ruin your grip which can cause you to fall.
Not knowing your limits
Another common mistake the rookie traceurs make is that they don’t know when to stop. They push themselves to get better to the point where they don’t stop training until their body gives out on them.
Too much of anything is bad and that is especially true in parkour. Pushing yourself to your limit is great motivation but at the same time, you need to know your body’s limitations. Once you start feeling out of breath or if you feel like you can’t do more moves, listen to your body and take a break.
Taking breaks is a hundred times better than passing out in the middle of your training. This may develop certain diseases in your body which can leave you unable to perform parkour anymore.
Not keeping it safe
It’s normal for beginners to feel excited when they’re starting. They may see some of the advanced moves that veterans do and make them eager to try them immediately. Instead, you should stick to basics at first so you can be at your safest state.
As motivated as you are to push yourself to the limit, it’s always important to keep it safe. You can always move on to the advanced stuff when you start to get better the more you practise. If you rush yourself and immediately move on to the more advanced moves, you may end up hurting yourself which can lead you to be unable to do this activity anymore.
Also, getting injured isn’t only limited to broken bones. When your body aches, this usually means that you’re putting too much pressure and damage on yourself. If this happens to you, we would advise you to take a break for a few days or so until you get back in good shape.
Not plotting a route
What most people don’t realize is that the parkour videos that they see online aren’t done in one take. These routes are carefully plotted by the traceurs and they practise their routine thoroughly to achieve the smooth flow of movements that you see in the end product.
Practising your route over and over again will help you do it without falling or getting hurt which is part of the goal of parkour. This can also help you figure out which stance you’re going to use and which moves will be perfect to connect with each other.
At the start of your run, you should already have a point A and point B because this will help you figure out your route. Not plotting a route will make you feel lost and you won’t get the smooth effect that you see with veteran parkour artists.
Not checking the surface
One of the things that you don’t see in these videos is them checking the surface of the ledges, walls and rails that they’ll be using. This can help them prepare their routine and make several adjustments if they need to.
For example, if it recently rained, they can check the surfaces to see if they’re still wet so that they’d know to be more careful around those parts. The same goes for surfaces that are jagged or spiky, traceurs can avoid severe injuries just by checking the surfaces of their route.
Knowing these mistakes and how to avoid them is important because they’ll help you stay safe and be more efficient in this activity. Even if you haven’t started practising some fancy moves, it would still be better to have this knowledge at your disposal.