Aamir Khan has attempted it, Akshay Kumar is an ardent fan and even Shahid Kapoor has tried his hand at this unusual exercise technique. The Oxford Dictionary describes parkour as “the activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing”.
And it sure has found many takers in Mumbai.
“Parkour is a great way to work on your flexibility, endurance, agility, stamina, body balance and overall strength. This makes it a viable exercise option,” says trainer and fitness
consultant Nupur Shikhare, who has worked with many Bollywood stars, including Aamir and Sushmita Sen. “The best thing about it is that you don’t need any equipment. It’s just you and your body working out using the surroundings.”
For this reason, parkour is mostly practiced outdoors where you can find obstacles that require you to flip, jump, run and climb over. “If you find a quiet place full of obstacles, which isn’t someone’s private property, then it’s good enough to train in,” says NOS Skywalker, a Mumbai-based parkour athlete. Parks, streets, promenades, and even parking lots are good options for those looking to start training.
Shikhare advises that beginners start on soft surfaces, where falls can be cushioned. "Since parkour is a freehand exercise, you can perform it on walls, railings, open grounds, uneven or parallel bars or on the stairs. There are parallel bars at Carter Road, Worli Sea Face and one at Powai lake promenade as well," says Vinod Channa, another celebrity fitness trainer. Support yourself
As with any other sport, finding other enthusiasts who share your passion makes the experience even better. Contact parkour groups online, especially on social media, to increase your knowledge of the activity. "We have a presence on social media (YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) and enthusiasts can get in touch with us," says Mohammed Al Attar, a professional Red Bull parkour athlete from Kuwait, who was recently in the city to judge a tournament. Skywalker is also the proprietor of the Parkour Mumbai group, which has a website and a Facebook page. These groups can help you better understand the moves, dangers and equipment you need before you take that leap of faith.