These are the Top 7 injuries that I see most people get in the parkour community and the most common ones that I personally have had. I’m going to list the top 7 and explain why they usually occur.
Knowing these common injuries and what causes them will help you prevent these injuries from happening to you and save you a lot of pain and wasted time.
#1- Foot and Hand Bruises
These are impact force injuries. They occur when your taking too big of an impact, using improper form, or haven’t conditioned properly for your body to take the impact. For example like on big landings, really long or high precisions, diving kongs, dive rolls, and other high impact moves. These are quite annoying since you are constantly using both feet and both hands in parkour so it usually takes forever for these to completely heal.
The good thing is that these bruises are usually minor injuries that are really more painful than debilitating. But if it starts swelling pretty bad or doesn’t start to feel better after a few days, you might have something a little more serious like a hairline fracture. At this point you would want to get it checked out by a doctor to see if you should take more rest.
A few good ways to prevent these injuries are to:
#1 learn the proper technique to landing and vaulting.
#2 Make sure the force is evenly distributed throughout the body. Example: For the basic landing keep your legs shoulder width apart, land on the balls of the feet, and make sure your joints are aligned properly.
#3 Start small and gradually build up. This way your hands and feet have time to build up.
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#2- Shin Hits
Shin injuries SUCK! The shin is a very sharp bone and sensitive area without much protection, which causes it to be very susceptible to cuts and deep gashes that are pretty painful. These are most common on botched precisions or slipping on rail work. Most of the time people will make the mistake of having one foot slightly ahead of the other on precisions which cause the foot further back to slip right off the rail or ledge and slam the shin full force into the obstacle.
#1 Be sure your feet are close together and even when doing precisions.
#2 Gradually build up to smaller landings and bigger gaps. This way your body has time to build up the coordination and body awareness.
#3- Knee Capitations
The dreaded knee capitation. I’ve had a handful of knee capitations. Not too fun. These occur when you slam your knee or if your lucky your upper thigh into an obstacle. These usually happen when you are performing a kong vault, speed vault, and I’ve even gotten one trying to do a fast climb up. Your running full speed and hit the vault but one of your knees happens to be just slightly too low and catches the ledge or rail. These can be pretty painful. I remember one I did during a full out kong vault, the impact was so hard it literally made me sick to my stomach ha.
#1 Learn the proper form to your vault.
#2 Make sure to keep your legs tucked.
#3 Keep those hips up.
#4- Knee Sprains
These knee sprains and knee injuries are probably the most devastating and take the longest to heal especially when people suffer a more serious knee ligament or tendon injury such as a torn ACL. These occur from improper landings, from over training, not conditioning properly, or having imbalances in the body. The risk of these injuries increase 10 fold when you start to incorporate flips and twisting movements off of obstacles.
#1 learn proper landing techniques. So making sure when you land a move your body is absorbing the impact as evenly as possible and keeping your joints aligned.
#2 Making sure to give your body a days rest between really hard training sessions so it can rebuild.
#3 Implement a proper warm up before each training session
#4 Condition the body properly so that you are strengthening your muscles and joints but also do not creating imbalances. Make sure when your working on jumps or moves like the wall run, you train both legs. Do workouts that work your quads and your hamstrings. Training barefoot will help with your body alignment and posture. If you have an alignment problem in your feet, then it can cause pain to your knees.
#5 Implement a good stretching routine following your training. The more flexible you are the the more force your body can handle safely.