If you want to stay in shape, but you live in a city and can't stand exercising indoors, you need to learn how to free run. Free running is a form of acrobatics where the free runners attempt to use obstacles in urban environments to create movement, like flips, holds and spins, that are enjoyable to watch. Free running originated as term to describe parkour to English-speakers in 2003, but the two terms have grown to mean different things. While both terms refer to movement within an environment, parkour focuses on getting through and around obstacles with as little effort as possible, while free running focuses on the visual beauty of the movement through obstacles.
Things you will need:
- Free Running Shoes
- Loose Fitting Clothing
- Get yourself in shape. The acrobatics that you see free runners doing are impressive for a reason. You simply cannot do them if you are out of shape or if your muscles aren't strong. This doesn't mean that you can't free run at all to start out, but if you are serious about the sport, getting in shape is your first goal. Do lots of running, or any other cardio exercise, to get your body prepared to free run.
- Build your core, arm and leg muscles. You're not going to get up that wall or perform the flip with weak muscles. Do squats, pull ups, push ups and lunges several times a week to build strength in your muscles. You will naturally get stronger as you free run, but these exercises will speed up the process.
- Purchase the right gear for free running. Loose fitting clothing is huge, as your limbs need their full range of motion. Buy free running shoes, or any set of shoes that is designed to give you traction on smooth surfaces.
- Start with the basics. If you don't have anyone to teach you the moves, check out parkour or free running videos on YouTube. Start with basic rolling and jumping and slowly increase the difficulty of your moves. When you start it will be best to have a carpet or mat that you can land on, since you will fall often. Don't head out into a city until you feel comfortable with rolling and jumping.
- Take your skills outside. Hit the city and start performing your tricks over small obstacles. Don't try anything more than a few feet high. Just keep moving and practice your tricks. As you get better, watch new tricks and practice them, but don't try anything too difficult while you are by yourself, just in case you hurt yourself.
- Reach out to free running groups in your area. Since free running is a visual experience, you want other people around to watch your tricks. Many universities have parkour or free running groups that will be glad to have you, even if you aren't part of the university.
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