The goal at the end of the race is no longer beautiful buttocks or well-marked veins on the forearms. Yes, there are countless workouts aptitude on YouTube screaming, “Burn, Define, Tone!” But even ads with messages like, “If you want slender legs…[Nombre del centro] It’s for you ! they now seem compelled to incorporate nuances. “Our goal is a positive mindset,” they say. the industry of aptitude and of anti-aging is far from disappearing, but more and more people train for health: physical and mental.
Xabi Sánchez, a trainer specializing in movement control, assures us that in recent years the public has been looking “more for health than for aesthetics. Post-pandemic, people are approaching exercise in a vital way, to feel good. Physical activity is a pill against anxiety and the sedentary lifestyle of the car, the armchair, the mobile circuit. It is prescribed in medical consultations and psychological practices. You get sick when you don’t move, and movement gives life. While the outer picture accelerates, inside a hodgepodge of hormones – serotonin, dopamine, endorphins – ensure the body is calm, peaceful and happy.
In this context, sports such as paddle tennis, rock climbing, pole dancingthe animal stream or calisthenics have had a boom in the past couple of years. Going out to the park or engaging in conversation are incentives, but above all, the magnet of these sports is that they require great concentration to be practiced. The answer to the simple question “what do you enjoy most about this sport?” of the protagonists of this story is unanimous; They try to disconnect for an hour and a half. The goal of sculpting the body in the name of beauty seems to be supplanted by another more useful one: relieving the soul.
Climbing: life is on a rock.
It’s never too late to awaken an illusion. Tell that to Rosi Mendaña (64, cleaning lady at the Sputnik climbing center), who discovered this sport at the age of 50. Her entire previous life had revolved around taking care of her family, until one day her son told her, “You’re going to come with me so you can see there’s more to it than home.” He took her to Pedriza, prepared a route for her (a rope to climb) and the magic worked: “I didn’t finish it, but I liked it a lot”, explains Mendaña. So much so that he asked his son to build him a climbing wall at home.
Her job as a housekeeper at Sputnik came later. Her day starts at eight in the morning, but she arrives 40 minutes early for training. She prefers the mountains, but the climbing wall helps her gain strength in her fingers. “And to work on your mind: when solving a stage, you have to think a lot to see how you position your body”.
Three summers ago, Mendaña rented a van with a friend her age whom she had met at the climbing wall and they went climbing in Asturias. “Since I met this world, it’s like a door has opened for me. I go to places and I manage to climb them, and, even if I’m scared, because it’s is still creepy, I wouldn’t change it for the world”.
Padel: play to win.
All tracks are occupied this Tuesday morning at the Indie Padel Club, located on the outskirts of Madrid. The appearance of Gaby Montes (35) does not attract attention today. But 10 years ago, when he walked on his first track, it would have shocked anyone. With leg and arm tattoos and a garish mustache, the “Sexy Zebras” singer didn’t quite fit the profile of the wealthy lifestyle once associated with the sport.
In November 2021, track bookings on Playtonic — the app anyone with a shovel makes room for on their mobile — tripled bookings recorded a year earlier. The recent popularity is due, according to Montes, to the fact that it is a game suitable for all audiences: “You can weigh 150 kilos or 50. And if it is difficult to gather 10 people to play basketball , in paddle tennis with you are already four”. Everyone in his family, who looked at him like a freak when he asked for his first shovel, is now playing.
But the singer, for whom one paddle tennis match a week is sacred, does not play for exercise or for social contact. “What I love is winning them,” he says. “Dive is what I find fun, what makes me disconnect.”
Calisthenics. Jump and overcome
Lucía Roa (33 years old) walks through the structures of a park in the Montecarmelo district (Madrid) as if she had been doing it for years: dominated, to build up muscle, bar chest. It only takes four months. For a time, it was Roa who watched groups of muscular kids practice exercises outside. But chance would have it that one day Ares Calistenia Madrid would appear in his scroll from Instagram.
Calisthenics is acrobatic street gymnastics: street workout. But now some centers teach it professionally to bring it closer to all audiences, and more and more Spanish town halls are committed to equipping the public spaces of their municipalities with these structures.
Roa has always been athletic and for four years she was a fan of cross cut. He left it partly because of his sclerosis: by working with his own body weight, gymnastics is less harmful. “I’m 33 and my goal is to improve at 40,” he explains. Above all, Roa points out that it is “a demanding sport, much more motivating and very social”. When he started in January, he traveled to Ares once a week. Now that’s three weekly workouts plus twice alone at the park. “It sounds silly, but in the end, you make friends.”
Pole dancing. The vigor of a dance.
After eight years of Sevillanas, Lucía Cortés (24, nursing assistant) got bored and quit. A year ago, after a long break without moving, the dance returned. This time without a skirt and at the bar. Curiosity overwhelmed him to discover the stigma behind the pole dancingan age-old dance that resurfaced in the late 80s in the bars of striptease the United States. “I saw it on the networks and I was intrigued to see what this world looked like inside.” Cortes grabs his hands and feet on the bar and turns around. He ends up face down. “Clothes are sexy. It should be short so you can hold it with your whole body.
In Spain, more and more sports centers offer this discipline. Pole and More is located in Fuenlabrada, where a few years ago there was no center. Clicking his heels, Cortés made cardiobut with pole He gained strength in his arms and relieved his back pain by stretching. It works all over your upper body and much of your abdomen. More than strength, it’s technique: knowing where the body’s impulse must come from to move on the bar. “It’s a sport in which you think all the time, what am I supposed to do here?” explains Cortés, who as soon as he begins with the figures leaves behind the nerves of the interview and reveals himself confident and relaxed.
animal stream. The animal you carry inside.
Miguel Campo (39) is a dental technician. But for the past four years, he has been turning into a lizard twice a week. It advances, reproducing the rattle of the spine, on the floor of the R10Lab Natural Training, a center that offers training to animal stream to professionals. reach the crab (crab reach), loaded beast (charged beast), monkey (hair bun). Rafa Díez, one of the nine master instructors of this discipline in the world, dictates animals and the students synchronize a choreography. “The key is body control to know where, how and why I move,” he says.
Field is restless. Six years ago, he fell in love with cross cut until the day he went to lift 60 kilos and cracked: “I crashed”. Several professionals told him that it was better to stick to light exercises like pilates, not force. But a physiotherapist recommended this discipline which combines tuned movements from yoga, capoeira, break dancethe balance and calisthenics. It requires above all an awareness of the smallest detail of each movement. Perhaps that is why it is mostly frequented by dancers and actors as well as nurses and doctors. Many, like Campo or Díez, suffer from injuries. “Once you’ve overcome exercise fever for the pool, you start looking for mobility to improve your quality of life,” says Campo.