May 01, 2006
Parkour is about movement with a mindset of efficiency, pure and simple. The fact is, this mindset is developed through action, through experience of the movements. It is much the same for martial arts: many of the benefits come from an eventual understanding gained through practice, but there is no practice without learning the basic moves first. That being said, it’s time to combine the ideas behind Parkour (CrossFit Journal issue 43) and the safety precautions (issue 44) with a solid foundation in the fundamental movements. We’ll start with the basic two-handed vault, which is the foundation of most vaulting, and then move to the speed vault and lazy vault, two functional techniques for overcoming a variety of obstacles.
First things first, since it can’t be overstated: start off every training session by ensuring the safety of the objects and environments you plan to incorporate. Make a habit of having a good warm-up, starting with basic calisthenics and moving to more dynamic movement (for a great treatise on a proper warm-up, see CFJ issue 11).