Welcome to Rising Traceuse A global resource for parkour athletes
Welcome to Rising Traceuse A global resource for parkour athletes

Top Tips for Becoming a Parkour Girl

"Parkour is more of a guy sport."
Photo by Anya Chibis

"I think it takes a certain kind of girl to do parkour."

"I know there are parkour girls out there, but I just think it's too intense."

Sound familiar? If you're a girl who practices parkour, you've probably heard these objections before. I know I have. Or, maybe you haven't started yet, but these are some of the thoughts keeping you from trying. When I first started practicing parkour, I thought I wouldn't be strong enough to get very far. If you've been thinking the same way, engrave this phrase into your mind:

"Parkour doesn't take strength, it makes strength."

I have been training parkour for a few years now, and I have practiced with a lot of women and seen them grow. If you need any more encouragement, just take me for an example. I may not be a great athlete yet, but I have come pretty far considering I hated sports up until parkour. The simple truth is anyone can practice parkour. Even still, as I have learned in my training so far, there are some challenges that a woman in particular will need to overcome as she develops into a parkour girl, but overcoming obstacles is the heart of parkour.

The first obstacle is physical strength. When I began training, upper body muscle didn't exist for me. My arms looked like sticks. Any woman like me who hasn't focused intentionally on developing her muscles won't have the physical strength to perform certain movements. For instance, when I first tried to do a climb up on a short wall, I couldn't even pull myself half way. Don’t let that keep you from training with the guys, though, because there are a lot of parkour movements you can train that will strengthen your muscles as you practice them. In the meantime, start doing some pushups and pull-ups a few days a week.

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The second obstacle is other people. Maybe your mom is telling you that parkour is too masculine, or maybe your friends are not taking your new interest seriously. As a parkour girl, you will almost definitely deal with other people bringing you down at one point or another. Instead of letting this scare you away from trying, take any negative comments as a challenge. To stay in focus, spend some time with a person you train with who supports your desire to practice parkour. For me, that person was my husband and teacher, Stefanno. Without him, I never would have had the courage to keep going.

Photo by Anya Chibis
The third obstacle, and perhaps the biggest of all, is yourself. While most sports focus on teamwork and winning, parkour is completely dependent on your will to improve yourself and move forward. As a parkour girl, you must know your limits, set your goals and make your way there steadily and safely. If you ever get hurt when practicing, which I hope you won't, it would only be because you tried to push your limits too fast. Remember that no one learns parkour overnight. You should be slow and careful, giving thought to every detail in your movements.

These are the best tips that I've learned from my experience training thus far. From all that I've learned from my parkour family, this is the most important:If you have the desire to practice parkour and become a parkour girl, nothing is stopping you! Just seek out a team near you, grab your tennis shoes and start becoming the athlete you want to be.

Hey Traceuses: I had originally posted this parkour girl article on Yahoo! Voices, but since the site and its content have been taken down, I decided to move it to Rising Traceuse to keep it alive. If you enjoyed reading it, you may want to like Rising Traceuse on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Stay safe and train hard!

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