Tag: kong vaults

Parkour WOD: 08/25/12 (Kong Vaults)

by on Aug.25, 2012, under Parkour WOD

Want to thank all those that came out to Thursday’s class! I had an amazing time and thought y’all kicked complete ass during that difficult conditioning! Keep up the great work guys and ladies.

Parkor WOD 11

What are we training?: Kong Vaults

A kong vault is one of the most important (and fun!) movements you will do in parkour. The reason it is so important is that this movement is used to connect to other movements in a variety of ways, such as a kong-to-precision (a vault to a precise landing) or a kong-to-cat (a vault to a cat leap). Further, because of the mechanism of the movement you are able to surmount a large variety of obstacles. You can vault long, short, tall and low objects with this movement.


If you are brand new to vaulting, then you should attempt to practice this in a gym area or somewhere with padding. If you have to practice it for the first time outside, please be careful and make sure you have a soft landing/padding in case you fall. Be familiar with safety rolls! It is essential you have the ability to roll out of a bad vault.

^You may have seen the above in our previous lesson for safety vaults. And this is even more true for kong vaults. This movement is more challenging than a safety vault, and can result in injury. BE CAREFUL. There may be a tendency to not commit to the vault and clip your toes on the top of the object you are attempting to go over. If you do that, you may very well end up going head first into the ground. Know your safety rolls! Do NOT attempt this on any objects higher than your waist until you have mastered the movement.

How can you practice it?:

Pick an object that you can comfortably jump on from a standing position. If you cannot jump to it from a standstill, find a lower object. Further, pick an object that is relatively thin, i.e. no more than two hand-lengths wide. Walk up to the object and stand about six inches in front of it. Place your hands on the top of the object and jump. The goal is to have your feet land in-between the space where your hands were. Perform this ten times. If you can comfortably do this, then you are ready for the next step. If you cannot perform this maneuver, find a lower object.

As always, CHECK ALL OBSTACLES or OBJECTS BEFORE JUMPING OVER OR ON THEM. Make sure to check for stability and to make sure there isn’t a 20 foot drop (or zombies!) on the other side.

As you can see with the video above, you’ll want to take a short run-up to the object before the take-off. The key here is to make sure your knees and toes clear the lip of the object. It is perfectly okay for you to just jump to the top of the object the first 5 or 20 times you perform this movement. The take-off, as you can see in the video above, is a single-leg take-off. A lot of beginners will do a double-leg “stomp” to get over the obstacle. While this may feel comfortable, you are actually killing your momentum and power by driving your legs into the ground. Attempt to take-off with a single-leg.

Stand about a pace away from the obstacle and take a step with the leg you’ll be using during the take-off (this would be the leg you lift in the crane movement), and then take another step with your opposite foot. The next step is where you will take-off. You are driving that take-off knee in the air while pushing off the ground (during your natural stride) with the back foot.

Hand placement
As you are heading toward the obstacle you are maintaining a long torso and reaching for the center of the obstacle. Your hands should land at approximately shoulder width apart (as if you were doing a push-up) and with enough room for your legs to follow through. When your hands are on the object, your chest should be directly over them. At this time, you’ll be pushing through the obstacle to create upward momentum. This will help your body clear the object (and also prepare you for kongs-to-cats) as it creates height and distance from the object. The push with your arms and chest is quick but fluid.

Knee and leg placement
When your hands have landed on the object, you knees should have been brought up to a height that easily clears it. Use your natural stride and momentum to bring your legs up behind you. Look at the video above and notice how the vault looks natural and fluid. You’re not bunching up your legs, but just letting them follow after the body. As you go over the object and are boosted by your hand movements, the legs naturally come through and you land in your stride. Try your best not to land with both feet (unless practicing kongs-to-precisions) as it may create a hard or forceful landing.

Why is this important?

As stated above, this movement is essential to any practitioner. If you want to continue to progress and learn different and more complicated movements, you must learn this vault.

The WOD:

Warm Up:

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


Find an obstacle that you can easily jump on and that you feel comfortable attempting a kong vault. Do not do this over concrete if you have never done it before! Find a gymnastics gym or put down a bouldering pad to make sure you are safe!

Perform 20 kong vaults.


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

Pick an obstacle that is close to your waist in height.

Perform 30 kong vaults.


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

Find an object that is at your waist height or higher, but has a couple of feet in width. Concentrate on your take-off and landing. Make it fluid.

Perform 30 safety vaults.

Note: *Remember, this is NOT a conditioning WOD. Take your time and think about the movement. Master it and make it perfect. If it doesn’t feel right or if something hurts, you are likely doing it incorrectly. You should flow over the top of the obstacle.

Conditioning WOD:

For time, complete the following:

All levels:

On the minute, and for ten minutes, complete the following:

Sprint 100m
10 air squats

2 Comments :, , , more...