“What I’m interested in is what the guy’s got in his head, if he has self-confidence, if he masters the technique, if he has understood the principles of parkour.” David Belle, Parkour Pioneer
Mastering parkour is all about building strength, gaining confidence, and improving technique. Parkour vaults are essential, yet tricky moves to master. The Speed Vault, Dash Vault, and Kong Vault all require practice before they can be successfully executed, especially in an outdoor environment. Depending upon where you live, your current skill level, and the time of year, it may be beneficial to use Parkour Equipment, like The Classic Block by Parkour Factory. This piece of equipment is a safe and effective indoor training tool that will help you nail these impressive tricks.
Practicing vaulting moves on the Classic Block can help prevent injuries and joint damage in two ways. First, the foam padding on the block allows you to build strength while minimizing stress on the wrist and shoulder joints. Since the surface of the block is cushioned, there is less risk of damaging the wrist joints as you vault over the block. Second, the block allows for a softer landing than a traditional cement surface. This can help prevent the bruising that can be caused while practicing vaults on hard surfaces. Here are a few moves to try.
The Safety Vault is a great move for getting over ledges and other obstacles. It’s not the fastest option, but it safe, and is a great move for beginners and pro’s alike. As you approach the block, place both hands down on the block in front of you. Jump off one leg while swinging the other leg up and onto the block. Keep your extended leg in the air, moving it up and over the bock. Use the foot planted on the block for power and support. Remember to start this vault with your chest facing the obstacle- you’ll be approaching the block head-on.
The Kong Vault is one of the most useful, but also most difficult, parkour vaults. This move is great for gaining distance between obstacles, but it does require speed, strength, and lots of practice. Instead of first landing on the obstacle with your hands, you’ll take off with your legs, and then make hand-contact with the block once you are in the air. As you move over the parkour equipment, tuck your legs tightly underneath you to clear the obstacle. Once your legs are clear, you’ll need to extend your legs, prepare for landing and take your hands off the block.
The Speed Vault is another good move for keeping a forward momentum while moving over an obstacle, particularly handrails and shorter walls. As you move toward the block, place one hand on the block, and use that hand to lean on while propelling your legs up and sideways over the parkour equipment. Core strength is key here, to avoid extra strain on the wrist and shoulder.
The Dash Vault is another great option for quickly moving over an obstacle and landing back into the run. This move does require a lot of core strength, so practicing in the gym is key. In this vault, you progress feet-first over the block, while your hands provide a quick push off the block as you pass over it. The Classic Block provides just the right height and support to practice this vault in a gym setting.