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Mitchell Wachtel D.P.M.

Parkour: Avoid Injuries While Training

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New England Parkour serves our surrounding area in teaching people a new form of effectively navigating obstacles in their way. It takes a lot of heavy training to be able to achieve this. It is not the same as free-running, but rather a disciplined, highly-trained way of moving. It is very important to know a few key safety tips to avoid injuring yourself—especially your feet!

Beginner Parkour SafetyParkour is a sport that involves a lot of sprinting, jumping, landing, and—at advanced levels—rolling. Building up your muscles is an important element in practicing this sport. The powerhouse muscles in the lower body that are used for running and jumping are the quads and the glutes. You should definitely focus on these muscle groups, but don’t forget about the calves. Even though they are smaller, they are just as elemental in powering your body as the bigger ones. Spend some time each week performing calf raises. You can even do them in a squatted position and work more than one muscle group at a time. Also, simply walking around on your tip toes will strengthen your calves.

Another component of parkour is landing. Your feet and legs can take a lot of abuse if you don’t know how to land safely. You should always land on the balls of your feet and never your heels. If you land flatfooted, you increase the potential of sustaining a serious injury. When you land you should utilize your whole body, including your hands when possible, to absorb some of the impact. Don’t land with a straight leg; let your knees bend slightly as you hit the ground to evenly distribute the force throughout the body instead of allowing the feet to take the brunt of it. Do not jump from heights that are taller than you. Advanced training must be done before attempting such jumps.

For more information on preventing injury in your feet and legs during activity, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment at one of our Massachusetts offices. You can also check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Photo Credit: Tablav via freeimages.com

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