Author Topic: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?  (Read 21637 times)

Offline redrooster

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Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« on: September 06, 2010, 02:13:27 PM »
It seems to me that we are just not built for the stresses and impacts of parkour; I mean, our bodies haven't yet adapted to walking on concrete, let alone landing and rolling on it. I train well and safely, but I'm still subject to new aches and pains. I know the sport is about pushing the limits of the human body, but I'm not entirely convinced that doing so is a good thing. My fitness goal has always been to become a spry old man; I want my body to function well for as long as possible - I think I may have to give up parkour.

Offline Austin"Yoshi"

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 02:17:59 PM »
thats why we have such teqnuiches that need to be perfected over time so that we dont do as much damage to our body, we may enjoy the unnatural but were not dumb.

Offline My Name

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2010, 02:24:33 PM »
even so with all our conditioning and repetion we can't lie to our selves theres no way to stop body wear and tear. but i dont look at that as discouraging. parkour when practiced responsibly is as safe as any other sport and would you rather have a great time in your youth doing what you love or be old and regret being too safe.

Offline FreeStyleFox

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2010, 02:27:13 PM »
Some people train for show others train for life.  Training for life is a lot harder.  Requires more dedication, patience, and exercise.  The idea is to rely on your muscles instead of your joints for controlling the movement and momentum.  Watch some of the videos of the founders and etc watch the way they move.  Every thing is in control.
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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2010, 02:30:11 PM »
It's as safe as you practice it. If you want to take big drops for fun, whatever, but you aren't going to be a "spry old man."

Honestly? Parkour isn't what you think. It isn't the be all end all. Go outside, run around a forest. Go have fun.

Offline Andrew Hull

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2010, 02:44:10 PM »
Complete bull. Seriously. Our bodies were built for EXACTLY this. Most of the physical problems encountered by the 'transition' into parkour are due to the absolutely PATHETIC physical state the human race currently exists in. Take 'parkour' and teach it to the Maasai warriors in Africa and I GUARANTEE you they would have no negative effects.

The simple fact is shoes and chairs and cars and computers have RUINED the human machine. Let's face it, biologically we are forward eyed, stereophonic, bipedal hunters built for speed, endurance, massive proportionate strength and intelligent movement. Method Naturelle and Parkour are a cry back to our origins as a species. Maybe thinking that our bodies can't handle parkour says more about how we treat our bodies than it does about parkour.
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2010, 03:04:54 PM »
Take 'parkour' and teach it to the Maasai warriors in Africa and I GUARANTEE you they would have no negative effects.
A thing to add to this... I don't think they have any buildings to jump off of either. Yes, our bodies have developed for this, but we in the urban/gymnastic environment might be taking it at a pace exceeding that of the evolutionary process. "Evolve faster!" you might think, but still, there are upper limits regardless of how long you've been training.




BUT, remembering the idea of être et durer, you might conclude that anything endangering your body in the long run simply means it "is not" parkour. Therefore, parkour inherently cannot be bad for the human body, as anything that is "bad" for the human body is not included in parkour.

Anything we do then that is bad for our bodies is simply a mistake that will hopefuly be remedied. For example, soccer training, even in the short time that I played (8 years) went through multiple evolutions, hoping to find the best way possible. It doesn't mean previously soccer was bad... just our methods were.


So, no parkour is not bad for the human body.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 03:10:38 PM by Alec Furtado »
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Offline Scott Berson

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2010, 03:09:40 PM »
Well look at Seb Foucan and David Belle...they've been training for going on 30 years and neither of them have shown any signs of slowing down. I think with proper progression and good training and technique and general common sense, you really shouldn't have too many problems.



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Offline Andrew Hull

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2010, 03:11:54 PM »
I don't believe we're exceeding the evolutionary process. I think we as a species have ATTACKED the evolutionary process and beat it into submission. We spend billions if not trillions of dollars each year developing new ways for people to DO less and then billions and trillions on new medicines and regulations to deal with the detriments caused by doing less. Progress is a sick disease.
Rely on yourself. Rely on your body. Rely on your training, instincts, and heart. Everything else is a crutch.

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Don't wear shoes.  Make the pavement bleed.

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2010, 03:24:32 PM »
I don't believe we're exceeding the evolutionary process. I think we as a species have ATTACKED the evolutionary process and beat it into submission. We spend billions if not trillions of dollars each year developing new ways for people to DO less and then billions and trillions on new medicines and regulations to deal with the detriments caused by doing less. Progress is a sick disease.
That's assuming we have chosen the best way to do it, which I'd love to see anybody try to prove. ;D There's a lot of "what if"s in dealing with that idea...

But I mean, obviously it's not perfected yet. I mean, we still die don't we?

This makes me think of a new thread topic... "What IS the epitome of human evolution?" (Would immortality be included in the characterization of the perfect creature? O.o)

But anyway, back on topic...
Water conforms to the shape of it's surroundings. Do not be water. Shape your own life.

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2010, 03:55:27 PM »
How exactly would we be going about figuring out if we're doing it wrong and fixing it if we have no classes or teachers? Anyone have suggestions, 'cause I've already had a slight elbow issue and I've been practicing for 6 months (it's better now, but that isn't the point). I'd like to make sure nothing similar happens and I don't kill my knees and elbows due to training wrong.

Offline Andrew Hull

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2010, 03:58:16 PM »
Start small. Train for strength. Work muscles before movements. Stretch. If it hurts don't do it.
Rely on yourself. Rely on your body. Rely on your training, instincts, and heart. Everything else is a crutch.

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Don't wear shoes.  Make the pavement bleed.

