Category: Parkour

Posted on June 8, 2008 in Parkour


In my first installment on parkour, in last month's journal, I recounted a bit of the sport's background, from some of the original concepts of functional fitness that underlie it to the sport/art that was developed by teens in the suburbs outside of Paris and has recently exploded onto the world scene. That being said, any activity is only as good as its actual practice.

Talking about parkour is in no way correlative to actually doing it. The same applies to CrossFit in general; rarely will someone garner an accurate view of the program purely through conversation or contemplation rather than action. So let's get right to the nitty-gritty.

Parkour, first and foremost, is dependent on two things: the environment, which dictates the possibilities for effective movement, and your current level of ability or comfort within that environment. In much the same way that CrossFit scales and modifies techniques from gymnastics and Olympic lifting for new trainees, parkour can be scaled and modified to benefit most any willing population. And the result of an untrained individual getting in over their head in parkour is similar to that of putting a newbie upside-down on a set of rings or in a full overhead squat under a bodyweight load on a bar. (Let's just say that natural selection can be a beautiful thing.)

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on July 5, 2007 in Parkour


Parkour is about movement with a mindset of efficiency, pure and simple. The fact is, this mindset is developed through action, through experience of the movements. It is much the same for martial arts: many of the benefits come from an eventual understanding gained through practice, but there is no practice without learning the basic moves first. That being said, it’s time to combine the ideas behind Parkour (CrossFit Journal issue 43) and the safety precautions (issue 44) with a solid foundation in the fundamental movements. We’ll start with the basic two-handed vault, which is the foundation of most vaulting, and then move to the speed vault and lazy vault, two functional techniques for overcoming a variety of obstacles.

First things first, since it can’t be overstated: start off every training session by ensuring the safety of the objects and environments you plan to incorporate. Make a habit of having a good warm-up, starting with basic calisthenics and moving to more dynamic movement (for a great treatise on a proper warm-up, see CFJ issue 11).

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on May 28, 2007 in Parkour


With these last two moves, my series of articles on parkour basics is in its final stretch. From this point out, I will focus on showing some manageable progressions for scaling these movements for the general population and showing how to incorporate many of these principles in your everyday training. While I’ve tried to group the previous movements into some semblance of order by similarity, these last two features are the leftovers, differing from each other in all but the fact that they are performed by the same human body. That being said, they can be two of the most fun and useful movements that you can learn. So without further ado, I present to you the underbar and gate vault.


The underbar is quite simply an extension of a simple swing. Where this movement differs from the general swing that you might perform on a high bar is the fact that you will use your core strength and the speed of your approach to focus this swinging movement horizontally through a restricted area. This can be useful in situations such as quickly navigating the space between two railings or when you take to moving through the trees, monkey style.

This entire article is available in the CrossFit Store.

Posted on May 28, 2007 in Parkour


Parkour is quite simply the art of navigating any environment quickly, confidently, and effectively with only the capabilities of your body to aid you. It's easy to see that how well it matches the CrossFit tenets of function, intensity, and variance, but it may seem surprising that it can also be universally scalable and beneficial. The concepts of environmental awareness and adaptation are of infinite usefulness to every person. Whether you are a senior trying to recover from a random fall or a soldier escaping an ambush in an urban environment, Parkour techniques can be applied to a variety of situations.

By enhancing an awareness of your surroundings and building your confidence to overcome the obstacles throughout, you are given the key to a freedom that the untrained individual might never realize. To top it off, it's just plain fun! It requires nothing more than a good pair of shoes and an awareness of a safe and steady progression, so you will rarely be limited by lack of equipment. Instead, you will be able to apply the state of elite fitness we all strive for to any path of your choosing.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on March 18, 2007 in Parkour

My last two articles dealt with the basics of vaulting technique; now it is time to take the body awareness gained from vaulting practice and apply it to developing jumping power, accuracy, coordination, and, above all, balance. Jumps are essential to parkour, as well as everyday life, because they are often the fastest, most efficient way to get from one point to another, especially when moving between surfaces or objects that are on different levels. The basic two-footed jump and landing are foundational skills that lead to many other techniques, so learning to do them correctly is extremely important to the progression of parkour training.

There is no standardized way to jump. The movement itself is so inherently human and natural that it’s ludicrous to assume that there is necessarily a right or wrong way to do it. Nonetheless, there are definitely a few points that will make jumping more efficient while assuring a good base for learning parkour movements that take the jump and expand it through more varied situations.

This entire article is available in the CrossFit Store.

