‘Beautiful strength’ on the ‘Aktivmeile Lermoos-Ehrwald’
A visit to the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is a great opportunity to boost your personal fitness. It’s easy, too, for example with callisthenics on the new ‘Aktivmeile Lermoos-Ehrwald’.
It sounds more exotic than it is: ‘callisthenics,’ strength training that makes use of your own body weight, as opposed to the weights found in gyms. It’s based on apparatus gymnastics, e.g. using a bar or pole for pull-ups, and floor exercises such as push-ups or squats. Nothing particularly new, then, apart from the name: styled as ‘callisthenics’ – from the Greek, meaning ‘beautiful strength’ – bodyweight exercises most recently became the in-thing in fitness training in New York in the early 2000s.
But whether it’s new or old, using your own body’s weight to train is a proven, effective, and above all easy way to keep your body from getting rusty. Regular exercises stabilise the musculoskeletal system, target specific muscle groups, and through stretching make fascias and tendons more supple. ‘Functional training,’ as the Lermoos-based CrossFit trainer Conny Rauter calls it. So what does it involve? ‘Muscles are exercised in groups, not in isolation.’ And you need only a small space and little to no equipment. ‘CrossFit, or functional training, focuses on natural movements; you use all of your body, just like in real life.’ The result: greater well-being, more strength, more stamina. Callisthenics takes a similar approach.
As Thomas says, quality was a paramount consideration. ‘The equipment is built to a very high standard. It’s all made of robust robinia and larch wood, and every item has fall protection, i.e. a base cushioned with wood chips.’ This is important, because the course isn’t just for hardened athletes; families with children or seniors, for example, will also find an opportunity to improve their personal fitness or simply enjoy some exercise. ‘The whole thing is designed to be multifunctional, meaning that users of all skill and intensity levels will find something to suit them,’ says Thomas. And those who simply can’t get enough can make use of the callisthenics park on their way back from Ehrwald to Lermoos through the ‘Moos,’ which brings together numerous items of training equipment in one place, including seating and reclining areas. Overall, the course is six kilometres long.
This year, Conny Rauter is also out and about on the callisthenics course. She’s been hired as a trainer and now guides visitors through the separate exercise points. ‘We work with the groups to reach defined goals. We do everything from individual workouts to an entire training programme,’ she says. Conny has been working as a coach and trainer for two years, and step by step is currently expanding her business. Her programme includes workouts in the Lermoos Lusspark, in the gymnasium of the village’s cultural centre, or, most recently, in the callisthenics park in the ‘Moos’. She particularly specialises in CrossFit, a full strength and fitness regimen based on functional, full-body exercises performed with great intensity and constant variation. ‘CrossFit defines a person in terms of their physiological abilities – such as stamina, strength, endurance, flexibility, dexterity, balance, coordination, or speed.’
She also has an exercise tip to go with it: the squat. ‘Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your back relaxed, knees outward, weight on your heels – and then move your hips back and over your knees.’