Parkour WOD: 09/05/12

by on Sep.04, 2012, under Parkour WOD

Parkour WOD 12

What are we training?: Cranes

According to the Parkour Wiki (which is an amazing resource for beginning practictioners, a crane is:

The Crane is a technique for progressing onto high objects which which are taller than you are. Cranes also serve as an accurate way to land onto of an obstacle from a running jump, precision technique, or vault. The landing of a crane involves the practitioner landing with his or her leg on top of the object, with the toe of the other foot perpendicularly touching the side of that object. There are some variations to the crane, though rather than personal taste, each variation is used for a different speeds and environments.

How can you practice it?:

To start practicing the crane for the first time, find an obstacle that you can comfortably jump onto with both feet. Now is not the time to impress your friends with your 36-inch standing jump (that comes later). Jump to the top of the obstacle using both feet a couple of times to familiarize yourself with the height. Once you have done that, take a couple of steps back and prepare yourself for your first crane!

You’ll want to decide which foot you’ll be using to land on the top of the obstacle. In most cases you’ll use your dominant foot. If you’re not sure which foot is dominant, you can try with both feet to see which leg feels more comfortable. You’ll want to step about 2 to 3 feet away from the obstacle prior to starting the movement.

If you’re landing with your right foot, you’ll start the movement by taking two steps, leading with your right foot and followed by your left. Instead of taking a third step with your right foot, you’re going to throw your right knee up in front of you, while also taking off with your left foot. Throwing the knee up is what gives you height in the movement. Ideally, you should be far enough away from the obstacle at your take-off point to allow you to land comfortably on top of it. As with most parkour movements, you should take your momentum UP, not horizontal to the ground.

As you land, you’re going to keep that back leg semi-straight (there should be a slight bend at the knee) while using the ball of your back foot (left in this instance) to trap against the side of the obstacle. This is super important as by trapping your foot against the side of the obstacle it will keep your back knee and shin from hitting the obstacle.

Once you have landed in this position, you then use your forward leg (the leg on top of the obstacle) to lift yourself up. It is very similar to a single leg squat.

The crane is one of the most fluid movements in parkour. If you do it right, you should almost feel as if you are floating to the top of the obstacle. You should not be landing with a lot of force when performing a crane. As always, attempt to have “ninja feet” and land as quietly as possible.

When you start learning to crane, or if you are trying to crane something that is at a challenging height, there is nothing wrong with using your hands to help you get to the top of the obstacle.

Why is this important?

The crane is an important movement because it allows you to scale taller obstacles than you could with a precision jump. It can also be more efficient than a cat leap when running towards an obstacle that is taller than you waist but less tall than your shoulders. Further, it is a very fluid movement that will help you with your “flow” when performing multiple movements in succession.

The WOD:

Warm Up:

3 rounds of 10 push ups, 10 sit ups and parkour squats


Pick an obstacle that you are able to jump to with both legs. Step back and practice the crane.

Perform 15 repetitions with each leg.


You should be familiar with the movement and be able to perform it efficiently and correctly.

Pick an obstacle that you can NOT jump to with both legs, but that you can safely crane.

Perform 20 repetitions with each leg.


You should be VERY familiar with the movement and be able to perform it perfectly and multiple different heights.

Perform 20 repetitions each leg. The height of the obstacle should be challenging.

Note: These WODs are NOT for time. Learn the movement to the best of your ability. The crane does not count if you did not stick your landing!

On the minute, and for 10 minutes, perform the following:

2 push ups
5 sit ups
7 squats

On the minute, and for 15 minutes, perform the following:

4 push ups
7 sit ups
9 squats

On the minute, and for 20 minutes, perform the following:

5 push ups
8 sit ups
13 squats