Best Basic Parkour Moves: 10 Moves For Ultimate Beginners

basic parkour moves

Best Basic Parkour Moves: 10 Moves For Ultimate Beginners

Basic Parkour Moves can be categorized as a form of bodyweight training that uses movement developed from military obstacle course training.

Parkour Practitioners  (Also called “Traceurs”) aim to get from one point to another in a unique and complex environment. They maneuver without the help or need of any assistive equipment, able to learn & master movements like the Monkey Vault & Cat Leap to jump and land safely from high levels while also able to be efficient & keep going without delay.

To master even Basic beginner parkour movements for freerunning, will need commitment on various levels. But the payoff is sure worth it and will motivate your want to keep going

Just like with any physical activity, parkour can be leveraged as a method of training whether you are just looking for a cool ninja-like style of working out to keep yourself engaged, or are serious about the skills of parkour.

Parkour, also known as “street running” can provide amazing workouts & training skills such as Balance, Stamina, Endurance, gymnastics, acrobatics, Strength, and body control. If you are a beginner then you have come to the right place! Here are 10 foundational parkour exercises to learn to take your first step on your journey.


Best Basic Parkour Moves: 10 Moves For Ultimate Beginners

Parkour Vaultingman "vaulting" to show one of the basic parkour moves

The vault is one of the key primary skills to learn in parkour training. for example, being able to get over railings and obstacles with ease and fluidity. Vaulting is one of the moves used to achieve leaping over low obstacles that are too high to simply hurdle or jump over.  A vault uses one or two of your hands as support to conserve your forward momentum and get your body over the obstacle.

The vault is a great foundational movement that many Traceurs will continue its use up to an advanced level.

  1. Approach the obstacle you are planning to vault in a forward, straight line.
  2. Reach one arm forward and place your hand flat on the top of the obstacle, then shift your weight off your feet into your shoulder.
  3. Launch your off the ground with your legs and kick your outer leg sideways as you go over the obstacle.
  4. land your inner foot on the ground, release your hand, and continue running.

Best Basic Parkour Moves: 10 Moves For Ultimate Beginners

Parkour (Safety) Landing Rolls

Whenever we perform any type of training it’s always important to take safety seriously to prevent injury & parkour is no exception. On the bright side though, you can learn to practice safety AND make it look cool at the same time by training the safety roll movement.

The safety roll is a parkour technique used by nearly every Traceur that involves bending the knees and using forward momentum to roll on the ground when landing. The purpose of this is to protect your joints from the impact of the landing. This is especially important when jumping from a high vantage point.

1.  After a dropping, first land on the balls of your feet. Maintain forward momentum as this is needed for the roll.
2. While keeping your knees slightly bent, lean forward & lower your body to the ground.
3. Place your hands in front of you, creating a diamond shape with them.
4. Place the forearm that corresponds with the shoulder you are most comfortable rolling with on the ground.
5. Continue to lean on the side of your placed forearm while tucking your chin in towards your chest.
6. Roll diagonally from your shoulder to the opposite glute while keeping your legs tucked in at your core
9. Lastly, roll on to one knee, and use the continuing momentum to come up on both feet & continue training.

Best Basic Parkour Moves: 10 Moves For Ultimate Beginners

Parkour Balance Training 

The skill of mastering balance and coordination is fundamental to achieving many advanced strength moves not just within parkour but other bodyweight based styles of training such as calisthenics and gymnastics.

Balance is important due to the control it can provide for parkour & can be categorized as a special kind of training called “Proprioception training” which allows you to more easily find & understand where your limbs are in space at a given time.

Training to find balance can drastically help your parkour skills & can be done by practicing

  • Handstand Training
  • Single Leg work (such as single-leg calf raises or pistol squats)
  • Contralateral Movements
  • Training Barefoot

Best Basic Parkour Moves: 10 Moves For Ultimate Beginners

Parkour Wall Runs   

Wall Runs have been a classic parkour move since the beginning of the sport and honestly one of the coolest looking parkour tricks in the book, coming straight out of a ninja movie.

This trick allows Traceurs to run up and climb a high obstacle that could not be reached by regular jumping or climbing. This is achieved by using the lower portion of the wall as a pushing off point, shortening the distance between you and the targeted vantage point.

1. Run towards the wall or obstacle.
2. When at the right distance, use one leg to jump off the ground while placing the ball of the opposite foot on the front side of the obstacle.
3. Try pushing as high as you can with the jumping-off leg, The aim is to convert the horizontal momentum of running into vertical momentum from pushing.
4. After you leap off the ground, push your upper body higher to help yourself get an extra lift, stretching your arms right above you & reaching for the top of the ledge.
5. Grab with your hands the upper edge of the obstacle.
6. From there, climb up, and you’re done!

Best Basic Parkour Moves: 10 Moves For Ultimate Beginners

Parkour Underbar Swings

The Underbar Swing is a versatile parkour move that is great for beginners and incorporates lots of fun as well while practicing. Underbar swings consist of standing or running to a horizontal bar and swinging through it, using your hand strength to hold your body up and your feet to help forward momentum. This move can be used for many street obstacles such as railings & jungle gyms.

