Can Parkour Training Help with Other Sports?
Athletic training can be intense and parkour is no exception. Athletes everywhere train hard to improve the strength and skills they need. Practicing parkour has helped strengthen our fast-twitch muscles, increase co-ordination, and improve body control (ie jumps, vaults, flips, etc.). Although these skills are fundamental to a traceur’s development, there are some great side effects that are transferable to other sports.
During team contact sports (like soccer, ultimate frisbee, and basketball), it’s common to lose your balance when challenged by an opponent. Injuries can happen when it gets rough and you’re knocked down. Training your landings, parkour rolls, and recovery from falls helps avoid twisted ankles, knees, or other injuries. As in parkour, when you roll you minimize your risk of injury. Check out this video to learn what can happen when you don’t roll. You can even take it further: ‘ukemi’ is a part of martial arts where practitioners train in ‘the art of falling’. Simply, this means training yourself to recover safely when you take an unexpected fall (or an unexpected attack from an opponent).
Bursts of speed and agility come more easily after training parkour jumps and vaults. There aren’t many sports that require vaulting over an obstacle, but there are plenty that require changing direction quickly and reacting to evolving situations during a game (like, volleyball, football, or field hockey). Being able to control your movements and avoid opponents, outrun them, or to reach the ball first, gives you an advantage. It’s fast-twitch muscles that give you the advantage: they give you explosive power so you can jump higher, change direction quickly, and react faster than your opponents. When training for parkour you build these muscles to vault higher, react to obstacles, jump farther, and move quickly.
A developed parkour vision lets you see opportunities in other sports by training you to truly see your environment and the different ways you can use it. When you practice parkour you train your creativity. Finding the perfect practice place takes creativity, applying this same line of thinking can give you better angles or advantages in other sports.
Training for parkour makes you a better traceur. As you improve as a traceur, you improve as an athlete and the skills you develop can be applied to many different sports, activities, and everyday situations.
Parkour as a way of life? Maybe this isn’t far from the truth.