[Parkour--"art of movement" and its injury risk]

Sportverletz Sportschaden. 2013 Sep;27(3):169-76. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1350183. Epub 2013 Jul 16.
[Article in German]


Introduction: Parkour sport is the playfully breaching of obstacles originally not created to get from A to B in the fastest manner. There have been only few publications on injuries in this young and trendy sport mainly performed in urban areas. The aim of this study is to analyse parkour-related acute injuries and their factors.

Methods: For the retrospective cross-sectional study, a total of n = 266 traceurs (m: n = 255, w: n = 11) completed anonymized online questionnaires.

Results: On average, each traceur sustained 1.9 injuries per sport career/year, or 5.5 injuries/1000 h training, respectively. The upper extremity was the most affected body region (58 %), followed by the lower extremity (27 %), head and the back. An increase of injuries from proximal to distal was observed in the upper extremity. However, for the lower extremity it was the opposite. Of all injuries, the most common were skin abrasions (70.3 %). Muscle injuries were observed in 13.1 % of the traceurs, followed by dislocations (6.1 %), and soft tissue (e. g., ligaments, tendons) injuries (5.3 %). Passive precautionary measures were abandoned by the majority of the traceurs (88 %). Landing belonged to the movement elements resulting in most of the injuries (61 %), followed by supportive and static efforts of the arms (10.7 %). Overestimation (23 %) as well as misjudging the situation (20 %) were the most common causes.

Conclusion: Other than expected, parkour is an urban movement style with most of the injuries being neither severe nor common despite the lack of precautionary measures. Localisation and type of injuries reflect the characteristic movement elements. There is a need for further investigations to allow a more differentiated analysis in order to develop injury prevention concepts.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Contusions / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Multiple Trauma / epidemiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Risk Factors
  • Running / injuries*
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult