Once you've seen the sweet moves of a Parkour adept cruising at high speed through the city, vaulting fences and tables at will and jumping from building to building, you might get a yearning to begin learning some Parkour moves yourself.
Parkour is name given to the ninja-like method moving around obstacles with speed, efficiency, and a generally a good deal of grace. The good news is that the basics of Parkour are pretty basic – running, jumping up, jumping down, jumping over, etc. – but the trick is to be able to then do all of those things one after another, and keep upright and moving.
As with all new things, it helps to master the basics before attempting the more difficult stuff. With that in mind, here are four Parkour moves that beginners can master quickly.
1. Jumping Up/Down
Many of the harder Parkour moves have a jump integrated into them, so working on your jumping skills is paramount. You can begin by jumping from the ground to a higher level (a bench is a good height to start with) with both feet and landing lightly and in control of your body. Jump back down with both feet, and repeat. (Stairs are great for this as well, as you can always jump one step higher, but they might also be a bit more dangerous for a total noob.)
Now jump with one foot leading you, again landing lightly and in control. Switch the lead foot with every repetition so your jumping skills are balanced. If that's too easy, take a small running start and make the jump while moving. Once you've got the hang of it, pick a higher level and repeat with both feet, and then again with one foot leading. Find a series of objects nearby that can be jumped on and off while you're running, and do a series of runs through them, going slow enough that you are still in control, but fast enough to keep it fun.
2. Jumping Over
Being able to jump right over an object without touching it or stopping is another key move in Parkour, and those same obstacles you jumped up on might also be great candidates for jumping over. When jumping over things, there are two aspects to it – jumping vertically to clear a tall object, and jumping horizontally to clear a large or long object – and many jumps will involve some of each. Take a small run up to an object and leap completely over it without slowing down or touching it, leading with one foot and lifting both legs to clear it, and continue running after landing.
More advanced Parkour moves include jumping over higher objects and landing with a roll, but just practicing landing confidently on your feet and being ready to continue your run is a great place to start, as landing properly is half of each jump. Once you've mastered some smaller objects, repeat with either a higher or a longer object to increase your skills, and set up a small course to run which includes both high jumps and long jumps.