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reddit: parkour beginners-guide & starting flips guide



Rogueoperative’s Guide to Starting Parkour Version 0.7

This is my beginner traceur/traceuse resource post. I pretty consistently update, modify, and repost it in various short forms around /r/parkour and I'll keep doing so, but this is something you can link to when the next wave of new potential traceurs comes through the subreddit asking how to start. It is not meant to be a comprehensive post about parkour, but it should nudge you in the right direction (Spoiler alert: Outside, not the internet, is the right direction). Get it? Reading this will give you an idea of what you can start doing today to be considered a parkour practitioner from here on out.

First off, if you have the option to train with other people who already know what they’re doing, do it. Now. No excuses. No youtube. Go find them, buy them food, and hang out with these people. They’ll take care of you.

If you don't have a group to plug in with from the start because you can’t find one or you’re terrified of social interaction, I suggest checking out these resources to get some of the basic techniques down. Better yet, go find three like-minded friends and have them go through these resources with you. Don’t send them a link. Go get them, feed them, and go through everything together in person. You’re going to be a lot more excited to go out and train if you’re not hitting the pavement alone. I promise.


I want to know the moves…

    Jesse La Flair's basic technique tutorials (videos)
    Parkourpedia: Basic technique tutorials (pdfs/images/text)
    Rolling like a boss/ParkourUkemi


…but what do I do with all that?

    Parkour, literally part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4
    Nothing is Something


    Rogueoperative’s Techniques of the Trade

    Rogueoperative's Top 3 Parkour/Freerunning Youtube Channels SHADE Manchester Parkour GUP

Let’s talk shop!

Here is the reality of beginning parkour: You can go out on Day 1 and, assuming you're reasonably fit and healthy, perform virtually all of the basic parkour techniques. Practicing parkour isn't so much about trying to learn that new advanced technique as it is to combine and tweak very basic techniques in long sequences.

It really helped me when I was just starting out to make a formal list of 5 techniques that I wanted to master and then drill them purposefully for a couple months. Otherwise, I knew I'd catch myself nailing things once or twice and considering them mastered if I didn't artifically limit my pace. Parkour is a lot about fine body control. It takes time to truly train your body to perform how you want it to. It's going to be tempting to walk outside, read safety vault on your handy dandy little list, step over something and say you've mastered it. You haven't. And you're going to be sorely disappointed when you go to your first jam and realize you know nothing. You need to play with those basic techniques until you've made them your own. More on this later.

But what about flips?

What about flips? If you want to learn them, go learn them. It will challenge your body and mind. That's good. If you ever see anything labelled 'Parkour vs. Freerunning' avoid it like the plague. If you don't and I see you mixed up in some stupid debate about the delineation of the two, that's bad.

But where can I train?!? D:

    Outside: Local fitness trails, playgrounds without children, nature, man-made things.

    Inside: Open gymnastics gyms, your living room.

If you can jump on or near it without breaking anything, getting shot at, or being asked to lave, you can train parkour there. People make this complicated for no reason whatsoever.

What should I spend my time doing?

Work on the microscale and work on the macroscale.

The Microscale:

    Individual techniques. We discussed this above. Choose a few and get to work on them.

    Stay fit to keep doing the things you love, not just for the sake of being fit. Pay attention to your whole body and your mental health. Be positive. Put good things in your body. Get outside and do things. Read this: Fit for a Purpose. Check out some Demon Drills and nature challenges for ideas on bodyweight drills. Learn to planche. It's fun. Too easy? Get over to /r/bodyweightfitness. and learn all the good things we discuss over there. Look at Beast Skills, feel jealous, and get on that guy's level. Think you've reached the peak of human strength already? I guarantee you have not. Consider taking up barefoot running.

The Macroscale:

    This is where many traceurs fall short. Everybody spends so much time focusing on specific moves and short sequences, that they forget the ultimate goal of parkour - to get from one location to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. Not from one location to another, conveniently close location. ANY location to ANY location. Make it a game. Choose somewhere on the horizon and get there in as straight a line as possible. Do this regularly.


This is what I would tell you if I knew you in person.

