When completing any physical task, the most important aspect of doing so is practicing the task itself. Sometimes; however, it helps to throw in other training aspects which will in turn directly increase your abilities outside of said training. For those looking to take their parkour abilities to the next level, there are a few key exercises and methods of weightlifting one can undergo to significantly increase their performance in the long run. Here‘s how to get better at parkour through lifting weights.
Forget the Gym Membership
This may sound shocking to many, but in the context of getting better at parkour, I stand by this statement. Why? Because there’s nothing a gym can do to help you get better at parkour that you can’t do at home with facilities and tips for a parkour beginner. When lifting weight purely for this purpose, all you need is a bench press station, some weights and a pull up bar. Acquiring all this equipment can cost less than maintaining a gym membership for a year. If you get it used (there’s a ton of this stuff on CraigsList), it gets even cheaper. There is absolutely nothing a gym can do for you to get better at parkour that the above equipment can’t.
Focus on Compound Lifts
In the context of weightlifting, there are two types of lifts – compound lifts and isolation lifts. The former uses several muscles at once (such as the squat) whereas the latter uses one (such as a dumbbell curl). In parkour running, you’re never using just one muscle. To increase your parkour fitness exercises performance, try to do the following exercises once or twice a week:
– Pull Ups
– Barbell Rows
– Bench Presses
– Overhead Presses
Train for Mass
Trust me, if you don’t want to get “swole,” you won’t. This takes years and years of weight training and is not something that happens accidentally. However, by doing three sets of twelve on every exercise – a set and rep range typically used by those looking to build mass – you’ll gain both muscle strength and muscle endurance (as opposed to just one or the other), two things we heavily rely on in parkour. Unless you eat with the purpose of getting big muscles, you don’t need to worry about accidentally getting big.
Despite what health magazines have told us, pink, one-pound dumbbells don’t do anything. By properly stimulating your muscles with a weight that you can really feel, you’ll be able to go into parkour with much more ability than the guy with the pink dumbbells.
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Goal
Lastly, it’s important to understand your priorities. Yes – lifting weights can dramatically increase your parkour abilities. And, yes – lifting weights when you’re not doing parkour is better than doing nothing at all. However, nothing will prepare you for parkour more than parkour itself. Weights should be incorporated into off days as a means of keeping yourself fit when parkour just isn’t an option. Opting for weight in place of parkour nine days out of ten just won’t achieve the results you’re looking to achieve. Balance is key here, and when balance isn’t an option, stick with the parkour.