At Scottsdale Parkour Freerunning we are committed to giving the very best learning experience to our students. To help all of our students understand the terminology used to describe parkour and freerunning, we have conveniently listed our most used terms and their definitions below. This is by no means all of the skills that are possible but to get started, these will be the most helpful to memorize. As new moves are made up all the time we encourage the community to leave some of their most used moves in the comments section bellow and we will try to add them to the terms page 😀
the activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing.
a version of parkour that includes acrobatic moves that are purely aesthetic. Using flips tricks and other expressive movement, freerunning is a great way to learn about how an individual body moves and develop personal movement styles.
A practitioner of the sport/art of parkour. Is a skilled runner and jumper. Often has the ability to perform various acrobatic techniques, but not necessarily so.
When landing on a singular point, accurately, with feet close together or touching
(short for plyometric) plyos are a way to conserve momentum from prior movement for additional jumping power. Landing with feet together receiving the ground while reseting arms and legs for another jump.
jumping with one leg while throwing the mass of the unweighted leg in the direction of desired travel.
When coming down from an elevated surface it is sometimes important to dissipate the impact that is received by your legs when hitting the ground. Shoulder rolls are a way of doing just that along with providing a way to fall while minimizing chance for injury. Here is a good example of how execute a proper shoulder roll bright to you by Ryan Doyle
Using legs to jump and arms to push the body into the air, mounting is getting onto an object that is usually under shoulder hight.
Valting is a way to move over an obstacle usually using one or more hands to support the body over the obstacle. There are many kinds of vaults are within those kinds many variation. An experienced traceur will know when to use the right vaulting technic to fit the situation. there are endless combinations of vaults but some of the basics are, Kong, Step, speed, lazy, thief, reverse, 360, roll pop, and dash...
Being able to pull one's self onto the top of larger obstacles opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. While there are many different kinds of climb ups, they are all similar in what they accomplish. In level one the climb up is very basic and usually practiced on a smaller wall with a grippy texture. This is one of the most strength demanding skills to work on in parkour so don't get discouraged if you are struggling with this skill. Little bit of time and patience will get you there.
when descending from obstacles absorb landings are a way to minimize the impact on a body. There are a handful of ways to accomplish this, but the most common is a Tap Landing, where the traceur actively pushes against the ground upon initial impact until the arms are able to be used to further slow the body and absorb the remaining energy.
PK (parkour) Vision is a way of looking at a set of obstacles and precompiling a plan of action to negotiate them effectively.
sometimes you need to pull yourself through a small space. The under bar is a skill that require the tracuer to have something sturdy to hold on to in order to lift the feet up and swing though a small body diameter hole or opening.
This fancy french skill just means released. We use it in parkour when we talk about a traceur swinging from an object and throwing the weight of their body forward and doing a lachee( or as we learned earlier, a release)
Flipping the body in a forward rotation in such a way that tucking the legs in to the chest increases rotational speed
Flipping the body in a Backwards rotation in such a way that, tucking the legs in to the chest, increases rotational speed
In the world of free running the word flow is used to describe the consistent movements from one skill to another. For example: someone with good flow may know how to transition from a vault to a front tuck while conceiving the momentum from each skill to put into the next skill.
Refers to a 360º spin on the Y axis of a person (head to toes). This may alternatively be called 360.
When only 180º of spin occur it's refer to as Half
this moves gets its name from the movement looking like a monkey. From a Crab walk position pick up one hand off the ground. Using the hand that is still on the ground, support the weight of the body while taking small step around the panted hand until the the feet are behind the planted hand. Practice going from the crab walk position to a crawling position getting comfortable jump from one position to the other.
A gaining is when a freerunner does a flip traveling forward through the air but rotating in a backwards direction. This is a very difficult skill to learn safely and should be done with extreme caution after proper progressions have been done leading up to the flip.
This skill is the exact opposite skill of the gainer. This is a forward rotating flip that travels in a backwards direction
In higher levels of tricking and freerunning there becomes more then a single rotation in flips. When this occurs we call it a DUB and everyone knows it gets real when you start seeing anything more then a dub like the elusive TRIP.....
part of looking cool in freerunning isn't just about how fast or high you can flip, but more about what you body looks like when you flipping. Sometimes to add more flair to a move just by pulling one leg in, or moving our arms to strike a pose in the air.