An energetic and challenging sport, Parkour has finally made its mark in United States, spurring the popularity of parkour gyms and parkour equipment sales around the country. New advancements in parkour equipment, like support wedges, blocks, and mats, are helping to make this sport more accessible to beginners. From wall flips to cat leaps and climb ups, the tower wedge is a great tool for building your strength and skills in the gym before taking your practice into the great outdoors.
The “tic tac” is a great parkour move to start out with. This energetic move will have you up in the air in no time. Make sure your Tower Wedge is propped against a firm wall, on the tallest setting with the larger base of the wedge on the ground. This will create a roughly 45 degree angle. Start with your chest facing the wedge, about two large steps away from the base. Advance quickly to the wedge with power, leaping into the air on your second step. As you kick up towards the sky, spin towards your right or left side, using the wedge as a powerful base to pivot off of.
The wedge provides a supportive base on which to practice before trying this trick on more vertical surfaces (like walls). Practicing on the wedge is a great way to get comfortable with some of your first parkour moves, and to build strength and minimize impact while in training.
How to: The Cat Leap is a classic parkour movement used to climb over walls. Cat Leaps can be combined with other moves to create an impressive series of steps across any urban landscape with a little height. Start by positioning the tower wedge on a vertical setting with the wider base on the floor, and the peak tilting away from you. Stand about 4 leaps away from the wedge, with your chest facing the wedge. Run towards the tower wedge and once you are about one step away for the base, leap into the air, extending both hands into the air. The aim is to reach for the top of the wall, but to allow the feet and legs to use the power of the wall to propel you upwards.
The wedge provides enough cushion, support, and a more comfortable angle to help you learn the Cat Leap in a gym setting. The wedge also has enough traction to prevent slippage under the feet.
How to: Set the Tower Wedge up on it’s tallest setting, with the base of the wedge coming towards you and the peak slanted away. Ensure the wedge is placed against a sturdy wall. Run towards the wedge, stopping one step away from the base. As you slow your run, extend your right or left foot upwards to kick off against the wedge. This will be your power foot. As you spring off of the block and into your tuck, keep your back and upper body flexed- do not arch backwards.
In an outdoor setting, beginners often practice this move against a tree that is growing at a similar angle to the Tower Wedge. This angle provides an easier base to kick off into the flip. The Tower Wedge provides a larger surface area, and stable base to get your tuck flip off to the right start.
Set your Tower Wedge to its tallest setting, with the top peak angled away from you. Make sure you can reach the top of the wedge (our wedge is six feet tall, so it works well for adult athletes). Position the wedge in front of a sturdy wall. Place your hands on the top of the wedge, about should width apart. In one swift move, engage the core and bring your feet up onto the wedge in a staggered, sprinting position. This is the first part of the climb. To advance up the wedge, drive your lower leg upwards. Here, the power is coming from the legs and core- not just the arms and shoulders.
The supported angle of the block will help you build strength and core confidence before trying this move on a vertical surface.
The world of parkour is all about confidence, strength, and good technique. By practicing tricks in the gym with parkour equipment, you’ll be developing the skills you need to advance in this thrilling sport.