Age has no limits: 81-year-old 'Fitness Gran' takes TikTok by storm
Catherine Newman


Erika Rischko is an 81-year-old grandmother from Langenfeld in Germany who is taking TikTok by storm with her fitness and dance videos. 

Nicknamed "Fitness Gran," Rischko has been sharing her exercise challenges and performing dance routines with her partner, Dieter. The videos are much loved by her 125,500 followers on the platform, which is most popular amongst teenagers for its viral lip-syncing videos and dance challenges. 

Speaking about her newfound TikTok stardom, Rischko says "It's super, just great! I am super happy about it. I have never been as confident about myself as I am at the moment. 

"This whole thing really gave me a push, all of it: TikTok and Instagram. When these young people write to us and tell us they think we are great, asking 'How do you do it?,' it's really motivating. It's just great!"



When Germany went into lockdown in spring 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rischko decided to film and post her first video. Since then, she has posted more than 100 TikToks of her doing exercises like planks and pull-ups, which have racked up more than two million likes from users across the world. 

Rischko hopes to inspire others with her invigorating TikToks. 

"Dancing is something I think we should do much more of. I would also like to go out dancing more often. Now I just have to give my husband the evil eye." 


The 81-year-old Erika Rischko posted her first fitness TikTok during the coronavirus pandemic. /Reuters

The 81-year-old Erika Rischko posted her first fitness TikTok during the coronavirus pandemic. /Reuters


Rischko's daughter shoots many of the TikToks, which include the social media star training by herself and taking on fitness challenges set by people who are decades younger than her. 

In others, both the fitness fanatic and her husband, who met in a dancing event when they were younger, perform synchronized dance routines. 

The spry Langenfeld local's fame has spread far beyond Germany to an international level and Rischko says that she is especially encouraged by comments left below her self-made videos on the app by viewers who are decades younger than her. 

Langenfeld's mayor is also a big fan of the global star's TikToks, saying "I always love stories like these that are so life-changing.

"Now, I can say that this is thanks to corona, otherwise this wouldn't have happened: that a person having fun gets all the attention and ends up really moving up all these people."

If you are in need of some fitness inspiration, you can check out the videos on TikTok at @erikarischko

Video editor: Nuri Moseinco

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