- 1 TIMOTHY 4:8

Most of our skills are developed on the ground. When you begin working on apparatuses such as swing sets and hand rails, check your environment before you work. Stress test them for strength. If the bars are bending under your weight, then don't use them. Also, early morning dew and left over rain moisture will prevent good traction. I've also found playground mulch dust prevents good traction on poles. Some playground paints seem to discourage traction in certain temperatures. Be careful, be safe. There's nothing more frustrating than sitting out, waiting for your body to heal because you attempted something before testing your surfaces.

Quadrupedal Movement
We'll start on the ground to develop our core strength so that we're ready to safely traverse height and don't break ourselves.
  1. Forward Q-M - Your hands should be a comfortable distance (about shoulder-width) apart and your feet should be a comfortable distance (about hip-width) apart. Begin on the grass while k`eeping 3 points of contact with the ground. As your strength increases, try to maintain 2 points of contact with the ground by coordinating movement between alternate hands and feet.
  1. Sideways Q-M - Start in a crouched position, hands on ground in front of you. Swing your arms to the right, onto the ground, and then shift your weight to your hands as you swing your hips and legs to the right. Repeat this motion several times. Then, switch directions. Remember to train both sides equally. If your path leads slightly up hill, rotate your body 180 degrees so that you can hit both the left and right directions going up hill.


  1. Backward Q-M - Use a similar position as the forward quadripedal movement. This exercise will emphasize your shoulders and core as your arms will propel you rather than your legs. Again, begin with 3 points of contact and work toward 2.
  1. Quadripedal Gallop - When done on a sidewalk, this move will help develop your hand calluses as well as your core strength and endurance. Don't try to keep your hands or feet together. Rather get comfortable with 4 independent limbs as you gallop. When your left hand is leading, your right hand should follow and your right leg should lead your left leg. Start slow and work toward moderate speed and longer strides. Caution: this one will definitely turn heads!
  1. Forward Inline Q-M - Use the curb (on a street with little to no traffic) as a guide for this exercise. Your hands and feet will be inline and your core will develop quickly. Again, begin with 3 points of contact and work toward 2.
  1. Backward Inline Q-M - By bringing your hands and feet inline, you're see a big improvement in balance and core strength. Again, begin with 3 points of contact and work toward 2.
  1. Forward Cat Balance on Rail - You should start with lower rails for safety as you don't have very far to fall. However smaller diameters will be much harder than larger diameters. This is the primary reason we develop the inline strength on the ground. I moved from the ground to a swing set with a 6" diameter bar. Then, I developed my strength on a 3" diameter swing set. Then, I moved on to 2" handrails. If you're lucky, you can even find 1" handrails. So, start with larger diameters and progress to smaller ones.


  1. Backward Cat on Rail - Here's my favorite training technique for developing core strength, balance, and confidence. Larger diameter bars will be easier. Progress from 3 points of contact to 2, and from larger diameter bars to smaller ones. Aim to trust your balance and feet placement so that you don't have to look at your toes to see them contact the bar.



Urban Evolution - Salil Maniktahla, Owner
...specializing in Parkour/Free Running, UrbanFit, Aerial Acrobatics, Gymnastics, Break Dancing, and Capoeira
Primal Fitness - Mark Toorock, Owner
...specializing in Parkour/Free Running, CrossFit, and Gymnastics
American Parkour
...excellent tutorials and a huge forum of practitioners
Urban Freeflow
...videos of isolated moves and white papers on techniques