Posted on February 10, 2007 in Parkour


Parkour is inherently vertical. For most of the rest of the population, the only vertical movement involves elevators or stairs, but for the traceur, every vertical surface is an opportunity to choose a different path. There are numerous techniques for scaling the vertical objects that lie throughout the urban environment (and innumerable techniques for surmounting those found in nature). Learning the basics of the tic-tac and wall run will give you a good understanding of the transference of momentum from the horizontal plane up and over the various vertical obstacles you may encounter.

The tic-tac is the foundation of these vertical movements, being a quick and efficient method for applying the momentum from your run along the ground to any number of objects that may aid in your ascent. In its most basic form, a tic-tac is nothing more than making your last step before take-off a boost off an object that gives you extra height and/or distance to make your next move faster or more efficient. You can use anything from small walls to benches or stumps. You should attempt to create a seamless transition between your approach run, your first step onto the object, and your final leap from it. Practicing this basic idea on a small retaining wall is a great way to learn the movement pattern of the tic-tac, as you can dial in running speed and coordination by creating a cadence that you follow for each successive step, ending in a powerful boost from the top of the wall into the air. From there it’s a matter of focusing on your landing and retreat as you continue on your way.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on November 7, 2006 in Parkour


Mechanics, consistency, and intensity are the three pieces of a complete foundation for a safe learning progression in any new endeavor. Many of the elements inherent in the gradual and progressive creation of elite general physical preparedness apply equally to the pursuit of more specific skills and goals, including parkour, the ability to navigate your environment functionally, confidently, and safely in a variety of situations.

This month, I have collected into a single reference document the fundamental parkour moves I discussed in greater detail throughout the past eight issues.

I intend this to serve as a kind of “getting started” reference manual for parkour, outlining a progression for learning proper technique that enhances both the safety and the efficacy of the movements when applied to the varied challenges you may face.

Read the full article in PDF

Additional Resources


Category Archives

» Seniors and Kids, by Greg Glassman - February 03
» Beginners' Workout, by Greg Glassman - May 03
» Virtuosity, by Greg Glassman - August 05
» Foundations, by Greg Glassman - April 02
» Killer Workouts, by Eugene Allen - May 05
» Why Fitness, by Greg Glassman - July 04
» What is Fitness?, by Greg Glassman - October 02
» CrossFit PT, by Greg Glassman - December 04
» The Lifting Shoulder, by Greg Glassman - September 05
» Breakfalling, by Tom Crubaugh - March 05
» Skill-Based Warmups for Groups, by Tony Budding - September 06
» Weight, Velocity & Volume in Medicine Ball Training, by Jim Cawley - October 06
» Metabolic Conditioning Glossary, by Pukie & Greg Glassman - June 03
» Performance & Health, by Tony Leyland - March 07


» January 2007 CrossFit Journal
» February 2007 CrossFit Journal
» March 2007 CrossFit Journal
» April 2007 CrossFit Journal
» May 2007 CrossFit Journal
» June 2007 CrossFit Journal
» July 2007 CrossFit Journal
» August 2007 CrossFit Journal
» September 2007 CrossFit Journal
» October 2007 CrossFit Journal
» November 07 CrossFit Journal
» December 07 CrossFit Journal
» January 08 CrossFit Journal
» February 08 CrossFit Journal
» March 08 CrossFit Journal
» April 08 CrossFit Journal
» May 08 CrossFit Journal
» June 2008 CrossFit Journal
» July 2008 CrossFit Journal
» August 2008 CrossFit Journal


» CrossFit North's Annual Championship, by Tyler Hass - November 04
» Pullup Challenge, by Greg Glassman - November 04
» Reading Between the Lines, by Dave Castro - August 07


» What is CrossFit?, by Greg Glassman - March 04
» Understanding CrossFit, by Greg Glassman - April 07
», by Greg Glassman - December 05
» The Business of Guerilla Fitness, by Doug Chapman - March 07
» Interview: Coach Greg Glassman, by Greg Glassman - March 03
» Ergometer Scores and Hall of Fame Workouts, by Greg Glassman - December 02
» How Fit Are You, by Greg Glassman - April 03
» Tabata My Job, by Joshua Newman - November 05
» Theoretical Template for CrossFit's Programming, by Greg Glassman - February 03
» Forging Mental Fitness, by Jim Decker - November 06
» Evidence-Based Fitness Discussion, by Greg Glassman, et al. - January 07
» On Being a Trainer, by Greg Glassman - August 07

CrossFit Games

» Reading Between the Lines, by Dave Castro - August 07


» The Garage Gym, by Greg Glassman - September 02
» Garage Gym II: The Revolution, by Greg Glassman - July 05
» Strategic Shopping: Outfitting a CF Gym on the Cheap, by Eddie Lugo - June 06
» Personal Equipment, by Mark Rippetoe - October 06
» Plyo Boxes, by Lincoln Brigham - September 06
» Two Training Aids, by Greg Glassman - September 03
» Really Cool Homemade Parallettes, by Greg Glassman - September 03
» History and Use of Stall Bars, by Larry Harmsen - April 06


