San Francisco

Marina Green Fitness Court Offers Free Al Fresco Workouts

One of the city's best places to work out isn't at a gym, doesn't have any weights or complicated equipment to figure out—and it's free.

The Marina Green Fitness Court was installed on the Marina Green Triangle in early 2012, and has been popular with exercisers ever since. The bright blue structure offers a seven-station bodyweight fitness circuit, an appropriate training tool for people of all ages and fitness levels.

The 32-by-35-foot court came to the Marina through a partnership between National Fitness Campaign, a California LLC, and SF Recreation & Park, which maintains it. It's made from green materials, including 70 percent recycled rubber shock-resistant flooring and recycled steel framing. (A case study online has more details about the court.)

As the only outdoor workout court of its kind in the city, it draws exercisers from all over. "I don't like to stay indoors at the gym," said Andre Gasparoni of the Lower Haight, who works out there almost every day. "You can do the whole body here." He told us he always learns something new from watching others use the court, and as a bonus, he gets a tan. 

According to a Rec & Park staff report written prior to the court's installation, "It uses no weights or machines, instead relying on a graduated training system of maneuvering and lifting one's own body weight. Each of the seven stations offers training for one essential body movement: core, squatting, pushing, lunging, pulling, agility and bending."

The report says the structure was designed Sam Lucente, former design chief at Hewlett-Packard. The exercise program was created by Mark Lauren, "author and fitness training leader for the military's special forces, whose methodology provides the foundation for the functionality, versatility and value of this bodyweight circuit training system."

The court is free and open to the public any time, though it's possible to reserve it by calling Permits & Reservations at (415) 831-5500. We're told the city has no plans to install any similar fitness courts at this time.


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