If a traceur does not have the proper technique, is not aware of their surroundings, or has not conditioned their body they will be more prone to injure themselves. More often than not accidents are only minor for a traceur, but there’s that still small percentage that is an emergency situation. Even for the smaller injuries however, they may mean you need to take time off for recovery. So what are the most common injuries, and how do they occur?
What are the most common injuries?
It is all too easy to be injured in various ways in parkour. Sometimes it’s a result of impact, other times its from lack of technique. Or it may just be that you haven’t trained enough. The most common injuries occur from falls during vaults. The second happen when someone attempts acrobatics during free running. The third most common injuries happen when someone falls during a drop or a precision.
Most traceurs commonly get sprains in the joints, muscles, knees, and ankles. Next up would be the strains or tears in the muscles or tendons. Fracture is also a possibility. As is dislocation. Foot and hand injuries are very common impact for injuries. As are shin hits, and shoulder or hip impact bruising. Some of the worse injuries you will find would be finger, toe, or knee capitations.
Injury Cause: Lack of Proper Form
Some injuries, not having the proper techniques or form while performing a move can cause an injury. This is where you will get injuries such as the foot and hand injuries, elbow and shin hits, some sprains, shoulder and hip bruises, as well as knee capitations.
With foot and hand injuries, it’s usually about learning the proper techniques when vaulting and landing. If your feet don’t have the proper form on landing, you might roll your ankle and sprain it. Or you might try a vault and miss your target with your hands and sprain your wrists, or maybe just slip and get something more minor. It usually comes down to either spatial awareness or technique.
With things like the shin hits, its similar in that its down to not having down the proper moves. But here is where better training can do you some good. In parkour, as always, its best to do your training in a slow progression. Never try and jump ahead. Work on be aware of your surroundings, and your technique when doing precision jumps.
Injury Cause: Body Not Conditioned
Many injuries are caused by not knowing the proper techniques. However It’s very important to keep your body in shape, your muscles strong, and your body limber. It’s what will save you from injury. Unfortunately, not properly conditioning your body can result in some severe injuries. Yes, you can get some foot and hand injures from this sort of thing. You will also see the knee and ankle sprains.
Where you get into the more severe injuries is if you pull muscles or tendons, such as with the Achilles tendon. They will drop you. You will get sick. It will take you ages to recover, and plenty of physical therapy.
Injury Cause: Other
Friction can cause injuries such as ripping your hand. This is why they don’t usually recommend you wear fingerless gloves with the sport. It can prevent you from forming calluses on your hands in the areas you need them most.
There are other injuries that fall into all the other categories depending on how you got them, such as with the fractures and dislocations. Tendonitis would fall into a category of its own. It can depend partly on your genetics, and partly on repetitive movements and how you’re caring for your body. But you some can develop tendonitis.
Another cause of injury would be the use of unsuitable parkour shoes and parkour clothing. You will need to have a proper shoe that gives you the ability to maneuver around effortlessly. The clothes that you wear may also lead to injury so you need to choose your clothes wisely.
Injury Prevention: Agility
Agility practice to prevent falls from vaults or drops is a great way to prevent injury. Agility practice might include any activity that promotes balance such as hops. The key is to work on your hand eye coordination, and your spatial awareness.
It really should be something you do as part of you regular warm-up. This is groundwork as it’s most basic. You can do it with or without an obstacle. Without, you simply keep your arms tucked and hop into different positions and back, and sideways. Then add in an obstacle and do the same. Some of the exercises that American football players do in training, that of running in and out of obstacles is an excellent example of agility training.
Injury Prevention: Strength Training
Conditioning your body, and building up the strength in your muscles is key to many of the worst injuries that you can get in parkour. But it can also serve as prevention by building up padding to protect your skeletal structure and internal organs. That padding reduces impact injuries on your bones. That strength in your muscles will also reduce injuries related to sprains and strains. You can hopefully reduce the likelihood of injury from a pulled muscle or tendons.
Strong muscles, especially in the back, butt, and shoulders can help take on impacts. Though strengthening all your muscles are going to be important in parkour, when speaking of injury prevention these are the major muscle groups that are likely to take a fall first. These are the ones that could use the extra padding. Learning proper techniques will help you learn not to fail, and if you do to fail safely. But strengthening your muscles will protect your body even further should your body make an impact.
Injury Prevention: Stretching
Just as important as ensuring your muscles are strong, is making sure they stay warm and limber. At the very least, you need to be stretching your muscles to keep lengthen them and keep them flexible after every workout. It will also help prevent you from getting sore. If you don’t stretch, your muscles will bulk up to much, and you stand to lose too much of that vital flexibility that you need for parkour. Ideally, you really should be doing warm-up exercises and stretching beforehand as well so you don’t go into a course cold. When your muscles are cold, they are rigid and haven’t had a chance to warm up. The first time you take that big vault you’re likely to injure yourself.
Check out some of the injury that could happen when doing parkour!