The Difference Freerun Vs Parkour| Which Is Better?

Freerun Vs Parkour

Are you a fan of high-energy athletic movements? Have you ever heard of freerun vs parkour? They look similar but are actually two different disciplines that require different skill sets and motivations. And in this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two and help you decide which one is right for you.

Both freerun and parkour involve jumping, running, and climbing over obstacles in urban and natural environments. However, freerun is more focused on creative expression and acrobatic movement, while parkour is more focused on efficiency and practicality in overcoming obstacles.

So whether you’re interested in mastering flips and spins or overcoming obstacles quickly and cost-effectively, we’ll break down the key differences between freerun and parkour.

What is Parkour?

Parkour is an exhilarating and daring physical activity combining running, climbing, jumping, and leaping elements. Using the environment to its maximum potential, Parkour is a sport that aims to move with efficiency and speed from one point to another while overcoming any obstacles that might be in the way. David Belle created this activity in the late 1980s and has since gained international recognition worldwide.

Nowadays, Parkour can be experienced at different skill levels and has even been included within several national Gymnastics federations offering special training programs for those interested in participating. In 2018, the first-ever World Cup series was hosted within the World Actions Sports Festival as a platform for the biggest Parkour competitions worldwide. For members of this ever-growing parks sports community, Parkour presents an incredible opportunity to develop self-confidence, coordination, and balance, pushing individuals toward high levels of physical fitness.

The Philosophy Of Parkour

Parkour is an exercise philosophy that revolves around efficiency and athleticism. The approach has been used by warriors, athletes, monks, and entertainers worldwide for centuries. Georges Hébert is credited with being the “grandfather of parkour” and based his techniques on indigenous African tribes he observed in his travels. Parkour practitioners prioritize self-reliance and free movement to overcome obstacles. It’s not just about being athletic; this activity also helps you grow personally through discipline and focus.

David Belle, another modern parkour pioneer, promotes it as an ideal training fit for warriors. With this approach comes mastering control and focusing on performing with force and precision. In other words, a successful practitioner does not simply go through the motions but develops a spiritual connection between his or her body and mind. To sum up, parkour can be seen as an athletic practice that connects one to themselves further while cultivating physical fitness and mental strength.

Some Parkour Moves

Parkour is a physical discipline that originated in France and is now practiced worldwide. It combines elements of gymnastics, running, jumping, climbing, and other movements to traverse obstacles both natural and man-made. While it often looks like an extreme sport, its roots lie in military training methods designed to develop strength, agility, endurance, and coordination.

The basic move of parkour is the vault, which involves jumping over an obstacle with minimal contact. Other moves include wall runs, climbing, tic-tacs (jumping to reach higher surfaces), kongs (jumping and grabbing a ledge with both hands), cat leaps (jumping from one surface to another), and precision jumps (landing on specific targets). These movements require practice and skill to master, but the payoff is greater coordination and agility.

What is Freerunning?

Freerunning was born shortly after parkour when traceurs (parkour practitioners) began incorporating more acrobatic elements, such as flips and spins, into their movements. Freerunners generally focus less on efficiency and speed than parkour practitioners, instead favoring more creative and expressive forms of movement.

Freerunning is a fluid, explosive, and often spectacular physical activity that combines elements from parkour, gymnastics, breakdancing, and other sports to create unique sequences of movements. It emphasizes creativity and expression as much or more than practicality or athleticism. While it can be dangerous without proper technique and safety considerations in mind, free runners strive for graceful and impressive forms of expression.

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The Difference between Freerun Vs Parkour

The Philosophy Of Freerunning

The philosophy of freerunning is rooted in the concept of physical freedom. Freerunners aim to express themselves through movement without limits or boundaries on their creativity or imagination. They view the world as an ever-changing playground for them to explore and push the boundaries of what can be done with their body.

Freerunners don’t believe in rules or restrictions; instead, they focus on self-expression and exploration. They strive to be free, creative, and innovative in their movements, using the environment around them as a canvas for art. By embracing this philosophy of freedom and creativity, free runners gain an appreciation for their physical capabilities and the limits of what can be achieved.

Some Freerunning Moves

. One of the fundamental moves is the precision jump, where the free runner jumps from one point to another with precise control and accuracy, landing on a specific target like a narrow ledge or rail. Another exciting move is the wall run, where the free runner sprints towards a vertical wall and propels themselves forward or upward by pushing off the wall’s surface using one foot. The parkour roll absorbs impact and maintains momentum after a jump or drop.

