Thursday night saw the launch of the first Parkour Conditioning class from CrossFit Glasgow. Free to all members of CFG, the class was coached by Chris Grant and Omercan of Glasgow Parkour. The only disappointing thing was the lack of members who turned up to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to try something new at no additional cost!
Okay, so many of you may be thinking “I’m too old for parkour!”, or “I’m too scared!” or even “I’m just not interested in doing parkour.” However, as Chris Grant himself made clear at the start of Thursdays session, this is not parkour – it is conditioning for parkour. By participating in this class you will not be jumping from rooftop to rooftop, vaulting over railings or sprinting up walls (if you fancy trying your hand at this then you can check out the adult classes run by Glasgow Parkour).
Conditioning for Parkour incorporates a range of body-weight strength and conditioning exercises which help to improve basic strength, coordination and agility. Thursdays session involved us jogging along Clydeside for a warm up while jumping over/ running around obstacles. We were then introduced to various quadrupedal movements such as bear crawl, bunny hops, straight-legged bear crawl, and sideways monkey crawl. Working in pairs, we had to complete various circuits – one person working while their partner had to remain in an isometric hold e.g. plank. We finished off with a high intensity circuit which combined all of the movements we had learned in the technical part of the session.
Everyone who took part will agree that this was a hard workout! But Chris and Omercan were great at making sure that each of us had individual coaching along the way and were accommodating to everyones individual abilities. For example, I still lack confidence when jumping over things since my accident with a plyo box a few months ago, so Omercan gave me easier alternatives to do which will help me to progress to the more challenging movement in the future. Furthermore, we all worked as a team throughout the session – everyone continued to work until the last person finished the exercise – so no one felt like they were on their own.
I awoke the next morning feeling sore in muscles that I have never experienced DOMS in before….in fact, muscles I never even knew existed! This is because the movements we were doing at the class required the use of many small stabilizer muscles that tend to be neglected in most of our other training and our general everyday lives.
Now just think how this can translate into better performance in CrossFit. The exercises that many of us find difficult such as ring-dips, muscle-ups, wall-climbs, handstand push-ups etc require a great amount of stability in order to perform them efficiently, effectively (or even at all!). Not only that, but the quadrupedal movements are great for developing coordination and agility ( 2 important components of fitness), and making us more aware of our movements and our surroundings, thus improving confidence and our attitude towards overcoming obstacles.
So I urge the members of CrossFit Glasgow to come down at 7pm on a Thursday night to give it a go – regardless of age, fitness levels or ability! If you really don’t like it, then you’re under no obligation to go back the following week…but I’m confident that everyone will reap the benefits of this class, and even have some fun in the process!