11 Fantastic Benefits of Parkour

Parkour, a discipline with its roots in the suburbs of 1990s Paris, is more than just an exhilarating sport—it’s a transformative practice. Blending agility, strength, and creativity, parkour turns the world into an obstacle course, offering a unique way to engage both body and mind. This article dives into the many benefits of parkour, exploring how it transcends conventional exercise and impacts various aspects of life.

Table of Contents

What is parkour?

Parkour is a physical discipline that involves training to overcome obstacles in an efficient and fluid manner. First developed by French teenager David Belle, Parkour has developed into a worldwide phenomenon practiced by hundreds of thousands.

It’s often associated with urban areas due to the many obstacles of stairways, posts, blocks and overhangs that can be navigated in multiple ways.

Before the modern birth of Parkour, similar exercises had been used in military training for hundreds of years as soldiers have always been required to move quickly and efficiently over obstacles.

Flips, swings, rolls and vaults are all incorporated into movements over, under and around the obstacles that a practitioner will find.

Benefits of Parkour

Although learning Parkour can be hard at first, it also has many fantastic benefits, both physical and mental.

1. Full Body Workout

Parkour is a symphony of movement, engaging every muscle in a dance over urban landscapes. Unlike the monotonous repetition of gym routines, parkour infuses exercise with joy and practicality. Climbing walls, leaping gaps, and rolling under barriers, each movement in parkour is a full-body engagement. This not only ensures a balanced physical workout but also keeps the mind actively involved, making exercise an adventure rather than a chore.

2. Encouraging Creativity

Parkour is not just about physical prowess; it’s a canvas for creativity. Each urban obstacle presents a new challenge, a puzzle to be solved not with brute force but with imaginative movement. Practitioners become artists, their bodies the brush and the city their canvas. This creative approach to physical challenges translates to innovative problem-solving in other areas of life, making parkour practitioners adept at thinking outside the box.

3. Inclusive

Another benefit of parkour is that it can be done by people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner, parkour provides a fun and challenging way to push yourself.

4. Skill-Related Fitness

Parkour is a masterclass in agility, balance, coordination, and reaction time. These skill-related aspects of fitness, while not always the focus in traditional workouts, are central to parkour. Navigating through a variety of physical challenges, practitioners develop an exceptional level of bodily control and spatial awareness. These skills, honed in the streets and parks, enhance performance in other sports and daily activities, making parkour an invaluable addition to any fitness regimen.

5. Bone Strength and Cardiovascular Endurance

Parkour’s high-impact movements, like jumping and vaulting, are excellent for bone health. These activities stimulate bone density, fortifying the skeletal system. Additionally, the constant motion in parkour enhances cardiovascular endurance. This continuous activity bolsters heart health, improves stamina, and ensures efficient oxygen circulation throughout the body, contributing to overall physical well-being.

6. Building Core Strength

The core is the epicenter of the body’s power, pivotal in parkour. Each jump, twist, and turn in parkour calls upon the core, strengthening it. A robust core not only augments parkour performance but also shields the body from injuries, especially in the lower back. Parkour’s dynamic movements ensure a well-rounded core workout, far surpassing conventional core exercises.

7. Community-Based

Parkour is also a great way to connect with others and make new friends. Many parkour communities exist worldwide, and they provide a supportive environment where people can come together to train and share their experiences. Contrary to popular belief, parkour is not exclusive to the athletically gifted. Its foundational movements are simple and adaptable, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals. The parkour community is known for its inclusivity and supportive nature, welcoming newcomers and encouraging collective growth.

8. Reducing Antisocial Behavior

Parkour’s benefits extend beyond physical fitness; it plays a role in shaping behavior and social interactions. Engaging in parkour provides a constructive outlet for energy, particularly among youth. Studies have shown that parkour can significantly reduce antisocial behavior, offering a healthy avenue for self-expression and community engagement.

Mental Benefits of Parkour

Moreover, parkour has a lot of mental health benefits that are often overlooked. It can help in the development of self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-discipline. Additionally, parkour can be a great stress reliever and help manage anxiety and depression.