Offline AdamE

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2010, 04:13:17 PM »
It seems to me that we are just not built for the stresses and impacts of parkour; I mean, our bodies haven't yet adapted to walking on concrete, let alone landing and rolling on it. I train well and safely, but I'm still subject to new aches and pains. I know the sport is about pushing the limits of the human body, but I'm not entirely convinced that doing so is a good thing. My fitness goal has always been to become a spry old man; I want my body to function well for as long as possible - I think I may have to give up parkour.

Just a couple of thoughts:

Parkour in essence is not about "pushing the limits of the human body", since practically all motions preformed are well within our natural physical capabilities. It has always been first and foremost - Efficiency of movement from point A to point B. Efficiency doesn't necessarily equate to unnatural or "extreme".

As Evan put it so well, Parkour is as safe as you make it. So if you're getting aches and pains from doing particular movements or actions, re-evaluate said actions. Perhaps your form is off, or the stresses on your particular body are more than you can handle at the present.

And finally...know your limits. Soreness and general aches are ok, there signs that we've stressed muscles and joints, forcing them to become stronger and more resiliant. If you're getting sharp pains, or pain that doesn't subside after a day or two, you've done too much damage and need to seek medial attention. You shouldn't be getting the latter though, unless you've had an accident, or are training improperly.

Offline Andrew Hull

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2010, 04:18:20 PM »
AMEN ADAM!
Rely on yourself. Rely on your body. Rely on your training, instincts, and heart. Everything else is a crutch.

Quote from: Dan Kelley
Don't wear shoes.  Make the pavement bleed.

Offline Macgyver 0.

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2010, 06:10:33 PM »
Here's how I think of it: Your going to get old and lose physical capacities soon anyways, so make these years the best by getting into great physical shape, whether or not there is wear and tear

if we want a point in our lives we have to make it, if we want happiness then we have to do our best to get happy. you can be a mindless drone, or you can go out and do something great. -Texas Steve-/b]
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Offline Tyler Whalen

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2010, 06:26:20 PM »
Here's how I think of it: Your going to get old and lose physical capacities soon anyways, so make these years the best by getting into great physical shape, whether or not there is wear and tear

You can be old and have physical cpacity. On the news once, I saw a 80 year old man who busted 80 push-ups in a row. He said every birthday he does 1 extra push-up. So if you train right and take care of yourself you can keep your capacity throughout your whole life.

Offline Austin "iSHREDbanez"

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2010, 06:50:13 PM »
Yeah, there are people in their early 60s that run triathlons.
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Offline max eisenberg

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2010, 07:29:49 PM »
most points i wanted to bring up were already brought up.

1. we are built exactly for these movements, although not for concrete
2. training for life is extremely hard and requires almost complete dedication to reach your goal

it could seem like we are not built for it but, assume we have lived in the forrests all of our lives. id bet we would be very strong because we had to be. instead of sitting for hours a day we would be working for most hours of the day. whenever i watch a monkey move through the trees i think to myself that he is very strong, especially the ones in their prime. i cant help but think that a large part of their strength comes from the necessity to have it. using it from the time they were born until the present day.

work first, play second, then work some more. one quote of david's really struck me a year ago, i will paraphrase. " parkour is for warriors".

tl;dr

parkour is not bad for you, you are bad for you.

oh and a question for all, if we we weren't meant to move in this way than why are we more than capable?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 07:05:31 AM by max eisenberg »


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Offline James Jallen Allen

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2010, 02:35:46 AM »
Complete bull. Seriously. Our bodies were built for EXACTLY this. Most of the physical problems encountered by the 'transition' into parkour are due to the absolutely PATHETIC physical state the human race currently exists in. Take 'parkour' and teach it to the Maasai warriors in Africa and I GUARANTEE you they would have no negative effects.

The simple fact is shoes and chairs and cars and computers have RUINED the human machine. Let's face it, biologically we are forward eyed, stereophonic, bipedal hunters built for speed, endurance, massive proportionate strength and intelligent movement. Method Naturelle and Parkour are a cry back to our origins as a species. Maybe thinking that our bodies can't handle parkour says more about how we treat our bodies than it does about parkour.
The life expectancy in Kenya is about 55. The life expectancy in Europe and the US is about 80.
That's only a difference of what.. 25!? To say that we have ruined the human machine is something I'd have to disagree with. Both intellectually and physically, we are continually progressing.

Our proportionate strength is not massive either. An average man can carry perhaps 1x or 2x his own weight, compared to other primates we are hideously weak. As well as this, we are not built for speed, our main attributes as a species are endurance and intelligence. We are very fragile - a fall from our just own height onto anything other than our feet can cause serious injury (which suggests that drops are unlikely to be something we have evolved to withstand).

I agree about running shoes however.

My point is though, that we are unlikely to be built for anything close to parkour. I think techniques such as vaults and precisions are unlikely to cause any damage.
IMO, drops will take thier toll on your knees and ankles (no matter how perfect your technique) and cats will take their toll on your back (unless you do it very controlled).

Offline tibo

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Re: Let's be honest: Is parkour bad for the human body?
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2010, 02:54:29 AM »
Complete bull. Seriously. Our bodies were built for EXACTLY this.

my vision on humans is that we weren't originally made to be physcally enhanced. we're the dominating species BECAUSE of our brains. if we didnt invent spears, we woulda gotten screwed over by animals in prehistory etc. what good physical attributes do we have? we cant outrun lions/cheetahs and others, we cant climb like monkeys, sharks would bite our legs off in the sea. we can use our heads to escape all this. so we weren't built exactly for this, we "mutated" if u like, when we introduced severe sports into our lifestyle :).
i hope i didnt make a fool of myself and people understand that :D
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