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How to Perform a Basic Parkour Wall Run

Off the Wall, Parkour

About three years ago, I was finally able to put a name to the sport that is parkour. For years, I’d seen people getting hurt on popular video sites, but had never known what it was called. Well, as soon as I had a name for the sport, I started doing some research, and found quite a bit of information. Well, the first thing I learned to do was a Wall Run (if you don’t count the roll), and it’s as good a starting point as any if you are attempting to get into the sport. It’s important to know how to roll before this, so make sure to practice that before doing ANYTHING in parkour.

Now, before we begin, I’m going to clear up two misconceptions on what a Wall Run is. First, it’s not really a “wall run.” If anything, it’s more of a “wall bounce” (more on that in a bit). Second, it is not the act of running horizontally across a wall. This is (to my understanding) called a Tic-Tac (something I haven’t had a chance to experiment with).

Alright, so your first step is to find your target wall. For your first time, I’d suggest a smaller wall, maybe 5- 5 1/2 feet. These are a lot easier to work with and are fairly common. After finding your wall, check (if possible) the area around it. Make sure that there isn’t anybody on the other side, or any hazards. If it is clear, then get into position in a few feet in front of the wall. How far is up to you, but I wouldn’t suggest anything too far from the wall, nor anything too close. You are going to start off just walking up to the wall and planting your foot onto it, pushing the balls of your feet onto the wall. Your leg shouldn’t go above your waist while doing this. After you have a general idea of where you will be planting your foot when you go to climb, try running and bouncing off the wall by jumping before you reach the wall and planting your foot onto the wall, using the ball of your foot to bounce up and away.

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You will want to practice this a few times to get a feel for it. Alternate between what foot you are using and try to avoid favoritism (you should work with both sides of your body for all exercises in parkour). Once you have this down, you can attempt to move over the wall. On the bounce, push your arms up and grab the wall, then use your momentum to pull yourself up and over. Try not to rest on your legs when you get up on the wall (I’m really bad about this. I still can’t stop myself from resting on my ankle once I’m on top of the wall), as this can cause increased stress on your joints. After you are on top of the wall, you’ll have to determine for yourself what you will do. If you are dropping off the wall, make sure to roll (depending on the height. If it’s only 3 feet on the other side, there isn’t much point in rolling).

That’s about all I can give you. There are numerous videos out on YouTube and there are pictures on the web, if you need those to help. Also, when you are bouncing off the wall, remember that you are pushing into the wall, not pushing down it. If you try to push down the wall, you will slide down, and that will waste your momentum.