Jumping off blocks, leaping over obstacles and lifting things are just some of the exhilarating ways you can get fit in new Parkour classes
Not many sports involve climbing walls, jumping from rooftop to rooftop and performing other stunts that remind you of a Jason Bourne movie. Of course, some may argue that performing those actions is less about sport, and more about reserving a bed at your local hospital. However, Parkour is not only growing in popularity, the sport has just launched new classes aimed at regular people who want to get fit with something a little different.
Parkour is basically about traveling from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Essentially, it’s doing whatever works in any given situation to complete the task at hand. According to Dan Edwardes, the director of Parkour Generations, parkour is ‘an art of movement. It’s a way of training your body and mind through adapting to terrain.’
While training in the ‘art’ of parkour, you’ll develop skills and strengths, especially your coordination, balance, spatial awareness, courage, discipline, perception and self-mastery. However, one thing parkour is extremely good at is helping people to develop their confidence.
As you’re exposed to new challenges, risks and obstacles, you use the tools and means given to you by parkour to overcome, and in turn, gain a deep sense of self-knowledge, discovering who you are and what you’re capable of.
‘There is a risk to all movement training and all athletic training, and there should be. That risk gives you competence, it gives you physical and mental confidence. But it’s about learning how to manage that risk and gradually progress to it so that you’re always in control.’ Edwardes explained.
Okay, so maybe you aren’t actually re-enacting an intense building to building hop like in the movies. You’re training in a gym, and if you’re in London, that gym is probably the Chainstore Parkour Academy, minutes away from Canary Wharf in East London. The academy is the UK’s first dedicated parkour centre, and it’s open every day of the week.
The true beauty of the sport is that absolutely anyone can do parkour. The Chainstore Parkour Academy offers classes for all ages, body types, and genders. Classes are offered for children, adults and female-only classes.
‘At the moment about 25 to 30 percent of the practitioners are women in the UK, which doesn’t sound like a lot but considering seven or eeight years ago it was maybe one percent women, it’s leaped hugely and is continuing to grow,’ Edwardes said of female involvement in the sport.
So if you’re looking for a new challenge that’s fun, empowering and fulfilling, check out Parkour Generations and take a class. Not ready to tackle a parkour class? No problem. The Chainstore Parkour Academy also has facilities for functional fitness, dance, and other physical activities.
Find a class here
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