Tip: How to Walk on Hand Rails


Illustration by Radio

“One of the main principles of parkour is a repurposing of your environment,” says Travis Graves, program director at American Parkour Academy, which promotes the discipline of running, jumping, climbing and moving in other ways through urban settings. “We see things for their potential, not for their intended purpose.” One way to start crossing those boundaries might be as simple as walking on a hand rail. Make sure it’s sturdy and stable. Wear shoes with thin soles or go barefoot. “That gives you a more tactile feel and allows your feet to interact with the rail,” Graves says. Being on a rail is similar to being on a balance beam, but because the former is thinner and usually round, your whole foot cannot be on top of the rail at once. “That makes balance one of the biggest challenges,” Graves says.

If you have performance anxiety, find a place that’s a little more secluded. Choose a rail with a middle bar between the ground and the top rail, which will help you climb to the top without losing your balance. Stand on one leg and use the other as…

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