Freerunning: An Urban Art

Free running is the art of expressing oneself in his or her environment without limitation of movement. This means getting from point A to point B while expressing oneself freely by means of bodily movement.

Free runners tread the urban landscape as an adult playground. The art of free running was developed by people in Lisses, near present day Paris. They refined another urban art called parkour, which is efficient movement through an environment to a totally different form of active art. In 2013, free running had more search results on Google and YouTube than skateboarding, snowboarding, and motocross combined, but is still not recognized around the world. This is changing because now it is one of the fastest growing action sports in the world.


There are many tricks and flips involved with free running. These include but do not limited to the the list below:

Gainer: an acrobatic flip that is a backwards somersault performed while moving forward.

Triple cork: a flip where the body leaves the ground and does 3 full spins in a single flip before coming back in contact with the ground.

Arial: a move in which a cartwheel is performed without the person’s hands touching the ground.

Front flip: a flip where a person lunges forward and his body does one full rotation, head over heels.

Back flip: a flip where a person jumps up  and his body does one full rotation, head over heels backwards.

Wall flip: the person runs toward a wall, then plants his weak foot, then his dominate foot on the wall. Then he pushes off the wall and begins to flip backward.

Side flip: a trick just like the aerial, but the participant stays facing the same direction the whole time in a right or left motion and not a forward or backward motion.


Side flip: a side flip, the body is more crunched together which is completely unlike an aerial where the participant’s body is more open.

Cat leap: a gymnastics leap where a gymnast takes off from one foot while raising one knee and then the other in a turned out position while the toes are pointed.

Single Kong: useful for moving over long objects, such as large barriers. The runner approaches the object and stretches his arms and places both hands and swings his body through and continues to run.

Arabian: a flipping move in which the gymnast starts backwards, jumps, and does a half turn in the air and then completes a front flip.

All of these moves and more are used in the art of free running, and in the end, it’s all about being free.

Free running on Santorini


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Categories: Sports