With summer just around the corner, most of us are wanting to look our best. If you’ve indulged in a few too many chocolate con churros or patatas bravas over the winter, what better way to shed those extra kilos than a free workout in one of Madrid’s outdoor gyms. Outdoor gyms are hugely popular with Madrid’s fitness-obsessed population: almost every local park will have at least a pull-up bar, and it’s likely to be in constant use over the summer. There are some more comprehensive outdoor gyms, and the selected few on this shortlist generally offer a greater selection of equipment, or have made the shortlist because of other features, such as beautiful surroundings.
As with most outdoor free gyms, the equipment is generally basic, so it can be a great idea to add to your workout by including jogging or cycling, or even try bringing some of your own extra equipment, such as resistance bands or small body weights.
For those visiting or living in central Madrid, Retiro Park is a picturesque and lively place for an outdoor workout. Some serious fitness freaks make this their home turf, so be prepared to go head to head with some of Madrid’s leanest and fittest. It’s not uncommon for men to strip down to shorts, much to the enjoyment of passers-by. Equipment includes pull-up bars, step up benches, parallel bars, roman rings, stretching areas and basic calisthenics machines. Joggers will find ample tracks in the vicinity too. (Retiro Park, Between C. Alfonso XII and Avenida de Menendez Pelayo, 28037)
Lineal de Manzanares
In the southern suburbs, Lineal de Manzanares Park is a great place for a thorough outdoor workout. Parallel bars, pull-up bars of varying heights, and a small obstacle course are sure to get your blood pumping. Several running tracks lead into this park, so even if you don’t live in the area, a great warm up can be jogging or cycling from Retiro to Lineal de Manzanares, for example. Stunning views across Madrid will inspire an even greater workout! (Calle de Parles, 26734)
Parque de las Avenidas
Parque de las Avenidas is centrally located close to the Ventas Bullfighting ring. It’s a bustling park, particularly in the evenings, where the gentle 2km jogging trail weaving along the edges of the M30 is hugely popular. A well equipt outdoor gym includes incline boards, high steppers, parallel bars, roman rings, and dip bars. Located within the park are popular tennis courts and just across the street, a busy soccer field. The park is very popular with dog lovers, who congregate in the warm evenings too. (Avenida de Brasilia, 28027)
Parque Enrique Tierno Galvan
A great sociable park in central Madrid, Parque Enrique Tierno Galvan provides a brilliant setting for your workout. Sweeping surroundings in this modern architecturally sculpted park provide an excellent backdrop for the outdoor gym. All the equipment you would expect of an outdoor gym is here, pull up bars, body weight training stations, and stretching equipment. Ornamental lakes abound, providing some much-needed cooling breezes in the warm summer evenings. (Calle Puerto de la Cruz Verde, Arganzuela, 28045)