9. Quick Reaction Skills

In the fluid world of parkour, split-second decisions are the norm. Every leap and landing is a rapid problem-solving exercise, sharpening the mind as much as it tones the body. This constant mental engagement fosters a unique kind of cognitive agility. Practitioners learn to assess situations quickly and act decisively, skills that are invaluable in everyday life. Through parkour, the art of quick thinking becomes second nature.

is parkour useful

10. Confidence Booster

Conquering physical barriers in parkour translates to overcoming mental blocks in life. Scaling a high wall or mastering a complex jump can instill a sense of achievement that permeates all areas of life. This growth in self-assurance is one of parkour’s most empowering benefits. It teaches that obstacles, whether physical or psychological, can be surmounted with perseverance and courage.

11. Focus

Having focus is essential to develop Parkour skills and become more able. It requires repetition of the same skills and the ability to correct mistakes and become more confident. Without focus it’s easy to lose motivation or give up on acquiring new skills and ways of moving. This type of soft skill is easily transferable into other parts of life such as studying or work.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, parkour is more than just a fun way to stay active. It offers a wide range of physical and mental benefits and is a versatile form of exercise that can be done by people of all ages and skill levels. If you’re wondering whether it’s hard to learn check out this article here. Whether you are looking to improve your fitness, develop discipline, or just have fun, parkour is definitely worth considering.


Is parkour good exercise?

One of the most obvious benefits of parkour is the physical fitness it provides. Practicing parkour can help improve strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and overall cardiovascular fitness. Additionally, parkour training can help to develop discipline, focus, and problem-solving skills. These benefits make parkour an excellent way to stay active and push oneself physically and mentally.

Does parkour build muscle?

Parkour builds strength in several ways. One of the primary ways it does so is through the use of bodyweight exercises. Many parkour movements, such as vaulting, climbing, and jumping, rely on the strength of the individual’s own body to execute. These movements typically involve using multiple muscle groups, including the arms, legs, core, and back, which help to build overall strength and muscle tone.

parkour wall flip

Additionally, parkour often requires repetitive movements, such as running, jumping and climbing, which can lead to muscle hypertrophy (increase in muscle size), endurance and power. Also, parkour training typically involves practicing movements at different intensities and resistance levels, which helps to build strength and endurance in the muscles.

Parkour also involves movements that require balance and control, such as walking on narrow ledges or rails, this helps to build strength in the stabilizer muscles which are important for maintaining balance and preventing injuries.

Finally, parkour training can also include strength training exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, and squats, which can help to build strength in specific muscle groups.

Is parkour good for cardio?

Yes, parkour can be a great form of cardio. Many of the movements involved in parkour, such as running, jumping, and climbing, are high-intensity and can provide a cardiovascular workout. The dynamic nature of parkour and the constant movement also makes it a great form of cardio.

Parkour training typically involves performing a variety of movements at different intensities, which helps to improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance. When performing parkour movements, the body uses energy from the cardiovascular system to supply the muscles with oxygen and nutrients, which can help to improve cardiovascular fitness.

Additionally, parkour training often involves running, jumping and climbing, which are high-intensity activities that can provide a cardio workout and help to increase the heart rate. This can help to improve cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and overall cardiovascular health.

It’s important to note that parkour training should be progressive and tailored to the individual’s fitness level and goals. It’s also important to seek guidance from experienced practitioners and to warm up properly before starting any training session.

Should parkour be taught in schools?

There is a debate on whether parkour should be taught in schools. Some argue that parkour can be a valuable addition to physical education programs because it provides a unique and challenging form of exercise that can help improve fitness, coordination, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, parkour can be a fun and engaging way for students to stay active and develop a love for physical activity.

school gymnasium

On the other hand, parkour can be dangerous if proper training and safety precautions are not taken. It requires a significant level of skill and physical fitness, and many schools may not have the resources or trained staff to teach it safely. Additionally, parkour can be hard to incorporate into traditional physical education programs, as it often requires specialized equipment and facilities.

Personally, as someone who teaches physical education in schools, I believe it would be popular with many students of all ages. Traditional gymnastics isn’t for everyone it (unfairly) carries a stigma of being mainly a girl’s sport.

Parkour on the other hand is more contemporary, there are videos on YouTube with huge amounts of views and it is something more relatable for the younger generation.

Overall, whether or not parkour should be taught in schools depends on the specific school’s resources and the ability to provide safe training and facilities. If a school has the resources and trained staff to teach parkour safely, it could be a valuable addition to the physical education program. However, if a school lacks the necessary resources or trained staff, it may not be feasible to include parkour in the curriculum.

Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Andrew Payne

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