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Books for Parkour Nerds with Callum Powell

Parkour is a subject that’s been explored across many visual mediums, and the barrage of videos and photographs can be inspiring and challenge the senses. However, nothing elicits an intimate understanding of a movement sport the way a good book does. The following list is a compilation of some of the best books about parkour philosophy, training, history, and recovery, as well as some that aren’t parkour specific, but will definitely challenge how you approach your training. Developed with the help of the illustrious parkour nerd Callum Powell, put in some time reading during the April showers and get invigorated for a summer of training! These are presented in no particular order.

Whipplesnaith - The Night Climbers of Cambridge 

Written under an awesome pseudonym in the 1930’s, this book about nighttime escapades climbing the buildings of Cambridge University inspired early generations of rooftoppers and urban explorers. 

Amanda Aragón - Mi Abuelita does Parkour!

This children’s story of a grandmother’s love for her grandson and parkour is heartwarming and, in my opinion, is a perfect example of the breadth of the parkour community across generations of athletes and creators. 

Max Henry - Parkour Roadmap

“This book is written by the best parkour nerd out there, so it’s bound to be the best resource in print for anyone who wants to begin parkour and learn about its culture and community, along with a section for more advanced parkourists to take their training to a higher level. This book also contains 677 reference links for continued reading and watching.”- Callum Powell

Julie Angel - Breaking the Jump & Ciné Parkour

“A deep dive into parkour’s French founders’ history. If the origins interest you, there’s not yet a better resource, despite it being written in a novel-esque fashion with a few dramatisations here and there.” - Callum Powell

Ciné Parkour is subtitled: A Cinematic and Theoretical Contribution to the Understanding of the Practice of Parkour, and I think that more or less speaks for itself. It aims to understand parkour as experienced by its practitioners.

Vincent Thibault - Parkour and Art Du Deplacement

“A relatively short book attempting to put parkour’s early spirit and philosophy into words.” - Callum Powell

David Belle - Parkour

“A transcription of an interview with the weird man who is widely acclaimed as the most significant of the French founders. An insight into his mind and how obsessed he is with his late father, Raymond Belle. All in French but you can find a PDF of an English translation online.” - Callum Powell

Frank Forencich - Exuberant Animal

“A book about physical fitness and psychological health through play rather than exercise. This may be one of the best advocates for parkour without even mentioning parkour once.” - Callum Powell

Todd Hargrove - Playing with Movement 

“Similar to Exuberant Animal in many ways and its implicit advocacy of parkour, except with a great dose of insight into pain and injury rehab. An amazing combination.” - Callum Powell

Dr Greg Lehman - Recovery Strategies, Your Pain Recovery Guidebook

“Greg Lehman is an incredible voice of reason within the evidence-based physiotherapy world, promoting an optimistic view of pain and exercise. This book is a free Ebook that squeezes so much actionable knowledge about pain and rehab in 70 infographic pages.” - Callum Powell

David Joyce and Daniel Lewindon - High-Performance Training For Sports

“A great general compendium of all things strength and conditioning for sport written by numerous experts in the field.” - Callum Powell

Cal Dietz - Triphasic Training

“Triphasic training may be the most sport-specific strength training method for parkour. Besides the specific method, it provides an impressive and comprehensive foundational understanding of strength and conditioning for sports in general.” - Callum Powell

Mladen Jovanović - Strength Training Manual: The Agile Periodization Approach

“A hefty 450-page tome for those serious about strength and conditioning. Extremely in-depth with modern S&C concepts and training methods while also providing a lot of philosophical and epistemological wisdom.” - Callum Powell


Callum Powell - What Is Parkour (Coming soon)

“Shameless plug incoming! I’m currently in the final stages of writing a book about parkour specifically for the active parkour community. It will involve scathing but lucid social commentary on nearly every polarising disagreement our young sport has seen. But most of all, it will address our sport’s confusing identity crisis. This involves a necessary deep dive into parkour’s history, needed critiques of sanctimonious adherents to “parkour philosophy”, parkour industry, FIG (and competition in general), and, more optimistically, why parkour as a practice is so valuable for everyone and how we can work to increase participation. It is, of course, not short of roasts of individuals and certain mindsets within our community. If you do not feel attacked and forced to question yourself when reading it, I have failed!” - Callum Powell

This list is by no means a complete reference of all the reading material that applies to “parkourists,” but these are some of our favorites. If you feel any titles were left out, please send your suggestions to Giles, who loves receiving many unnecessary book titles on my behalf.