    Buy yourself a halfway decent pair of tennis shoes (I like Onitsuka Tiger's Ultimate 81s. Read here if you're interested in minimalist shoes.) and some walmart/target/cheap loose fitting sweatpants with a drawstring and then don't think about gear again. You don't need anything to start parkour. If you feel the need to buy something, get a $20 pullup bar to throw in the doorway of your room. Max out your reps every time you go in and out.
    Go try techniques out for yourself. Don't rely on the internet for your information. Go do things! The human body is awesome. Use it. Experiment to find out what works and what doesn't. You'll increase your body awareness in so many ways. Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better. Movement can be an insanely fulfilling expression of art.
    Always keep drilling the basics. Over and over again. Can you safety vault like a pro? Great! Now make sure you can do it on both sides and control the distance you're vaulting. Work to double that distance. Now link it to two other moves. Can you do those on all sides? Can you do them barefoot at 3AM when it's pouring rain? This is what it takes to truly master a set of skills. Sure, you might be physically strong enough to front flip 10 foot gaps within a month of starting your training, but should you? I'd say no every time. Parkour Generations has some fantastic things to say on the subject.
    Innovate. Bring in aspects of your other pursuits. Cross pollination encourages growth. I'm big into skateboarding, so I always try to spend some time bringing aspects of that pursuit over to parkour. Parkour with a skateboard? Why not! Climbing has helped my parkour immensely.
    Keep jamming with people that are better than you. They'll push you to improve and teach you new things. Plus, traceurs are universally awesome people to hang out with. Don't know when any jams are? We've got traceurs from all over the world in this subreddit. We'll hook you up. Universal Parkour also has a resource, albeit an incomplete one.
    Add to the community. Are you good at video editing, writing, photography, being friendly, etc? Take those skills, put them toward parkour, and give back to the community so we can grow it. I can kind of write and I enjoy organizing my thoughts through writing. You get cool guides out of it. It's a win-win.
    Enjoy every second of training.
    Share your passion. People won’t retain everything you tell them, but they will remember the things you are excited about.
    Subtle awesomeness is sexy. Train for your own personal edification, not public props.


My team has adopted the practice of yelling "WALKING!" and give our best exaggerated impressions of that when passerbys try to emulate the scene in The Office and yell "PARKOUR!". It's super effective. Don't be so sensitive. Yelling in passing is nothing.

Reality: Excuses don't make you feel good when you get up in the morning. Get out and do stuff. I know it's hard and you feel like everything has to be perfect for you to make the jump into something new, but it doesn't. Movement is movement. And sitting around waiting for a year for the perfect conditions makes for a really lame life story if parkour is really what you want to do.

How do I know how I'm doing?

    Ask yo' buddies, punk.
    Find some Challenge series or crazy rail balance challenges. Better yet, make up your own stuff and share with the community.
    Check out this Skill Standards Resource
    Keep a training notebook! I think this is the best idea ever and will be doing a series of resources on this practice in the near future.
    Hit up /r/ParkourTeachers . Ask questions.


Parkour Life

Good luck out there! Post any questions, comments, or concerns you may have.



Since there's been loads of people asking I figured I'd write one, mainly because it's easier than writing the same few paragraphs over and over again. Hopefully some people find it useful.

Link to the post here:

"I’m going to be talking through the basic three flips: frontflips, sideflips, and backflips, as well as giving some general advice on tricking. I’m writing this under the assumption that you’ve either read the whole thing or you already know what I’m talking about.

What should you know first

Other than being able to jump and tuck you should also learn how to block, it’s the most effective way to get height out of any trick that has a run up. Blocking is the act of converting forwards momentum into upwards momentum by sticking you feet out in front of you, but not too much. There’s a great video by Dogen which goes more in depth, definitely worth a watch:

Center of gravity is another thing you will want to understand, in most cases when you flip you will want to get your center of gravity as high as possible, you do this by delaying the flip (or spin), here’s another video from Dogen that talks about center of gravity:

While we’re on the subject of Dogen’s videos, you might as well watch his titanium ankles video which talks about ankle conditioning, having strong ankles is very useful for tricking.

Where to learn

Most people recommend finding a gym, a sandpit, some old mattresses, or anything that gives a soft landing. If you have access to any of these then by all means make use of them, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t. I learned all these flips outside before I had access to a gym and I’m not the only one, a lot of people seem to be against a “just go for it” attitude, and I understand why, but I’m all for it. What you have to remember is that crash mats and sandpits don’t prevent injury, they reduce the impact and pain but you can still break your leg if you land wrong. Honestly, just find a fairly soft patch of grass and go for it, I’ve bailed these flips in pretty much every way possible on grass, and I’m completely fine. If you do have access to a gym then try not to get too comfortable with sprung floors, and crash mats, and everything being padded.

I recommend learning these flips on flat, not only will it give you good habits but in my experience it’s easier to start low and work your way up than to start high and come down. If you can flip on flat then you can flip off something, if you can flip off something then you can’t necessarily flip on flat.


