Parkour Techniques — November 13, 2012 10:01 pm

How to Warm Up for Parkour

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A good warm up is essential before starting any kind of exercise. Most injuries, especially in Parkour, occur due to an improper warm up routine. During my 4 years of training I have tested a lot of exercises and theories about how to warm up properly. Let me show you the fastest way to warm up for Parkour and Free running.

How to warm up for Parkour fast

A good warm up is comprised of 3 things:

Running

Duration: 5 mins.
Surface: flat surface

Running is the first thing you should do before beginning your Parkour training.

The first thing you should do, before beginning any type of exercise is to go for a quick lap. Around 5 minutes should be enough to get the blood pumping and tell your body you are starting to exercise. Find a good flat surface to do your running. If you do not have an area to do a quick 5-minute lap you can do a few calisthenic exercises, like jumps or running on the spot.

Joint rotations

Duration: 30 secs per joint (3 mins. and 30 secs.)
Surface: grass or any other soft surface

Start rotating your joints with your head. Do it both ways.

Rotate your arms alternately.

Rotate your arms symmetrically.

Don’t forget to rotate your knees inward.

And also rotate your knees outward.

Joint rotations have an important role in knowing how to warm up properly. The rotations will make your joints lubricate and make them more flexible during your training. Take your time with these and rotate the following joints 15 times on both directions:

  1. Neck
  2. Shoulders
  3. Elbows
  4. Wrists
  5. Hips
  6. Knees
  7. Ankles
Try to make the rotations as wide as possible to warm you up better and prepare you for the last exercise, dynamic stretching.

Dynamic stretching

Duration: 5 mins.
Surface: grass or any other soft surface

Stretch your arms thoroughly.

Remember to also stretch the wrists.

Pull your arm over your head and pull on it with your other hand.

Try to also bend from the hips while doing your arms, to save time.

Finish stretching your wrists by turning them around.

Continue by bending over and touching your toes.

Also stretch your hamstrings by pulling on your leg backwards.

Also pull on your leg in front of you to stretch the femoral biceps.

Do some lunges to let your legs loosen up.

Stretch your legs sideways too, in order to get mobility both ways.

Put your hands on the ground and push on your ankles, so the your heel will touch the ground.

This is the final step in knowing how to warm up fast. Dynamic stretching is a great way to get your muscles more flexible and loosen up for those tricky Parkour or Free running movements.

Start off by stretching your neck, placing your head on both shoulders then pressing it down with your hand. Continue with you arms, stretching them gradually until you reach the maximum point. Continue with bending from the hips and touching your toes and finally do a few lunges on both sides, pressing down until you reach the maximum point.

This is basically it. The total warm up time is 13 minutes & 30 seconds. You can now go train without worrying about torn muscles or injuries.

This step is optional. Lay on your back with your legs beneath you, to relax your core muscles.

5 Comments

  • So, what’s the difference between static and dynamic stretching? They all look the same in the photos.

    • Hi B-dan,

      Static means holding the stretch for 10-15 seconds. Dynamic means pulling softly (back and forth) on the stretch until you can no longer stretch any further (the range of the dynamic stretch differs form person to person).

  • Ce n’est pas très logique de commencer directement par courir, étant donné que les chocs seront plus amortis par les tendons que par les muscles, car ceux ci n’ont pas été mobilisé, étirés, échauffés. Le plus logique serait de commencer par les mobilisations, ensuite par la course, puis les étirements.

    • Hi Jéjé,

      I understand you are advocating for Joint rotations -> Running -> Stretching. And I agree. Sometimes I do it in that order. However I found that a five minute jog first will boost your heart rate. This will improve the stamina for the Joint rotations and stretching.

      Jogging only requires that you can move your legs in the functional range. It does not have an such an impact on your joints, to require stretching.

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