July 25, 2021

the great form of outdoor sport

By Pascale Krémer

Posted today at 5:30 p.m.

Who roams a metropolis today, observes the growing flow of bicycles, feels brushed against by scooters, gyroroues and skateboards launched at full speed, is overtaken by joggers, walkers with sticks, rockets on roller blades, ” parkour tracers who suddenly disappear behind a fence wall. The public space has turned into a vast playground. In the open-air gym.

No longer the slightest urban gap adjoining a square, a park, which is not gradually filled by these strange metallic equipment on which young ardent stripped-downs train themselves to suffer in order to be beautiful and healthy. Gymnastics colonize the streets. Say instead fitness or street work outor else you’ll do ten push-ups for me.

From morning until evening, different populations mingle and follow one another in this sports area in the 14th arrondissement of Paris.

Because we jargon in English in this universe of abdominals in the open air, born from African-American street culture and popularized by videos posted on Youtube (Hannibal for King, Frank Medrano…), for ten years. Thanks to the weight of their body alone – and the street furniture – ephebes appear on their stomachs chocolate bars that they no longer eat.

In France too, now, we are forging a body Xtreme by dint of squats, dips, dragon flags. L’on pull, push, jump, step, hit it speed bag… In short, in French version, we muscle, stretch and strengthen cardiac endurance in the sight of passers-by: in recent years, the stations fitness and other parks street workout grew faster than the abs of the practitioners (1,042 parks listed on Streetworkout.com). “Autonomous outdoor sport is a real groundswell, further accelerated by the Covid-19”, says Mehdi Ghariani, co-founder of AirFit, an equipment manufacturer whose turnover doubled every year between 2016 and 2019.

Successive waves

“The public authorities have finally realized the importance of outdoor facilities with free access, these spaces where the population meets and creates links, he observes. With the epidemic, in 2020, 1.2 million additional French people started running. They want to end up with some stretching and a bit of muscle building. ” With the competitor Pro Urba, it is a question of “Big boom of fitness”. At Casal Sport, “Strong surge since September”. One-upmanship at Freetness: we talk about « l’explosion » of the market “Hyper-flowering and competitive” street tackle, for five years, “With audiences aged 16 to 30, mostly male”.

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