Interviews

Robbie Amell Soars With These Flashy Techniques

The 'Flash' actor found flight and freedom in free running. You can too.

Robbie Amell, "The Flash" Soars Like A Superhero

The Free Running Four

For Robbie Amell, the freerunning techniques that follow are only a warmup. But for everybody who doesn’t make a living bounding off walls and jumping over people, they’re enough of a workout on their own to build quickness, balance, and conditioning. Practice them at your own risk, or, better yet, find a freerunning gym like Tempest to get in-depth instruction.

No. 1: Kong Vault

Run toward a sturdy box or other obstacle and begin to jump a few feet in front of it—you should have to reach to touch the edge of it. Lean your torso forward and dive toward the wall almost as if you were diving into a pool in front of you. Touch the wall with arms straight and on the outside of your legs.

Tuck your knees to your chest and let the momentum carry you over the obstacle. If that’s too difficult, jump only high enough to place your feet somewhere on the obstacle and stop. Progress to putting one foot on top of the surface—then both feet.

No. 2: Speed Vault

Run toward the obstacle. As you approach it, push off with your left leg and kick your right leg up and out to the side. Allow the left leg to follow it. As your body passes over the obstacle, lightly place your left hand on the surface for support.

While in the air, bring your left leg in front of your body as you draw the right leg back. Land softly on your left leg on the other side of the obstacle and continue running fluidly. Don’t turn
 your hips over or you’ll land
 on both legs facing the obstacle. The goal is to keep moving in the same direction without slowing your pace.

Beginners should start with a simple safety vault, where you briefly tap your right foot on the obstacle for stability as you’re vaulting over it.

No. 3: Dash Vault

Run toward the obstacle and jump with your right leg, raising it above your hips. Let your left leg follow suit. As you pass over the box, touch your hands down on the surface next to your hips with fingers facing forward. Lean back and align your legs so your body takes a V-sit shape.

Push your body forward with your arms, spreading your chest, and kick both legs
to help you off the box. Land on the ground upright, not leaning backward. To get the technique down, start by simply running and jumping up onto the obstacle and sticking the landing (imagine doing a running box jump). From there, try getting off the box by planting your hands on it and kicking your legs out to land in front of the box. Practice!

No. 4: Wall Run

Make sure you’re wearing shoes that offer good traction. Take time to measure out how many steps you need to take to get to the wall and which foot you’ll jump off of. Run to the wall and place your foot on it 
at about hip level (that is, while standing)—if you place it too high, you’ll kick the wall and bounce off; too low, and you’ll slide down it. Speed up as you approach the wall—trust your foot. Reach with your arms as you move up the wall to grab the top and help you pull yourself over it.

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