Subway Ticket Machine in Moscow accept 30 squats as payment for their rides during their winter Olympic. The exercise in question is squats, that strength-training essential that helps build the muscles of the thighs, hips, buttocks, quads and hamstrings, as well as strengthen the core. To get the free ticket:
- Go to Vystavochaya Station and find the ticket machine with the special squat sensor.
- Squat away. Complete at least 30 squats within two minutes, and you get a free ticket, much personal satisfaction and perhaps a few cheers from bystanders. No word as to whether you get a seat on the metro for your weary legs.
- Fewer than 30 reps: squat fail. Pay 30 rubles for a ticket (about USD$0.91), and do the walk of shame to your train with the hundreds of other hapless losers.
According to the Russian Olympic Committee, no count has been taken of the number of free tickets issued, but interest is “very strong enthusiastic.”
Ultimately, Olympic officials say, it’s about bringing sports to the people. “We wanted to show that the Olympic Games are not just an international competition most people watch on TV every two years,” said Alexander Zhukov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee. “They are also about involving everyone in the sporting way of life.”
Los Angeles-based personal trainer Josh Hoover says that squats are a good call for this venue, “one of those foundational exercises that everybody should be doing.” Squats build core strength, burn calories and, done properly, work out the entire body. “They’re an excellent way to get a little exercise into your day.”