7 Ways to Get a Free Workout in Moscow This Summer

June 22, 2015 — 11:37
June 22, 2015 — 11:37

This summer, forget your gym membership and take your workout outside. Moscow's many parks provide a wide range of fitness activities for free to help you get in shape and ready for that vacation.

The Moscow Times offers this guide to outdoor training programs to keep you fit all season long, no matter your level of experience.

Running

What: Nike+ Run Club offers running workouts led by professional athletes in three Moscow parks. The club welcomes everyone, from beginners new to running to those hoping to post a personal record in September's Moscow Marathon. All you need to do to become a club member is obtain a medical certificate saying you're fit to run — you'll need one if you plan to run any races in Moscow this year anyway — choose a training session on the club’s website and register for it online.

Where: Gorky Park, Park Fili and Tagansky Park

Facilities: All three parks have pavilions with dressing rooms and lockers. The club in Gorky Park also has a shower.

When: 7 days a week. Usually workouts start at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and at 10:30 a.m. on weekends. This summer, there’s also the option of an 7:30 a.m. workout during the week. Click here for the schedule.

Registration required?: Yes, plus a medical certificate.

WhatParkrun is an international running movement that organizes free 5 km races in parks all over the world on Saturdays. Its Moscow branch has existed for two years now and organizes races in eight city parks.

To participate, register on the Parkrun website, show up on Saturday morning in one of the parks and run a 5km race completely free of charge. It’s a perfect way to spend Saturday morning for those who like competing just for the sake of it — there are no awards for the winners.

The results of each race are available on the website. If you don’t feel like running, you can volunteer to help organize a race.

Facilities: There are no facilities provided at Parkrun events, so arrive ready to work out or be prepared to change somewhere in the park.

When: Every Saturday at 9:00 a.m.

Registration required?: Yes. Click here to register.

Yoga

What: Yoga Journal and Mosgorpark’s “Yoga in the park” project offers a wide variety of yoga classes in 30 Moscow parks. Classes include Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga, Iyengar yoga, Vinyasa Flow yoga, yoga for women and yoga for seniors, just to name a few.

Don’t forget to check the schedule (here) in advance: classes are canceled if it’s less than 18 degrees Celsius, and if it rains, classes are held only in the eight parks that have covered facilities.

Some yoga mats are provided, but it's safest to bring your own because sometimes they run out. You might also like to bring a hat if it’s sunny and a bottle of water.

In five Moscow parks (Krasnaya Presnya Park, Sokolniki Park, Fili Park, Babushkinsky Park, Perovsky Park) there are also free lessons of traditional Chinese chi kung gymnastics.

Where: In 30 parks across Moscow. Click here to choose one.

Facilities: There are no facilities provided at Yoga in the Park events, so arrive ready to work out or be prepared to change somewhere in the park.

When: Once a day several times a week. Morning classes on weekdays usually start around 8:00 a.m., evening classes – at 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. On weekends there are workouts that start at 10:00 or 11:00 a.m., at noon and at 4:00 pm.

Registration required?: No

Crossfit

What: Reebok Crossfit offers workouts led by professional trainers in five Moscow parks. These relatively new but already very popular intense workouts combine cardio exercises, weightlifting and sometimes even acrobatics.

The exercise routine of every workout is different: participants either do as many repetitions per minute as possible, or complete as many rounds as possible within a time limit, or do a certain number of exercises as fast as possible.

So if running, doing burpees and lifting a dumbbell at a fast pace appeal to you, then it’s your thing. Click here to choose a workout — there are 11 different types.

Online registration is required, and this program requires more of a commitment than the others. If you want to take part in a workout, you’ll need to submit the results of the previous one you attended. If you miss five workouts for which you registered, you’ll be banned from registering for others, so don’t forget to cancel your registration if you decided no to go.

Facilities: There are no facilities provided at Crossfit events, so arrive ready to work out or be prepared to change somewhere in the park.

When: 7 days a week several times a day in every park. On week-days workouts start at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 p.m., on weekends – at noon, 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.

Registration required?: Yes

Dancing

What: Various dancing classes and dance floors are open in 12 parks this summer. You name it — it’s there: tango, rock-n-roll, salsa, boogie-woogie, swing, lindy hop, even ballroom dancing. So if you’ve always wanted to learn how to waltz or to master flamenco moves, put on your dancing shoes and head to the park.

