Urban Fitness League Is the Badass New Sport You Need to Know About
It’s like CrossFit meets gymnastics meets parkour meets total badassery.
So what is UFL, exactly? It’s a calisthenics-based sport that began in public parks, playgrounds, and outdoor gyms in Brooklyn. At first, it was just an athletic outlet for dealing with the stress of everyday city living. (Subway delays, crowded gyms, busy sidewalks… Le sigh.) Soon, it evolved into more organized competitions throughout New York City, where a unique pay-it-forward philosophy helped spread the sport. Each participant shares skills and techniques with newcomers in a process called “Each One Teach One.” Clearly, it’s working; the movement has now spread worldwide. There are teams in China, Brazil, Spain, Australia, Germany, and Russia, and even televised events in Europe. (Who knows—maybe it’s a future Olympic sport! After all, cheerleading and Muay Thai might be Olympic sports soon.)
On July 4, the U.S. team takes on the World team in both freestyle and one-on-one competitions. Using only readily available equipment, the sport’s events will test strength, endurance, overall body fitness, and creativity with moves such as muscle-ups, levers, typewriters, and the human flagpole. (Got the UFL bug? Try this bodyweight gymnastics-inspired workout and master the pull-up to get a head start on your skills.)
It’s not that we don’t love a good #treatyoself moment—but if an epic urban fitness competition becomes the new designated sport of the Fourth of July instead of an eating contest, well, we’re definitely not mad about it.