“You’re getting closer, closer and closer. Nobody’s too young or too old for a sports weekend,” announces the cheerful advertising voice, as a highly motivated cartoon man runs across the green, past a bikini-clad beauty from cartoon, who smiles admiringly at him: A major television ad campaign by the German Sports Association from the early 1970s was supposed to accomplish the feat of selling Germans on the culture of keeping fit as a leisure activity .
With constantly new commercial clips showing changing feel-good sports scenarios, and one constant: the smiling mascot “Trimmy” cheering athletes on with a thumbs up. The clips give the viewer a strong dose of entertaining euphemism, typical of advertising: in one sequence, for example, “Mrs. K., who has been quite exhausted by housework, suddenly knows exactly: now only a career long it will help.” “. She runs off like stung by a tarantula and returns full of new energy, ready to continue cooking and ironing.
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With a new fitness culture, people wanted to control obesity, which post-war generations had to struggle with: within a few years, one fitness path after another was charted. By the mid-1980s, 1,500 free facilities had been built in Germany, most of them fitness tracks, but also fitness facilities. To clarify terms: Fitness parks, also called calisthenics parks today, offer a similar selection of equipment as fitness trails. Only the running tracks between the devices are missing, so that the training finally takes place on an outdoor sports field. Fitness trails, on the other hand, stretch over a few kilometers and are therefore often located on the edges of forests or in large parks. In recent years, outdoor fitness has also seen a resurgence due to pandemic restrictions. Municipalities across Germany brought their systems back into operation and installed new ones.
While well cared for and maintained, the facilities always feel a bit dated and spartan. This is also due to the fitness studios that have sprung up in recent years, to which many have become accustomed. No wish is left unfulfilled in the fitness temples, everything is perfectly clean, perfectly lit, and the perfect volume is played with lounge music. The city’s fitness trails and gyms do not meet these standards. But something that no gym can offer: the facilities are not overcrowded, even during peak hours.
In addition, the paths and facilities are based on a concept: they do not offer a personalized fitness plan, but rather a complete program that combines muscular training for the whole body with resistance training through running units between the stations. Why not just follow a clearly defined training path instead of having to fight your way through the jungle of “Fitness First” equipment? Devices are usually provided with short and understandable instructions – if you follow them carefully, you can no longer make serious mistakes. And most importantly, you simply feel better after exercising outdoors than after exercising indoors.
A facility in a prime location in the south of Munich is the Parcours am Flaucher. Classic steeplechase equipment is on offer on Candidstraße: rings, steps, sit-up benches, squat platforms, etc. Being able to train directly on the Isar is truly a luxury: in summer you can reward yourself with a cool down after you have completed your training. There are particularly beautiful bathing places on the southern banks of the Isar.
Gym at Candidstrasse 30
Gym in Obersendling
Obersendling offers excellent fitness facilities with a gym on Saarbrücker Straße. There are about a dozen devices here. The facility in a green area in the middle of a quiet residential area is especially good for fitness enthusiasts. The devices are divided into five categories: warm-up, coordination, strength and flexibility are trained here in yellow (easy difficulty), green (medium difficulty) and blue (very high difficulty) devices. The last category: Endurance is covered by running laps around the green area.
Gym at Saarbrücker Straße 15
Unfortunately, the many well-remembered maintenance devices north of the dam in the English Garden no longer exist. This means that the second most beautiful fitness address in the north of Munich has moved into first place: On the exercise island in the Olympic lake, you are surrounded by greenery and water. Here there is a slackline, the well-known back stretcher, as well as steps and rings to train your arms and a small hard court for free exercises. You get the special training effect offered by the combination of endurance and muscle training on the equipment if you recover for a few laps in the Olympic Park.
Gym on the AOK Exercise Island in the Olympic Park
Even further north and already outside the city limits of Munich, a “royal” way to keep fit begins in the residential area of Oberschleißheim. The trail is called Vita-Parcours: the name reflects the origin of the fitness culture: fitness trails in Switzerland are still called that to this day. The trail stretches for two and a half kilometers and offers 21 fitness stations.
Fitness trail at Jahnstrasse 11 in the “Berglwald”
The path in the Perlacher Forest is also called Vita-Parcours. The start and end point is the Giesinger Waldhaus, a quaint house on the northern edge of the Perlacher Forest, which is used as an event venue. A balance pole, horizontal bar, rings, steps and many other fitness court classics are available, even wooden logs for lifting are still available here – this strength exercise is not often found on modern courts because it exists. a certain risk of injury are. Especially when wet, the “weight” can easily slip out of your hand, so be careful!
Fitness trail at Oberbiberger Straße on the northern edge of the Perlacher Forest
Wrath of Saint Michael
The calisthenics park in Michaeli-Anger is a good address for those who want to keep fit in the east of Munich. The Michaeli-Anger here means the green area in the Michaeli-Gymnasium, not the Michaeli-Anger in Oberschleißheim. In the green area, the devices can be found in the west, right on the Hüllgraben. The complex is located on a small hill with a nice view of part of the complex. Built partly on a springy hard court, partly on wood chips, there shouldn’t be a muddy surface even in bad weather.
Gymnasium at Hüllgraben in Michaeli-Anger
A good address in the east of Munich is Riemer Park. The park has a reputation for being a rather inauspicious place to stay in the evenings and at night. During the day, however, it can be recommended without reservation: The extensive park area offers plenty of space to warm up, for example around Riemer See, which with its clear water and pebble beach is also pleasant for swimming in summer. With more than 20 devices, the selection of devices in the field is one of the largest in the city.
Gymnasium in the south of Riemer Park between Rappenweg and Zugspitzstrasse
On the western side of the south park is the calisthenics facility with a large sand court that offers a variety of options for arm and upper body training units. Die-hard trimmers can do their pull-ups on the rings and horizontal bars at different heights. The balance beam, an old fitness classic, is included, as well as a rope scaffold for climbing.
Gymnasium in the west of the Südpark on Einhornallee