Parkour for the Bottom-heavy

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Parkour for the Bottom-heavy

Postby galaxydjinn » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:57 pm

Hi Northern Parkour! This is my first post on this board and I'm very excited to begin my parkour journey here. I'm a long-time fan of Obsidian1138's videos on youtube and I've incorporated some of your training and conditioning routines with great results, and I really like the style and narration of your documentaries. I feel like you guys have a very sincere and deep appreciation for parkour.

I have a question that I'd like to your advice on. I've an overall heavy-set guy, with most of that weight being carried in my legs and hips. A lot of that is muscle, and it's given me an advantage in my sports and even some martial arts that depend on lower-body strength and power. However, it puts me at a huge disadvantage when it comes to climbing, jumping, and "upward mobility" in a very literal sense. I'm in pretty good shape, and I have good endurance for running, but I've never been able to jump high or far, and my short sprints are painfully slow because it takes so much energy to boost myself forward. And most frustratingly, even though I have strong arms, I cannot do a single, decent pullup.

I've neglected this area for far too long because I was so focused on fighting on the ground; in my quest to get fit for applicable, practical situations, I've completely neglected my ability to move above and around railings, walls, stairways, etc. I did a quick assessment of myself yesterday and was disappoint to find that I can't even do a basic vault or even a precision jump at relatively short distances and heights.

Without getting into too much detail, I was recently in a bit of a hotspot area, and parkour definitely would have helped me move around in some of the more dangerous/critical situations I've been in. I think I was running almost non-stop for about a week and though I made it out, I definitely could have been more efficient in how I moved around urban environments, and I could have helped some more people by carrying them instead of selfishingly running by myself.

I want to be able to move my body up and around in any situation. I think the first step should be getting myself in better shape, but as I said, I already have pretty good endurance when it comes to running, and I feel like I hit something of a plateau. I've always had this problem and tried to correct it before; way back in high school six years ago, I trained with the track and field sprint team, and despite gaining incredible endurance and explosiveness, I was never able to jump higher (I have a ridiculously low vertical jump) and I never lost much mass - I think I'm just a naturally big guy.

I think the other way I have to go about this is to gain more explosive power and more effectiveness in my technique. There's a local parkour group that meets every saturday, and I might check it out and see if they can help give me some pointers as well.

Do you have any recommendations for me? I can't even do a single, proper pullup and have a vertical jump of near nothing. Any advice or training tips would be helpful and greatly appreciated. Northern Parkour has produced my favorite videos about parkour, and hopefully I'll be able to visit or study in the UK (I'm in the US) and train with you sometime in the future.
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Re: Parkour for the Bottom-heavy

Postby Obsidian » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:30 am

Hi and welcome to the site! I'm glad that you found the videos useful.

As with anything in life, if you want to improve and become good at it, you have to enjoy what you're doing. You mentioned that you can't currently do a proper pull up, and have a limited vertical jump which you'd like to improve. So you've already fulfilled one of the most fundamental training requirements: understanding your own limitations and setting goals. One of the most important things in training, is to be realistic about your goals and how long they might take to achieve. Each time you train, work towards an objective, however small it may seem.

I would recommend meeting up with your local parkour group. Experienced parkour practitioners will be able to help offer you pointers on what you can do to improve on your weaknesses. Even if you are naturally heavy set, you can greatly improve overall strength and jumping ability, by practicing parkour. Parkour is unique in the sense that the training goals are set by the individual, and so everyone is self motivated by the fact that they are working towards a personal objective or goal. Being around other practitioners can help to provide motivation and ideas, especially in the early stages of training. Get in touch with the local group, and let us know how you get on :)

Also, just let us know if you do plan on coming over to the UK at any point. It would be good to train with you!
Correct the wise man and he will thank you. Correct the fool and he will attack you.
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