While most of us may never advance beyond the basic parkour moves, the efficient, agile, acrobatic runs from skilled parkour practitioners, or traceurs, are really something to behold. There’s something really exciting about watching a fellow human move through his urban environment with catlike speed and flexibility, flying through the air and landing precisely, and if you aspire to do the same, then watching parkour masters at work is a great first step.
Watching an expert casually throw a flip makes them seem quite easy, but actually committing to the motion is much more difficult than you might think. After all, while we’re cool with jumping and running, it’s not exactly second nature to put yourself in a position where your feet are higher than your head. And what a big variety of parkour flips there are: front flips, back flips, spinning and twisting flips, flips from a higher elevation to a lower one, and on and on. Take a gander at this compilation of amazing flips from some really skilled traceurs:
Some of the most heartstopping parkour moves include traceurs making rooftop to rooftop jumps, or jumps from rooftop to ground, and catching big air with nothing but space beneath them. These are probably the most thrilling to watch, maybe because the exposure is so great that it has the highest injury potential of all of these moves. It’s gotta take some guts (and some serious landing skills) to nail jumps like these next guys, and I’m still curious how the last guy managed to recover:
Parkour moves which really amaze people tend to be really acrobatic in style, like the wall gainer. It’s hard to describe it in words, but it’s basically running at speed up to a wall, then launching yourself off of the wall and into a gainer flip, sometimes with a twist. Watch this next quick clip for an intro to the wall gainer:
Jungle gyms and monkey bars are like a dream come true for working out the complex moves of swings and underbars and such, and as luck would have it, they tend to be pretty accessible in most neighborhoods. Check out some of these mad parkour bar moves:
The corkscrew, or cork, is one of those parkour moves which look right out of a martial arts flick, and those who can pull it off seem to defy gravity. It’s a flip with a twist, or a twist with a flip, or… Just watch the video and you’ll understand:
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Image: AMagill at Flickr