[email protected] Tuesday - Jan 09, 2018

Quadrupedal movement

Learn to crawl before you walk

As the quote suggests, before you take the first steps into Parkour, you need to grasp quadrupedal movement, the feeling of moving naturally (or unnaturally, for us humans). Like all newborns, training always starts from ground level. This means that you need to learn to move fast and efficient on the ground, using both your hands and your feet.

What is quadrupedal movement?

This is one of the best natural training method you can use. There is a reason why we traceurs also call quadrupedal movement Cat-Balance. It’s because it’s copied from the fluent movement of felines. It’s not only a good conditioning technique, it’s also a great exercise to initiate you in the following steps of your training as a traceur.

Like shaolin Kung-Fu, Parkour movements have their roots somewhere in the animal kingdom. Even if we don’t realize it, we have a lot to learn just from watching dogs, cats or monkeys play. You don’t believe me? Let me show you a few training methods inspired by animals:

1. Cat-Balance

Did you ever watch a cat closely? The way it moves, the way it leaps? It’s amazing and very fluent. There is no hesitation, there is no moment of pause between movements. It’s 4-point movement allows it to keep a low center of gravity and move safely in a number of situations. If you’re a beginner you may never have moved this way, but it’s an important building block for any traceur.

2. Cat-Balance on rails

The same concept of cat-balance can also be done on a round or square rail. This is much harder than it looks, but at the end of the day, you start to realize why animals are a major influence in alot of sports and disciplines. Because it’s frikin’ hard! Plus, this movement is an excelent triceps and shoulders workout.

3. Backwards Cat-Balance

You can never learn to move quadrupedal in enough ways. Basic quadrupedal movement, backwards, is an effective way to get a full body workout that works slightly different muscles than the forward version. This activates the shoulder muscles and forearms alot, and it’s excelent when done up stairs.

4. Ground kongs

Another quadrupedal movement variation, the ground kong has the same application and benefits of basic quadrupedal movement. Ground kongs are one of my favorite exercises because they’re more dynamic and require much more muscle power than normal cat-balance.

5. Backwards ground kongs

Doing ground kongs backwards is a great way to change things up and hit a different set of muscles. This variation works the shoulders and arms particularly well because a powerful block or push from the shoulders is what propels you.

6. Gallop

The fastest form of movement on four legs, the gallop has the same application and benefits of the basic cat-balance. In addition, it develops quicker reactions and a higher level of coordination than found in most other types of quadrupedal movement.

If you read everything it means you are ready to get on the ground. So get to it!

I would like to thank American Parkour and Urban Freeflow for the clips.

  1. Pingback: Low impact training | Parkour Training Blog |

  2. Pingback: Hot Dogs…. « linksadventureinhyrule |

  3. randomness

    November 12, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    im not doing that in public

    • Dan Dinu

      November 13, 2011 at 6:54 am

      You don’t have to do it in public. If you are not comfortable training where others can see you, you can find a quiet park where nobody will bother you while you do your conditioning.

      • Parkour Guy

        January 30, 2012 at 5:20 am

        Or they should suck it up because Parkour is a public art.

        • parkour mexican

          November 8, 2014 at 4:47 pm

          true they should suck it up and just do it in public but if they are not comfortable about doing in public then they should start with a group of friends and do it in public with friends im just saying

  4. Pingback: 6-20-2012 A few thoughts on strategy…. « Muddy J (Home) |

  5. Syl

    September 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Videos 1, 3, the second 3, and 4 are either removed or private. Update your site guys!

    • Dan Dinu

      October 2, 2012 at 10:21 am


      Thank you Syl!

  6. Ashique

    August 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    The video for Gallop doesn’t exist!
    Thanks 🙂

    • Dan Dinu

      August 15, 2013 at 8:55 am

      The problem was solved. Thanks for the input!

  7. Pingback: Quadrupedal Movement: For Parkour Strength and Conditioning | moveadaptflow |

Leave a Reply