Are tracers athletes or not? The essence of parkour

If you move around the city on your own two, crossing over or jumping over obstacles, thereby laying your own route, then you have the makings of a tracer. Do not worry, this is not an abusive word. Tracers are people who are engaged in parkour, which has now turned into a fashionable hobby. It came to us straight from France.

What is parkour?

It has many definitions: the art of rational movement, the obstacle course, easy and simple movement, children's play, etc. Parkour is loved for the opportunity of self-expression, for the beauty of movements and drive. Someone follows fashion with his help, someone uses it as a means for physical development, someone fights his own fears, and someone deals together for all these reasons. But the essence of parkour is one and does not change. This is the overcoming of obstacles by light energy-saving rational movements. Now you know what parkour is. We will briefly talk about how this movement appeared.

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History of occurrence

In its modern form, parkour appeared in the late 80s of the XX century. But 1997 is considered a turning point, when a report was published about him on French television. In the story, parkour founder David Belle spoke in detail about his “invention”, showing the main elements. In the same year, the Frenchman assembled the first team of tracers, calling it "Yamakashi." And in Russia, parkers appeared only in 2002. The film “Yamakashi” shown a year earlier contributed to this. But the real boom began after the release of the picture "13th District" in 2004. A mass of teenagers went to the streets, trying to repeat the elements seen in the picture that the actors had been training for months. A large number of various injuries and hooliganism only led to the fact that parkour in Russia began to be associated with vandalism and a waste of time. And the reason for this, of course, is the pseudo-tracers. But what do the representatives of parkour actually live?

In France, he attracts youth precisely with his philosophy. Unlike many subcultures, parkour does not take negativity, anger or detachment as a basis, urging tracers to be skillful and strong. And not only for themselves, but also for others.

what is parkour

What do tracers do?

Lawns, underpasses, pedestrian zebras, traffic lights and sidewalks. The world has established traffic rules. But not for tracers! They ignore the rules and regulations, moving in a different plane. For representatives of parkour, it is important what to believe and what to love. The main thing is what you ultimately strive for. Most people think parkour is a sport. But for tracers, this is something more. They overcome themselves and respond adequately to the difficulties arising from the level of physical fitness. Parkour is more a team movement than a loner. After all, a like-minded person of any tracer must come to his aid.


David Belle speaks of parkers as romantics for whom there are no borders. This also applies to age. A tracer can be either a 13-year-old boy or a 30-year-old man. Moreover, it is possible that the first will instruct and train the second. But still, the vast majority of tracers are young people. Well, girls are extremely rare. And they are engaged in parkour mainly to maintain shape. Indeed, overcoming the four-minute track sometimes takes more effort than conducting a many-hour training session.

what do tracers do


It is not particularly important for tracers. The main indicator is convenience. An ideal option would be a tracksuit made of natural fabric (Bologna tracers will not recognize) with loose trousers. The latter should not constrain movements and allow effective jumping. The label doesn't matter. Even better if the clothes are cheap, because they often tear and get dirty. In rainy weather, tracers practice in hoodies with a hood.


They are a very important component of parkour. All good tracers are people with excellent physical fitness. Its absence can significantly limit opportunities.

Among the main exercises for preparing the body for parkour are those that will allow you to jump high and far, quickly climb walls and pull your body in your arms. And the key skills of the parkour: endurance, flexibility, agility and strength. Tracer training should help develop these qualities. But the basis is precisely power exercises.

tracer training


Since the main thing that tracers focus on is explosive power, all exercises must be performed at a fast pace. Rest between sets varies from 1 to 3 minutes. Here is a sample training program:

  • Twisting the press (3-4 sets). Engage only muscles and do nothing to help.
  • Burning out (3-4 sets). Heels need to be constantly kept above the ground.
  • Squats (4–5 sets). Try to evenly lower and rise.
  • Pullups (3 sets). Maximum speed.
  • Push-ups from the floor (3-4 sets). With each approach, you need to change the width of the arm.

Life style

So now you know that tracers are not athletes. Parkour is not a sport by objective criteria: there is no struggle for results, and there is practically no extreme (risk to life). And by and large this is not a discipline. For any tracer, parkour is his lifestyle.


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