Figured I should go over this quickly before we move onto the flips, there are a few different ways to tuck and mostly it comes down to personal preference which one you choose to do. There’s the over tuck which is when you grab in front of your legs, and the under tuck which unsurprisingly is when you grab behind your legs, and then there’s the cowboy tuck which is the same as an over tuck but you pull your legs apart, this helps you rotate faster which means you can delay the tuck longer which allows you to get more height.

Most of the time I go for the cowboy tuck, I grab my shins just below my knees and aim to pull them to my shoulders, but on some tricks it feels easier and more natural for me to do an under tuck, even though I tend to find these are a lot looser. Have a play around with them and see which one feels best.


By far the hardest of the three to land but also the least scary to attempt, generally it’s a good place to start with so you can get used to rotating. There’s a few different techniques for this flip but I’m just going to go over how I (mostly) do it. I’d recommend a run up of 5 steps before the hop into the block, the last 3 steps are the most important, they’re the ones that should be generating the most power and speed, this goes for all moves in my opinion. I keep my chest up and look forward while I’m taking off and I have my arms around head or shoulder height and I throw them into the air to help generate a bit more height, after delaying slightly I pull my legs up toward my chest to start the tuck and at the same time throw my arms and chest down towards my knees, this generates the rotation and let’s me grab my knees as soon as possible for the tuck. Un tuck when you spot the area in front of you.

The good thing about frontflips is they can be easily turned into a dive roll if you get scared or if something goes wrong. There isn’t really a secret trick to having the confidence to do these, but they don’t really hurt to bail so just go for it and see what happens.


Sideflips are a lot easier than fronts and not particularly scary, but some people have trouble getting their head around them. You don’t need as much run up for this trick, 3 steps before the hop should do it, when I hop I come down one foot then the other but take off from both feet at the same time. I throw my leading arm (I rotate over my left, so in my case my leading arm is my left arm) straight up then throw it down, like I do on the frontflip, but my back arm swings up behind me which generates both height and rotation at the same time. When I tuck on sideflips it feels more natural to grab behind my legs, but recently I’ve been grabbing in front to try and pull it in tighter. I find it harder to spot on sideflips so knowing when exactly to untuck can be a bit of trial and error, it really depends exactly where you look during the rotation.

A helpful way to learn sideflips is to roll over something, most gyms will have some form of soft block you can roll over, but if you don’t have access to a gym you can go over a friend or put jackets on top of a wall and go over that, then it’s just a matter of jumping more and more into it each time until you either sideflip over the obstacle or get comfortable enough to take the obstacle away and go for it.


Physically the easiest trick of the three but the scariest to try, If you can you should get someone to spot you, this involves supporting your back and helping throw your legs over, but if not the way I learned was to go over my shoulder which allowed me to spot the ground quicker which made it a lot less scary, but this method can lead to bad habits so keep that in mind and start going over your head as quickly as you can. You want to spot something in front of you when you’re taking off, ideally eye level or just over, when you take off jump straight up and throw your arms over your head, DO NOT LEAN BACK, I can’t stress that enough, you should be going straight up in the air. You should be waiting until the peak of your jump before you tuck and getting your arms right above your head, if you bring your arms in to the tuck too soon you will kill your height. I push my hips and chest out and roll my shoulders back slightly as I’m jumping up, then when I’ve reached the peak of my jump I bring my knees into my chest quickly for the tuck which creates the rotation, untuck after you’ve spotted the ground. When you take off don’t crouch down too far, I find it best to start standing upright and do a quick explosive jump.


There are hundreds of video tutorials on youtube, I wouldn't be able to tell you which one is the best so I'd recommend having a search and looking at a few different ones, some channels that I know do decent tutorials though are:

Flow: 3run: Jesse la flair:

If anyone recommends a good channel or video then I'll be happy to add it.

I’m sure I had some more things in mind when I started writing this, so expect it to be added to whenever I remember what else I was going to say. But until then I think this is finished enough for me to publish."


Bin ich gerade drüber gestolpert.... könnt Ihr euch ja mal durchlesen und Meinung abgeben

petri likes this

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thx 4 sharing,

auf jeden fall hilfreiche theoretische inputs mit praktischen belegen


das problem mit den fußgelenken konnte ich vor langer zeit auch mal nach eigenrecherche mit übungen die jez bei dogen auch vorkommen lösen


ergebnis: bei landungen etwas zu weit vorne beim fuß bei denen ich vorher zusammengegangen bin und starke schmerzen hatte

kann ich mich jez locker einfach rauf drücken (bussi bussi fußgelenke)    

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Gegründet im Sommer 2004, online seit 01/2006. ist das read-only Archiv der größten Parkour-Plattform im deutschsprachigen Raum und Grundstein der österreichischen Community.
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