If you are based in Exeter and considering gymnastics classes for your child, you might be frustrated by the long waiting lists which are common throughout the region of Devon.

With the waiting list for some gymnastics clubs ranging from months to even years, you might be interested to learn there are some amazing alternative gym clubs in Exeter which tick all the right boxes.

Is Parkour a viable alternative to Gymnastics?

Step back from the media sensationalism which brought Parkour & Freerunning to the mainstream and you’ll find a sport which shares a surprising amount of common ground with gymnastics, whilst remaining reassuringly unique.

Forget high-rise buildings and dare devil antics, the reality of Parkour away from the big screen is a ground level discipline closer to a martial art than an extreme sport. Something which takes years of careful practice and dedication to master.

The art of Parkour is not how far or how high one can jump, but knowing how far one can jump. It’s about having the confidence, belief, strength and accuracy to be able to repeat a skill over and over again with faultless precision.

Gymnastics vs Parkour?

Gymnastics and Parkour are both practices of movement and each compliment one another rather well.

At a foundation level there is a considerable overlap between the two and Parkour is a great foundation for building strength, balance, agility and coordination which will give your child a massive head start if they are looking to compete in gymnastics when a space on a waiting list becomes available.

What separates Gymnastics from Parkour is less about technique than it is about purpose. The purpose of gymnastics is to learn a specific set of skills with a specific set of rules to be used on a specific set of apparatus to achieve a specific outcome, which ultimately is competition.

The purpose of gymnastics is to get good at moving in a very specific way to score points from judges and compete against other athletes.

In Parkour the rules are less rigid, there are no panels of judges and your biggest competitor is your own self doubt. The purpose of Parkour is the practice of the movement itself. To master the very essence of movement and to able to move in any way over any obstacle, in any place for the joy of moving, not to impress a judge or to outdo a fellow practitioner.

Unless competing in competitions is your primary objective, there is every reason to consider Parkour in Exeter as a practical alternative to Gymnastics or indeed a complimentary addition.

Top 5 Benefits of Parkour Training in Exeter

  1. Fundamental Movement Skills
    1. Parkour is the ultimate full body workout and develops everything from strength, speed and power to balance, agility, and coordination. Participants learn a full range of transferable skills which will lead to performance gains in other sports, including gymnastics.
  2. Confidence
    1. The practice of movement skills develops competence and with it, confidence. Children who practice Parkour quickly discover they are capable of achieving much more than they may have previously considered.
  3. Fitness
    1. A great alternative to ‘screen time’ which will keep the whole family active.
  4. Friendly & Fun
    1. With no pressure to compete, Parkour clubs are a friendly and welcoming environment where children can make new friends and feel like they belong.
  5. Easy to access
    1. No waiting lists, no leotards, no expensive equipment to buy. All you need is some comfortable clothing, a pair of trainers and lots of enthusiasm!

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