Free running is a physical art, in which participants (freerunners) attempt to pass all obstacles in their path in a smooth and fluid way. Free runners interact with their environment using movements such as vaulting, jumping, somersaults and other acrobatic movements, creating an athletic and aesthetically pleasing way of moving. It is commonly practised at gymnasiums and in urban areas that are cluttered with obstacles.
Here are some examples of moves that a free runner can use to maneuver through obstacles.
Cartwheel – this is begun by extending both arms straight above the head. One foot is pointed in the desired direction of the cartwheel. The arms reach for the floor in symmetry with the foot that is being used for pointing (if pointing with the right foot, reach with the right hand). The other hand follows in this motion, keeping it over the head. As the first hand goes down, the opposite foot goes up in the air. The hands should touch the floor in a straight line. The other leg is lifted by kicking off from the ground. The free runner should already be standing on his/her hands at this point momentarily as the motion continues forward.
For the landing, the first leg that was lifted off—the non-pointing foot—should touch the ground first, followed by the second foot. Let the momentum of the motion flow, taking the hands off the floor which finally brings the runner back to an upright standing position. This should be the same position he or she started in, but with the opposite leg forward.
Roundoff - A roundoff is almost like a cartwheel. The difference is in the landing. After the second hand touches the ground, land on both feet at the same time. The final position should be faced in the opposite direction of the starting position.
Roll - This technique starts from an elevated position. Jump from the elevated area towards the ground while holding the body upright, as if free-falling. Land on both feet with your knees bent, letting the resistance of the ground flow through (not bending your knees will result to serious injury). Then lean the head and either one of your shoulders forward towards the ground. Push off with both feet to roll on the ground using the back. The momentum is enough to carry you back into a standing position coming off the roll, continue moving forward to keep yourself balanced.
Monkey Vault – this can be done either from a static position or a run up to the rail/wall. Grab the obstacle with both hands. The hands should be spaced on the obstacle at more than the shoulder width so that the feet and the rest of the lower body can pass between the hands. Jump on both feet and tuck the knees into the chest. In mid-air, push back with both arms to thrust the body straight forward this then lands you on both feet.
Superman or Dive Roll – Run towards the obstacle. When the obstacle is only about a step away, jump forward on both feet. The midsection should be arched over the obstacle. Hold both arms in front to anticipate the landing in a diving motion. Both hands should land simultaneously before leaning the head forward on the ground. In a smooth motion, the upper back touches the ground and the rest of the body follows in a roll. The momentum should carry you back to a standing position, and continue the run.
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