1. Starting by running towards or standing in front of the bar. Once your face is in front of the bar, jump towards it reaching your hands in front of you.
2. Grab the bar first with your hands, bring your chest close to the bar, and tuck in your knees letting your legs shoot in front of you.
3. Try Pulling through with your arms and extend your body fully, looking to get a slight arch in your back.
4. Bend your knees as you land on the balls of your feet.

Parkour Precision Jumps    man performing "precision jumps", one of the basic parkour moves

When it comes to training for parkour, no exercise comes close to the importance of precision jumps. Basically, this is training yourself to jump from one starting point and land exactly where you intended. As some would say, this is training to “stick the landing”. However, this exercise is going to take mindful concentration, balance, coordination, and great body awareness.

Precision Jumps are a great tool to utilize when aiming to land on smaller surfaces such as the edge of a wall or railings.

1. Begin with any starting position with your feet together or with a slight step apart.
2. Find a landing position and aim for that exact spot
3. As prepare to jump, you’ll want to bend your legs and swing your arms behind you (this will help propel your body forward using momentum)
3. Lean forward & push off the starting position with the balls of your feet while swinging your arms forward and upwards.
4. Bring your knees forward in front of you, extending your legs & preparing for the landing.
5. Bend your knees before impact while you land on the balls of your feet.
After you start master precision jumps with two legs, it’ll be time to try a higher advanced level variation by jumping & landing on a single leg.

Parkour Kip Ups

While not exactly a move that will aid in making you move faster or more efficiently through an environment; the Kip-Up is an awesome looking move that definitely takes on the ninja-like aesthetic of parkour.

Even if you’ve never heard of this move before, I’m sure you’ve seen it in any Jackie Chan film where he goes from laying flat to jumping on his feet in an instant.  This move consists of transitioning from a lying position on your back to a standing position using your hands and legs to help lift your body into a standing position. Kip-Ups can be an awesome & fun way to get yourself off the ground after a tumble.

1.  Start by lying down on your back. Place your hands on either side of your head with the palms touching the ground

2. Bring your legs to your head by lifting them off from the floor with your feet in at a ninety-degree angle. This movement at a quick speed will provide a recoiling effect, providing the momentum needed for the kip-up.

3. When the legs are pointing up, use your core strength to propel your legs up towards the sky, lifting your butt & lower back off the ground & higher than the rest of you.

4. Immediately after applying the force to your legs, Try to push through your hands, and drive your chest forward. Combined momentum of the legs and pushing of the arms will bring your body up into a standing position.

5. Land on your feet while also bending the knees.


Parkour Tic Tac’s

A Tic-Tac in parkour is a more advanced beginner run that requires confidence & lack of fear for tumbles. The Tic-Tac is a move that is very similar to the “wall run” we looked at previously in this article. It consists of using your legs to push off a wall but instead of pushing upwards in a vertical direction, we push in a horizontal direction opposite the wall usually to leap to or get over other obstacles that are next to the wall itself.

1. First start by running diagonally towards the wall, similar to a “wall run”.
2. When at the right distance, take off with the leg furthest from the wall while placing the opposite foot on the side of the wall.
3. Bring your chest close to the wall and then leap away from it, propelling forwards & upwards.
4. Turn your direction & reach towards the point you want to get to.
5. Land or grasp the next obstacle across the wall.

Parkour Climbing    man climbing to demonstrate one of the basic parkour moves

As simple as this might sound, practice climbing over, around and on different obstacles can do wonders for your parkour game. Climbing skills are undoubtedly something all Traceurs are excellent at as there would ideally be many things to climb on while training parkour or free running.

A key to remember is that while freerunning, you will most likely be climbing a large variety of objects, so the best way to practice this skill would be to climb a variety of obstacles along with improving grip strength as well. this way, your body is always being challenged.

Great obstacles to learn climbing:

  • Rock Walls (Fake or real)
  • Walls
  • Boulders
  • Trees
  • Fire escapes
  • Playgrounds & Jungle gyms

Parkour Cat Leap

The Cat Leap is when the traceur lands on the vertical side of an obstacle in a hanging position with tucked legs.  The hands grip the top edge of the object.

The need for this type of jump is utilized in a specific freerunning environment in which the traceur may want to get to another landing position by jumping but cant for sure land safely due to the distance of the jump. So the traceur may need to get to the landing position by using a two-point landing in which they start with a jump landing against the wall, followed by a climb.

1. Start with the point in which you want to take off, facing the surface you want to reach.
2. Jump towards it, swinging your arms forward and upwards. this will act like an extra boost while jumping.
3. Bring your knees forward while also extending your legs preparing to touch the landing surface.
4. Keep two hands at level in front of you & get ready to grip the top edge of the landing object.
5. Land quietly on the vertical surface with the balls of each foot while also bending the knees.
6.Use your two arms & legs to climb up to the final landing level.

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