Parkour is all about thinking outside the box. It is about reconnecting with your body through movement exploration. How? Say there is a barrier. Most people would walk around it. Parkour encourages you to figure out a way to get over that barrier. Why? Why not. Our bodies are victim to repetition. This repetition is wreaking havoc on our muscles, tendons, ligaments, spine, etc. It is the cause for overuse injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, piriformis syndrome, neck pain, and back pain. By opening your mind to new ways of movement you give your body a chance to be more natural and reverse some of the negative effects of overuse.
Charles Moreland of Rochester Parkour has described parkour as a way to "challenge ourselves in different ways". He also likens it to playtime. How many people have you heard say that their mind is the same as when they were young but their bodies have aged exponentially? Movement is the difference between an aged body and a young body. A young body is not limited or afraid to move quickly and oddly. But an aged body has a restricted movement repetoire. By engaging in parkour you create new neural pathways for motor control. What is the benefit of that? The brain is an amazing organ. It works similarly to a computer. The programming that is there is what gets used, over and over. To change the way it works you must introduce new programming. That is the benefit of parkour. Parkour challenges you to look at a problem and solve it in a way that works with how your body moves. It creates new programming in your brain equipping you with more ways to react to falls, or barriers, should they ever come up in the day to day of life.
Now I can explain how this fits in with kettlebell training.
Charles made many good points. (I took notes)
One of the things he touched on is how we as a society have become rigid in the way we approach fitness. Fitness in our culture has become one where we need to be dragged kicking and screaming to a gym where we stare blankly at a screen while sweating away on a treadmill or follow along with an aerobics instructor (in my case fumbling to keep up with choreography). There is no connection with the body. It is just more separation with less awareness. What I love about the philosophy of parkour and why it goes hand in hand with kettlebell training is that both encourage the practitioner to be aware of their body, to challenge their body and to do so at their comfort level. In kettlebell training strength brings about flexibility. By making a muscle group stronger it takes the stress off of the synergist muscles and antagonist muscles so the joints become freer. With this newfound freedom of movement you need to reprogram your neurons and what better way to do so than through parkour?
Saturday November 7, 2015 we are collaborating with Rochester Parkour for a 90 minute kettlebell & parkour training session. Space is limited. Sign up today and discover movement play.
Kerry M. Davis LMT, CIMT, SFG