What is Parkour and Why Should Kids Do It?
It's art, it's exercise, it's fun...it's Parkour!
by Mandy Trichell
Have you ever seen a bench or a picnic table around town and just wanted to jump on it? Perhaps your kids suddenly made a sprint and swung around a light pole. Those instincts are perfect for parkour. Kids love to jump around, and parkour teaches them how to do it safely and correctly. Instructors also show each student how to explore and control their potential with a smart, disciplined approach.
Parkour has a unique way of changing people's lives. The goal of parkour (also called l'Art du Deplacement) is to help that change be positive, progressive, lasting, and fun. It is one of the most fluid forms of exercise a person can get...if you can call it that!
Parkour combines street-smarts and body-smarts. People who train parkour (a traceur or traceuse) learn to interact with the world around them by creatively jumping, climbing, crawling, and even rolling. It's a physical art form of natural movement that is completely unscripted.
Having a hard time imagining just what parkour is? This video will give you a great sense of it:
Although parkour got its start with a few friends in France, it has developed into its own global movement. You may have seen parkour in movies such as Casino Royale and The Bourne Ultimatum.
While it's sometimes known as an urban "sport", it is not really a sport, nor is it confined to urban environments. "Parkour is exciting because there's no equipment or special programs needed. Just yourself, an obstacle, and the imagination to look at the world in a way that most people stop seeing after years of people telling them to 'sit down', or 'calm down', or being told 'get down from there,'" says Ryan Boren, one of Urban Movement's dedicated students.
Parkour can be as unique as each person engaging with it - using your body's momentum, strength and redistribution of weight to propel you up, over or forward. The method features obstacle-course-like actions that challenge you mentally and physically.
The U.S. is exploding with parkour movements as it becomes more popular with adults, teens and children. Check out this article on just how legitimate this relatively new discipline has become in the world of athletics.
Why not Google parkour near you and try it out?
© 2013 Mandy Trichell, NASM CPT. Mandy is the Chief Communications Officer for Urban Movement, headquartered in Houston, TX.
Enrolling your child in Urban Movement classes will encourage their natural character, help them develop mental and physical strength, and build the confidence to take on new challenges as they grow up
UMove's youth class (ages 7-13) is every Friday from 5:30-6:15 at Studio Fitness in The Heights, 2215 Lawrence, Houston, TX 77007. Indoor and Outdoor classes for ages 14+ are also available throughout the week. You can sign up for them here. If you have questions, please feel free to call UMove at 713-993-4151, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.