Imagine a secure 1,000 m2 arena on the outskirts of Paris, where you can practice crosstraining, yoga or the obstacle course. A stone’s throw from the Ourcq canal, Blast, the first parkour from the Paris region, will awaken the yamakasi that lies dormant in you thanks to an educational program that allows you to train to pass the most impressive obstacles. Allowing aerobic, anaerobic, flexibility and explosiveness work, parkour appears to be a very complete fitness activity. And if you are already familiar with crossing obstacles, you can still participate in the master classes, sessions hosted by Clément Dumais, record holder of the Ninja Warrior program.
5 good reasons to practice parkour
A discipline in which the athlete has to overcome urban or natural obstacles thanks to agile and rapid movements, without equipment, parkour has sometimes unexpected benefits.
1) We develop greater strength
A study comparing an active group (physical education teachers) and parkour practitioners showed that the latter had greater strength than the active group, in all areas tested (pull-ups, plyometric push-ups, horizontal jump, vertical jumps one and two feet), except for grip strength, which was identical in both groups.
2) It’s a safe way to experience risk
Researchers Paul Gilchrist and Belinda Wheaton concluded in their study that parkour is viewed in academia as a relatively safe way for young people to experience risk and adventure. They do not hesitate to recommend it for the promotion of physical health and well-being.
3) It is good for preventing knee injuries
Through its multiple forms of jumping, parkour offers similarities to plyometric training techniques, based on movements with a rapid stretch of the muscle immediately followed by its contraction. However, plyometrics appears to be particularly advantageous for reducing the risk of rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament and for knee injuries in general.
4) we hurt ourselves a bit
A 2013 study showed that, contrary to what one might imagine, parkour causes severe injuries (5.5 injuries per 1000 hours of training, 70% of which are skin abrasions). A more recent study carried out on Brazilian practitioners showed an injury prevalence of 61.5%, the majority to the lower limbs. This figure may seem large, until researchers compare it to gymnastics (76.7%) or leisure running (79%). A third study shows that the techniques used in parkour to cushion jumps, compared to the techniques traditionally taught in other sports, make it possible to reduce the forces involved by 40%, and to increase the time (by 60% ) up to the peak of force, which could allow the neuromuscular system to regulate more efficiently.
5) It’s good for self-confidence
If the effects of the practice of parkour on the body are positive but still require an analysis over time (especially at the level of the impacts), those on self-confidence, well-being and good humor are seen with each training!