The most popular dancing locations are in Gorky Park (click here for the classes schedule) and Muzeon Arts Park (click here for the classes schedule) – classes there are held every day.

In Krasnaya Presnya Park, famous Russian choreographer Evgeniy Papunaishvili hosts a summer dancing school every Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

In Hermitage Garden, a class called Jiving Rockets teaches dances of the 1950s every Thursday at 8:00 p.m., and on Friday at 7:00 p.m. there is a classic ballroom dance class.

In Bauman Garden, there are boogie-woogie lessons for beginners every weekday evening. In Izmailovsky Park there are salsa lessons on Sundays at 4:00 p.m., something called “Dance Mix” on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and belly dancing on Thursdays at 6:00 p.m.

Classes for those who want to learn traditional Russian dancing take place every Friday in Severnoe Tushino Park at 8:00 p.m. On Sundays from 5:00-6:00 p.m. there are also free hip-hop lessons.

In Fili Park, the art studio “Antre” holds free dance classes every Monday at 10:00 a.m. and every Friday at 7:00 p.m. Babushkinsky Park invites everyone to learn how to do the hustle (on Saturdays at 6:30 p.m.), dance the tango (on Sundays at 6:30 p.m.) and or practice other Latino dances (Sundays at 7:45 p.m.).

Facilities: In most parks there are wooden dance floors but no dressing rooms, so either arrive fully equipped or be ready to change somewhere in the park. 

When: On weekdays most classes start at 6:00-7:00 p.m., on weekends there are morning and afternoon classes also.

Registration required?: No

Group fitness programs

What: The World Class gym chain offers group fitness programs in 10 Moscow parks. Choose from cardio sessions, dance aerobics, circuit training and martial arts programs. Classes are canceled in case of rain, strong wind or if the temperature is higher than 30 degrees Celsius. 

On Monday (at 8:30 p.m.), Tuesday (5:00 p.m.) and Wednesday (1:00 p.m.) in Muzeon Arts Park there are also free group sessions led by trainers from the Terrasport fitness club.

Facilities: There are no facilities provided at these events, so arrive ready to work out or be prepared to change somewhere in the park.

When: 7 days a week.

Registration required?: No

Zumba

What: These intense dance aerobics classes popular among millions of women all over the world are available this summer in four Moscow parks. Zumba incorporates hip-hop, samba, salsa, mambo moves and classic exercises like squats and lunges.

Facilities: There are no facilities provided at zumba classes, so arrive ready to work out or be prepared to change somewhere in the park.

When: On Sundays classes start at 6:00 p.m. in Babushkisky Park, on Satrudays at 6:30 p.m. in Kuzminki Park. In Artyom Borovik Park, classes start at 8:00 p.m on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays.

Registration required?: No

Nordic Walking

What: Nordic Walking, walking with specially designed poles similar to ski poles, is the perfect choice for you if you’re not into intense workouts.

Nordic Walking is considered to be much more effective than just walking because your arms are working during it, too. It’s said to involve 90 percent more muscles than walking. It’s also believed to be much less likely to cause injuries than running does because of its slower pace.

Where and whenYou can attend free classes in Babushkinsky Park (on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8:45 a.m.), Mitino Landscape Park (on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.), Izmailovsky Park (on Thursdays at 3:00 p.m.), and Park Fili (on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 p.m.; Filevsky Park metro station).

Facilities: There aren’t any, so either arrive fully equipped or be ready to change somewhere in the park.

Registration required?: No

There's an app for that!

With the June 17 launch of the mobile app In Sport (V Sporte), it's now easier than ever to find sports facilities and activities in Moscow. The app helps Muscovites find the nearest sports facilities, sign up for training or get a neighborhood team together. It also helps participants track their fitness compared to the state fitness standards called G.T.O. Eventually the app will become a sports social network, says representative of the Moscow City Council physical education commission Kirill Shchitov. 

The mobile app compiles all available information about sporting events, including athletic fields in the local area, plus a map from the web portal Open Data. The app is available on the Google Play store now and is set to launch on iOS on July 1. By the end of the year, the program should be linked with other city service portals.