To ride the Moscow subway for free, do 30 squats

As part of a Russian campaign to make citizens healthier, riders who buy a ticket at Vystavochnaya station in western Moscow have the option of paying in squats.

Woman squats in front of a vending machine that sells subway tickets for squats
At the Vystavochaya metro station in western Moscow, a woman squats in front of a vending machine that sells subway tickets for squats instead of money. Yuri Kadobnov/AFP

Get ready to drop down and give 30 squats if you want a free ride on the Moscow metro.

In an effort to promote both physical fitness and the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Moscow city officials and the Russian Olympic Committee are allowing subway riders to pay in 30 squats instead of 30 rubles (about 92 cents) for a single-ride ticket.

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Riders have two minutes to perform the deep-knee bends in front of a special machine that can tell if they're assuming the correct position. The squat-operated ticket machine is located right next to the electronic vending machines at Vystavochnaya station in western Moscow.

"We wanted to show that the Olympic Games is not just an international competition that people watch on TV, but that it is also about getting everyone involved in a sporting lifestyle," Alexander Zhukov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee, told Russian state news wire RIA-Novosti, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The task isn't as simple as it might seem, according to some people who dared to try it out.

"It was hard at first but I managed it," Lyudmila, a young woman who tested the machine, told AFP. "Two minutes is enough time."

The Russian Olympic Committee has been offering several physical challenges to the public to promote a healthier lifestyle, AFP reported. Other events have included turning handles hanging on buses into exercise bands and providing bikes that can create electricity to charge cell phones. The goal is to "add elements of sport into daily life."

The option for squat payment will be available throughout November.

This story originally appeared on CBSNews.com.

 

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