February 01, 2007
When I last left you (CrossFit Journal, Issue 51), I had gathered all of the foundation movements into a compendium, outlining some of the most common errors and some effective training to overcome those stumbling blocks. That was all well and good during the warmer months, but now it's February, and the cold, ice, wind, and/or the lack of useful daylight are all conspiring to inhibit regular Parkour training. Training in a variety of environmental elements is good practice, but it's unreasonable to think that a practitioner who is shaky on the basics in perfect conditions might be willing to train the basics in inclement weather. However, without frequent exposure to the movements, the technique that seemed easy in the fall might be harder when you pick it up again come spring. This month, then, I'll talk about some common uses of gymnastics equipment for indoor training that will allow you and those you coach to continue to train technique.
If you have a gymnastics training facility in your area, you're in luck. Though these gyms pay their rent from relatively expensive gymnastics training, they quite often have an hour or two, one or two nights a week, reserved for open gym, where anybody can pay a small flat rate and play for a while. Before we opened our facility, Primal Fitness in Washington, D.C., this was the most common place to find a large group of traceurs in the winter months after an all-day training session. With large open space and plentiful padding, you can work a variety of movements that you might otherwise find impossible to build up the courage for outside. Over the years, we have devised a number of methods for converting common gymnastics apparatus into Parkour- specific training tools. This allows productive Parkour training on objects not originally intended for such a purpose.