» The Muscle-up, by Greg Glassman - November 02
» The Overhead Lifts, by Greg Glassman - January 03
» The Pullup, by Greg Glassman - April 03
» Three Important Ab Exercises, by Greg Glassman - May 03
» The Slow Lifts: Bench Press, by Mark Rippetoe - June 06
» The Power Clean, by Mark Rippetoe - August 06
» Medicine Ball Cleans, by Greg Glassman - September 04
» The Kettlebell Swing, by Greg Glassman - September 04
» The Slow Lifts, by Mark Rippetoe - March 06
» The Dumbbell Lunge, by Mike Rutherford - October 06
» Suitcase Deadlift Dumbbell Style, by Mike Rutherford - March 07
» Calisthenics, by Roger Harrell - May 06
» The Push-up, by Greg Glassman - March 03
» The Odd Lifts, by Greg Glassman - January 03
» The Clean, by Greg Glassman - July 03
» The Glute-Ham Developer Situp, by Greg Glassman - October 05
» Kipping Pullups, by Greg Glassman - April 05
» Functionality and Wallball, by Greg Glassman - August 03
» The Deadlift, by Greg Glassman - August 03
» Swingers and Kippers, by Tyler Hass - April 05
» Dumbbell Vertical Press, by Mike Rutherford - January 07
» On the Safety and Efficacy of Overhead Lifting, by Rippetoe, Kilgore, Starrett, et. al - March 08
» The Dumbbell Bear, by Mike Rutherford - June 07


» Metabolic Conditioning, by Greg Glassman - June 03
» Metabolic Conditioning Glossary, by Pukie & Greg Glassman - June 03
» Putting Out Fires, by Lon Kilgore - March 07
» What About Recovery?, by Greg Glassman - January 05
» An Aerobic Paradox, by Lon Kilgore - December 06
» Anatomy and Physiology for Jocks, by Greg Glassman - August 03


» The Back Handspring, by Roger Harrell - July 06
» The Swing, by Roger Harrell - August 06
» Ring Strength, by Greg Glassman - July 04
» Gymnastics & Tumbling, by Greg Glassman - February 05
» The Freestanding Handstand Pushup, by Roger Harrell - June 06
» The Handstand, by Greg Glassman - January 04
» Stretching and Flexibility, by Roger Harrell - January 06
» Gymnastics Hurdle, by Roger Harrell - November 06
» The Front Handspring, by Roger Harrell - December 06


» Kettlebell Clean, by Jeff Martone - March 07
» Kettlebell Basics: Drills for Improving Your Swing, by Jeff Martone - November 06
» Improving Your Swing Part 2, by Jeff Martone - December 06
» One-Arm Swings and Beyond, by Jeff Martone - January 07
» Kettlebell Clean Combinations, by Jeff Martone - April 07
» A Performance-Based Comparison of Kettlebell Methods, by Steve Cotter - July 07
» The Turkish Get-up Part 1, by Jeff Martone - May 07
» The Turkish Get-up Part 2, by Jeff Martone - June 07
» Swingers and Kippers, by Tyler Hass - April 05


» Police Training, by Greg Glassman - March 03
» Combat Calisthenics, by Tony Blauer - July 06
» The Grinder: CrossFit Operations Order #1 "CHAD", by Greg Glassman - July 06
» The AOFP CrossFit Austere Program, by Greg Glassman, Wade Rutland, JT Williams - August 06
» Canadian Infantry School Austere AOFP Program Results Briefing, by Wade Rutland, JT Williams, Jeff Bird - August 06
» A Concept for Functional Fitness, by USMC - January 07
» The CrossFit Insurgency, by Scott Satterlee - July 06
» CrossFit, Stoicism, and an American Prisoner of War, by Andrew Thompson - December 04
» Monster Mash, by Capt Andrew Thompson, November 04
» Training in Austere Locations, by James Decker - March 06
» The Grinder: CrossFit FRAGO #8, "SHANE", by Greg Glassman - March 07


» Working Wounded, by Greg Glassman - May 05
» CrossFit Shoulder Therapy, by Tyler Hass - October 05
» CrossFit Induced Rhabdo, by Greg Glassman - October 05
» Trigger Point Therapy, by Christian Lemburg - September 05
» On Recovery, by Robb Wolf - January 05
» The Yin and Yang of the Back, by Michael Rutherford - December 06


» The Triangle, by Becca Borawski - November 06
» The Left Hook, by Becca Borawski - March 07
» McCarthy's Ultimate Training Academy, by Becca Borawski - January 07
» CrossPit Basics, by Tony Budding - April 06
» Fight Camp, by Becca Borawski - December 06
» Surviving in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, by Becca Borawski - April 08


