Friday, October 8, 2010


Equinox Health clubs is known for their innovative Group Exercise classes like Tabata, Intensati, and now Parkour.  I participated in a demo class of Parkour at Equinox Chicago's 900 North Michigan location.

To say this class was out of my element is an understatement.  We were lead through a warm up of conditioning exercises by Group Fitness Managers Tonya Dugger and Jen Hogg. In the 30 minute workout many were already gasping for air and sweating it up.  Then we were lead by Alex through a Parkour workout. We vaulted over highly stacked steps, army crawled through hurdles, precision jumped over steps (and eventually people), and grapevined around hurdles creating a circuit like feel. My heart rate was up and at one point when checking my heart rate monitor was at 92%.  By the end of the hour long class I had burned almost 800 calories and had a ton of fun.  Did I do everything like the instructor? By no means. But I attempted it and laughed at myself in good humor.

According to the website Parkour US
"Parkour or l'art du déplacement is NOT a extreme sport, rather it is a physical discipline that allow one to overcome their obstacles to get from point a to point b in the most efficient using the possibility of human body. Such movement may contain running, jumping, climbing, vaulting and other movements that may help the efficiency. 
One who trains and practice the discipline is called a “traceur” or “traceuses” for women practitioners. The goal of parkour is to allow a traceur adopt to his or her environment by using the surrounding structure. Whether the environment is in the rural or urban area, a traceur is trained to be able to face the obstacles at any given time. 
Movements are often trained by repetitions, building ground up from the basics. Parkour is often confused with freerunning. Freerunning, a distant cousin of parkour, contains movements that are not efficient, such as flips. Parkour originated in France, founded by David Belle and many others. Along with the physical movements, parkour contains philosophy which enhances a traceur’s ability to solve problems and their awareness of surroundings. 
Furthermore, there are NO COMPETITIONS in parkour; the only competition is you, and yourself."

Some Parkour moves that you will see in a class.

Check your local Equinox to see when and where Parkour classes are available.  Definitely a challenge and a lot of fun. 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I think it looks like so much fun. I love efficiency. ;-)