BODY WEIGHT TRAINING – Parkour VS Pole Fitness

We have some really awesome videos to accompany this article on parkour vs pole dance. Make sure you don’t miss the links below!

But first, as we continue exploring different body weight training disciplines that complement pole fitness, we chat to Kundai ‘Kenji’ Murapa – Chief Communications Officer at Parkour South Africa, Sports Model at ICE Genetics Cape Town, Founder/Director/Owner at Sabotage Elite, and a Brand Ambassador/Sponsored Athlete of New Balance South Africa – about parkour and freerunning.

parkour collage


Kenji, how did you get into parkour and what keeps you motivated?

I got into parkour about seven years ago. At the time, I had just started breakdancing and while trawling YouTube for tutorial videos, I stumbled upon a clip of some kids in Latvia jumping across half-constructed buildings. I pretty much started experimenting from there. Fast forward a few years, I started Sabotage Elite Freerunning, a performance team dedicated to the art of movement.


How did you find doing the pole fitness moves you were shown?

The pole fitness moves were a nice challenge, and I'll add, a necessary challenge. It's nice to find a weakness to work on. I feel that in order to be a balanced individual, I must train both my explosive power and static strength. Pole fitness is a great gateway to gaining static, Isometric strength. It’s one thing being able to catapult your body weight, it’s quite another thing being able to hold it in place.


Youtube it... 

Virgin Active Parkour by Sabotage Elite


Did you find that your background in parkour made it easier to perform some of the pole moves you tried?

Definitely. Having the strong physical range I've gained through parkour and movement makes it easier to transition between different disciplines.

Parkour is unique in that you specialize in generalizing. What this means is that the discipline itself is created as a way of adaptation. There are instances in parkour where you do need to switch from dynamic movement to static positioning and vice versa. This allows you to build on all pillars of fitness in some fundamental way.


Parkour is more of a movement based discipline, whereas pole fitness is a lot more static. Would you agree that it’s a good idea to cross-train and find a balance between the two?

I couldn't agree more. The ultimate goal should be a focus on developing a useful body, able to tackle any challenges. Explosive power and static strength complement each other with flexibility training bridging them together and good cardiovascular support to keep things going.


Do you have any safety messages with regard movements and gear?

Parkour, contrary to popular portrayal, is a discipline born out of the need for safety; this means correct and mindful practice of the sport instils high standards of safety and spacial awareness. Always train smart, check your environment for hazards and structural integrity and always perform a dynamic stretch warm up before you engage.

Also, never ever hesitate. You either go for it or skip it!


YouTube it...

New Balance | #MyFutureSelf by New Balance


All we have left to say is WOW!

You can follow the antics of Sabotage Elite Freerunning via their website, on Facebook @sabotageelite, Twitter @sabotageelite, Instagram @sabotageelite and YouTube /Sabotage Elite.


For more on our body weight training series, click here to take a look at our previous features on acrobatics, calisthenics, yoga and running.


* Images and videos courtesy of Kendai ‘Kenji’ Murapa, Sabotage Elite and New Balance

Date added: 06/08/2017