Master the Urban Jungle: Skateboarding, BMX and Parkour
You don't always have to escape to the country to enjoy outdoor sports. Pick up a skateboard or a bike and embrace your natural, urban playground.
In addition to rolling, jumping, and landing, you need to learn to leap over obstacles using your hands. Here, two essential vaults to get you started:
Speed Vault: Run toward the obstacle in long strides. Use your hand as a momentum lever, press your hand down to help direct your feet down, and launch yourself over the obstacle.
Monkey Vault: Approach the obstacle in a straight line at a moderate speed. Reach forward a little more than an arm’s length away and plant both hands wide. Pass feet through your arms, leaning forward, and then let go as your feet clear the rail. Keep your chest up and arms behind you.
MF Interviews... NY Parkour's Exo
The gravity-defying discipline of parkour is unlike any form of movement on the planet. Based on military obstacle courses, parkour’s gritty origins hail from the ’burbs of Paris. Is it sport, is it art? Whatever you call it, this organic movement across the urban landscape is a one-way ticket to new heights. MF asked Exo, editorial director of NY Parkour, about this “no-man’s land” that spans from Paris to London to New York and even downtown Denver.
Men's Fitness: Parkour sort of reminds us of the martial-arts flicks we all watched in the ’70s and ’80s. What was the sport inspired by?
Exo: it must’ve been lodged in the subconscious for inspiration—that and comic books that we read as kids, especially in America. But more than that, i also like to think parkour is born out of our innate desire to move.
MF: How do guys who want to get into parkour start out?
Exo: You have to train to train. we emphasize agility and pliability for beginners. Yes, we won’t deny that you’ll need upper-body strength and explosive power, but the beauty is that parkour adapts to the user. the videos you see of us are equivalent to watching olympic gymnastics; but if you walk into a gymnastics school, everyone’s not doing that. Just like that and martial arts, parkour is scalable.
MF: And what about for people who can’t come to NY Parkour for instruction and “jams”?
Exo: Find someone who knows what they’re doing. there are classes and gyms across the country. sorry guys, jumping over fire hydrants while drunk isn’t parkour. practice safely, for real results.