Has Covid-19 Accidentally Helped Parkour?
Rarely do calamities have a positive impact on society, and COVID-19 has not been any different. The drastic effects on the economies across the world have been devastating, but the parkour community might have just found a silver living even with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Has Covid-19 Accidentally Helped Parkour?
Many people are guilty of binging on Netflix and getting hooked on online games or mobile slots, especially during this quarantine period. The world is relearning how to live and conduct business in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the parkour community is no different.
With most businesses closed and sadly, some going under, we are in a dire crisis. If you have not been directly affected financially, you sure know about someone who has been affected by the pandemic. Moreover, all major and minor sporting events have been canceled or postponed. Would you believe that something good is happening in the parkour community? In this article, we’ll explore these wonderful unintentional changes for parkour practitioners, even in the midst of the pandemic. Let’s get started.
A Surge in Solo Training
Your ability to thrive in parkour when training with a group of friends cannot be underrated. Gyms and local sports centers allowed us to create a training community; however, that’s no longer possible in most places. But did you know that you can still train alone? People have done it effectively before starting to train with friends. Just because we are social distancing, it doesn’t mean that you have to get rusty. Solo training is now picking up momentum, and rightly so.
Professional parkour athletes are rediscovering training solo with teams such as Motus and Storror uploading their content religiously. The guides to upcoming athletes have been a welcome relief with step-by-step how-to parkour videos. Solo sessions are a vital aspect of healthy training in parkour. They offer practitioners the opportunity to truly focus and work on their weaknesses. In addition, solo practice is one of the best ways to find appreciation and improve your movement.
There’s a new level of intimacy to the sport when it’s just the athlete and their camera. As you follow them through the rails, walls, and benches, you feel like you are struggling with them through those hurdles and feel the rush as they succeed. Besides, the capturing of the parkour culture on camera is offering some much-needed distraction during this quarantine period. Let’s now take a look at some of the tips for solo training:
No doubt watching the vlogs has challenged you to get back to the sport. Solo training allows us to self-explore and get better and grow to championship levels. Furthermore, with the ongoing pandemic and most people staying indoors, there are lots of places you can go for solo training. If you are thinking of starting a solo practice, we have a few tips for you:
- Pick Your Training Spots Wisely
Presently, there are many options for training spots, given that many people are self-isolating. The secret is to pick the best place to make the most out of your session. You may have been doing this a few times, and you feel like you want to challenge yourself, just like an offer to win real money. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, for solo training, you need to learn to pace yourself to avoid feeling disappointed. Iconic hurdles will still be there.
That said, to ensure your safety, steer clear from high-touch surfaces such as railings, playground equipment, and benches. Wash your hands before and even after training. Also, get a sanitizer containing 70 percent alcohol.
- Remember, Simple is Good
Start with simple jumps. The first rule is to pick 5×5. This is where you choose one challenge with an increase in difficulty and practice to complete each challenge five times. If you want to get the best out of the exercise, do the five challenges in a row. As you build your strength and expertise, increase to 10×10 until you can transform the exercise into a full training session. The beauty of a starting slow is watching your strength and endurance levels increase.
- Lastly, Appreciate Your Progress
Like any training exercise, training parkour demands that you keep honing the basic skills. From balance to speed and executing the jumps flawlessly. Recording parkour videos as you train can allow you to look at your technique to see where you are going wrong, and know if you need to focus more as you train. Once you understand your body’s performance, you will be able to come up with variations to your routine that will help you build your skills. Whether you will need to work more on your balancing skills, increase your speed, or increased your strength, solo training will work to your advantage.
Reconnecting with Classic Videos
Staying indoors has given parkour enthusiasts and the parkour community at large a chance to reconnect with the classics. You can indulge in the invaluable resources that will get you unlimited entertainment, not to mention the motivation as well as context for coaching and training they come with.
Just like any sport, parkour history is rich. Various enthusiasts of the sport, such as Jimmythegiant, have been releasing great parkour content. They have extended from covering the history and culture to parkour philosophy. Some of the useful video resources include jump London, generation Yamakasi, and Jump Britain.
If you love to get your hands on any information regarding a sport you are interested in, you can look up parkour media to add to your library. From exciting, motivating and highly engaging videos found on YouTube and other social media sites, to interesting books to read. For instance, Julie Angel’s Breaking the Jump, a short story, Rise by Gabe Arnold, and Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes, by Christopher McDougall. Others include Brandon Douglass’ Height Drop, Method hosted by Kent Johns, and The Motus Podcast hosted by Giles and Kelan.
Lessons from COVID
Yes, you have taken time to watch old classics, catch up with parkour media, and mostly do solo training. Further, this pandemic has given the parkour community new opportunities to learn, such as:
- As a practitioner, you have been blessed with enough time to work on your weaknesses. Free parkour training, as well as great paid exercises, are available for all to use. You get to work on breathing exercises or mobility by going through those training programs.
- Believe it or not, COVID has shown us what we need to change to protect the sport’s future.
- Hopefully, business owners and content creators who depend on parkour directly have learned how they can protect themselves in the future. In the same breath, online classes teaching parkour philosophy of resilience have gained tremendously from the pandemic.
All in all, parkour resonates with the philosophy of Bruce Lee, ‘be like water.’ The parkour community has had to adapt to stay afloat during the pandemic.
The closure of business and significant events has dealt a huge blow to many supported by this discipline. However, we have also seen the individual growth of parkour athletes, for instance, through training solo. The younger generation and upcoming athletes can now take advantage of going through the tutorial videos while at home to learn everything about parkour. It is about overcoming obstacles and great challenges. While we’re presently facing challenging times, the parkour community is undoubtedly adaptable and resilient and will find a way of continuing to thrive. As a parkour practitioner, how has COVID-19 helped you? Feel free to share your experiences with us.
Thomas Glare is a student of Movement in all its forms. He has a particular love of Parkour and Freerunning. Trained as a fitness professional and currently pursuing a masters degree in Human Movement, his goal in life is to find the connections between movement, emotion, and soul.