The star of Heropanti talks about his dedication to parkour, Jackie Chan, Spiderman and defying gravity
Learning from the master
I’ve always been a Jackie Chan fan. He inspired me when I was growing up. Back then, the terms ‘parkour’ and ‘free running’ had not been coined. Chan was way ahead of his time and he conceptualised the art form. When I was starting out in parkour, I did not have anyone to train me because India barely had any traceurs (parkour athletes). Parkour was unheard of. I studied Chan’s movies and videos and learned as much as I could from them. Parkour has been a challenging and educational journey for me. As a kid, I would imagine I was Spiderman and try to imitate him by jumping off walls and flipping around. That wasn’t the smartest thing to do, and yes, I have had my share of injuries.
The benefits of parkour
Parkour is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise. It improves physical strength and keeps the body flexible. Working out at the gym or jogging on the treadmill can get a bit boring. Parkour always offers variety. Every session will be different and pose new challenges. This variety ensures that your body does not function on muscle memory and, therefore, is shocked into pushing its limits. That is crucial for burning fat and toning muscles. So, by practisingparkour, along with getting a fantastic core workout, you also fight monotony. Even if you do not need parkour professionally, you will experience better control, stamina and efficiency in your daily life if you practise it.
Preparing to jump walls
Flexibility is crucial for parkour training. Working on core body strength and flexibility is the key. While working out, concentrate on stretches, lunges, squats and core exercises to build a strong core and improve agility. A strong core is a good investment as it improves endurance and helps you take on greater physical challenges. Secondly, for parkour, it is important to train for jumps because a lot of parkour revolves around jumping from heights. You need to master the perfect jump and learn how to break your fall without getting injured. While most people don’t enjoy leg days, that should be the focus of your workouts while training to get parkour-ready. I train every day. I try to keep doing new things during my workout sessions so that I don’t get bored. My workout includes gymnastics, dance, martial arts and weight training.
Plans for the future
I want to promote parkour through my films because more people need to be aware of what a fantastic sport it is. Even if one does not take it up professionally, this is the best option for a fun action-packed workout. If I get a chance, I would love to open an institute for kids and adults to introduce them to parkour and its benefits.