» Glycemic Index, by Greg Glassman - November 02
» Fast Food, by Greg Glassman - December 02
» Fit to Eat: Pick of Summer Dinner, by Benjamin Sims - August 06
» Getting off the Crack, by Nicole Carroll - October 05
» Fit to Eat: Spring Dinner Menu, by Benjamin Sims - May 06
» Fit to Eat: Summer Picnic Menu, by Benjamin Sims - June 06
» Fit to Eat: Spicy Summer Barbeque, by Benjamin Sims - July 06
» Fit to Eat: Autumn Dinner, by Benjamin Sims - October 06
» CFJ Issue 21: Zone Meal Plans - May 04
» CFJ Issue 15: Nutrition -Avoiding Metabolic Derangement - November 03

Olympic Lifts

» Learning the Olympic Lifts: The Stance, by Mike Burgener & Tony Budding - November 06
» Pulling Positions for the Snatch, Mike Burgener with Tony Budding - March 07
» Skill Transfer Exercises, by Tony Budding - May 06
» The Scoop & The Second Pull, by Greg Glassman, January 06
» The Burgener Warmup, by Mike Burgener & Tony Budding - January 07


» Parkour Basics: A Compendium, by Jesse Woody - November 06
» Tic-Tac & Wall Run, by Jesse Woody - August 06
» Parkour Part 3: Jumping, by Jesse Woody - July 06
» Parkour, by Jesse Woody - March 06
» Underbar and Gate Vault, by Jesse Woody, October 06
» Parkour Basics Part 1, by Jesse Woody - May 06
» Basics of Parkour: Environmental Awareness and the Roll, by Jesse Woody - April 06


» A New, Rather Long Analysis of the Deadlift, by Mark Rippetoe - November 06
» CrossFit & Powerlifting, by Jason Bagwell - May 05
» Popular Biomechanics, by Mark Rippetoe - March 07
» Slow Lifts 5: The Deadlift, by Mark Rippetoe, -July 06
» The Deadlift, by Greg Glassman - August 03
» The Slow Lifts 2: The Squat, by Mark Rippetoe - April 06


» On Being a Trainer, by Greg Glassman - August 07

Rest Day/Theory

» Science and the Rest Day Discussions, by Jeff Glassman - November 07


» Strategies for a 7 Minute 2K on the Concept II Rower, by Greg Glassman - November 02
» Rowing Technique, by Angela Hart - October 06
» What's Your Power IQ, by Angela Hart - December 06
» Using Erg Data to Fine-Tune Your Training, by Judy Geer - March 07
» Rowing Workouts, by Angela Hart - May 07
» Row Fast: How to Prepare for an Erg Test, by Peter Dreissigacker - February 07
» Indoor Rowing: Damper Settings & Intensity, by Peter Dreissigacker - April 07
» Ergometer Scores and Hall of Fame Workouts, by Greg Glassman - December 02

Special Populations

» A CrossFit Grandma, by Mary Conover - October 04
» "The Girls" for Grandmas!, by Greg Glassman - October 04
» High School Phys Ed., by Tony Budding - October 04

Sports Applications

» UC Riverside Baseball Fall Conditioning, by Josh Everett - February 07
» Why Swimming is Different, by Terry Laughlin - March 05
» Slacklining, by Michael Street - November 04
» Bike Control Basics: Static Skills, by Scott Hagnas - October 06
» Inside-Out Breathing, by Terry Laughlin - December 05
» Speed Development, by Karl Geissler & John Baumann - March 06
» U.C. Riverside Women’s Basketball Off Season Conditioning, by Josh Everett - March 07
» Recovery and Regeneration Interview with Carl Valle, by Tyler Hass - January 05
» Swingers and Kippers, by Tyler Hass - April 05
» CrossFit to Go, by Lindsay Yaw - June 05
» Bike Control Basics Part 3, by Scott Hagnas - December 06
» Hooverball, by Greg Glassman - February 03


» Science and the Rest Day Discussions, by Jeff Glassman - November 07
» On Being a Trainer, by Greg Glassman - August 07


» The CrossFit Total, by Mark Rippetoe - December 06
» Interval Generator, by Greg Glassman - June 03
» Fooling Around With Fran, by Greg Glassman - March 05
» The New Girls, by Greg Glassman - November 04
» Ergometer Scores and Hall of Fame Workouts, by Greg Glassman - December 02
» Benchmark Workouts, by Greg Glassman - September 03
» "The Girls" for Grandmas!, by Greg Glassman - October 04
» Team Workouts, by Greg Glassman - October 03

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.
original site design: