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Tempest Academy
Stuntwoman Luci Romberg is an expert freerunner

Want to incorporate a little pep and creativity into your afternoon jog? Try freerunning, a form of exercise that involves literally running free (by which we mean bouncing off walls and jumping over fences), letting obstacles guide your next move and incorporating acrobatic tricks for stylistic flair. 

Still confused? Watch this video of an expert freerunner using stairs, platforms and fences as vaulting platforms. (Don’t worry, newbies: Midair flips are optional.)

To cut our proverbial teeth, we visited the Tempest Academy, a new training facility in Hawthorne (there’s also one in Chatsworth) that specializes in the freerunning technique. At the academy, we found a giant 12,500-square-foot jungle gym with brightly painted bars, giant trampolines, multilevel walls, ledges and pillars. 

In a basic class ($30), you’ll learn fundamentals like how to disperse bodily energy so you’re more fluid when doing a shoulder roll. Next you’re shown the seven basic vaults you’ll need to jump over obstacles. Finally, you’ll learn how to swing off bars and land on your feet, and not your head. 

The academy’s rah-rah atmosphere makes us feel like we can almost vault down a stairwell--and we were definitely reliving those childhood days when the world was our playground. 

Tempest Freerunning Academy South Bay, 3337 Jack Northrop Ave., Hawthorne; 310-644-7686 or

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