Freerunners roll smoothly over their shoulder and along their back to distribute the force of the landing and protect their body from injury. Additionally, the cat leap is a captivating move where the free runner jumps from one horizontal surface to another, using their hands to grab onto the target surface, allowing them to traverse gaps with agility and precision. These moves require strength, agility, coordination, and practice to execute effectively and safely.

The Difference between Freerun Vs Parkour:

Freerunning and parkour are two closely related disciplines that involve movement and acrobatics in urban environments, but there are distinct differences between the two:

  1. Philosophy and Purpose:

  • Parkour: Parkour is focused on efficient movement from one point to another in the most direct and practical way possible. It emphasizes overcoming obstacles and navigating the environment using efficient techniques like running, jumping, climbing, and vaulting. The goal is to develop physical and mental strength, adaptability, and problem-solving skills.
  • Freerunning: Freerunning expands upon parkour by incorporating more creative and expressive movements. It incorporates flips, spins, stylish jumps, and acrobatic tricks, often adding artistic flair to the discipline. Freerunners aim to explore and push the boundaries of movement, emphasizing self-expression and individual style.
  1. Techniques and Movements:

  • Parkour: Parkour focuses on efficient and practical movements that help navigate obstacles and terrain. Techniques such as precision jumps, wall runs, and vaults are commonly used. The emphasis is on speed, accuracy, and fluidity of movement.
  • Freerunning: Freerunning incorporates a broader range of movements beyond practicality. It includes flips, spins, tricking, and acrobatic stunts. Freerunners often incorporate gymnastics and tricking elements into their routines, allowing for more expressive and creative sequences.
  1. Approach to Training:

  • Parkour: Parkour training places a significant emphasis on developing functional strength, endurance, agility, and spatial awareness. Practitioners focus on conditioning their bodies and mastering efficient techniques to navigate obstacles and improve efficiency.
  • Freerunning: While free runners also train for physical fitness and agility, their training includes acrobatic and tricking skills. They refine flips, spins, and other dynamic movements, focusing on aerial awareness and landing techniques. Freerunners often prioritize creativity and self-expression in their training.
  1. Competition and Performance:

  • Parkour: Parkour competitions are typically based on speed and efficiency. Competitors aim to complete a course or a series of obstacles in the fastest and most efficient way possible, showcasing their technical skills and agility.
  • Freerunning: Freerunning competitions focus more on showcasing individual style, creativity, and execution of acrobatic moves. Competitors perform choreographed routines or freestyle runs, incorporating flips, tricks, and creative sequences. Judges evaluate their technical skills, creativity, and overall performance.

While there are distinctions between freerunning and parkour, it’s important to note that the two disciplines often intersect and share common principles. Many practitioners engage in both and incorporate elements from each discipline into their movement repertoire.

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The Difference Freerun Vs Parkour Which Is Better

 Frequently Asked Questions

Can the terms “freerunning” and “parkour” be used interchangeably?

While some people may use the terms interchangeably, there is a distinction between freerunning and parkour. Parkour specifically refers to the discipline of efficient movement through obstacles, whereas freerunning expands upon parkour by incorporating more acrobatic and expressive movements. It’s important to understand the differences and context when using these terms.

Do free runners and parkour practitioners train differently?

Freerunners and parkour practitioners have overlapping training methods but with some differences. Both focus on developing physical fitness, agility, and spatial awareness. However, parkour training emphasizes efficient techniques and functional strength for practical movement, while freerunning training includes more acrobatic skills, flips, and tricking elements to enhance creativity and expressiveness.

Are there competitions for freerunning and parkour?

Yes, both freerunning and parkour have their respective competitions. Parkour competitions typically focus on speed and efficiency, where participants aim to complete an obstacle course or series of challenges fastest and most efficiently. On the other hand, freerunning competitions emphasize individual style and creativity, with competitors showcasing choreographed routines or freestyle runs incorporating acrobatic moves and tricks.

Can someone practice both freerunning and parkour?

Absolutely! Many practitioners engage in both freerunning and parkour, as the disciplines share common principles and techniques. It’s common for individuals to develop a foundation in parkour, focusing on efficient movement, and then incorporate freerunning elements to explore creativity and self-expression. Practicing both disciplines can provide a well-rounded movement repertoire and allow individuals to explore their own unique style.


Freerunning and parkour are two distinct disciplines, with their own unique principles and techniques. However, many practitioners engage in both and incorporate elements from each discipline into their movement repertoire. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to decide which approach feels best for them and how they want to express themselves through movement.

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