If you can swing from it, you can bet there’s a class for it too. Hula-hoops, silk ropes and trapezes are forming the basis for a new generation of strength training.
Aerial hoop classes have been introduced to Gymbox’s timetable. They involve a series of mean moves while suspended from a steel ring. There are endless combinations of motions designed to build strength, stamina and stability, particularly for the core.
Then there’s aerial silk, with similar moves on a super-soft (but robust) rope.
Joseph Fearn runs Circusmash.co.uk in Birmingham and says both are more popular than ever: ‘People are searching for alternative fitness. When one week you can’t do a trick or get to the top of the silks and three weeks later you can, it’s inspiring.’
Commonly associated with the toughest of military selection tests, this involves a rucksack with heavy things and a run or workout (also known as yomping, an acronym for Your Own Marching Pace used in the Marines).
Now a new breed of recreational ruckers has emerged. Oli is an endurance coach at Solent Athlete and regularly rounds up a keen crowd: ‘We cover 12 to 15 miles in four or five hours. I carry about 10kg but you can start with two. We use rice bags, bottles of water, anything.’
Katie Grover from West Beach Fitness in Whitstable swears by it: ‘Lots of people can’t do high-intensity jumping or running but by just moving around with weights, your heart rate can get up to a similar level as jogging without the impact.’
Leave your water bottle behind for this one – you’ll need a glass instead. Rebel yogis in the US are getting on the sauce for their sun salutations. We keep hearing of wine and yoga parties in New York, and Yo Yo Yoga holds one each month where revellers imbibe fine wines between postures (presumably not balance-orientated ones).
And it’s not just in Manhattan. A luxury ‘wine and yoga retreat’ in Tuscany has had rave reviews, while in Belgium BierYoga classes provide artisan ales to align yourself with. Its founder sums it up: ‘We pair the philosophies of yoga with the pleasure of beer drinking to reach your highest level of consciousness.’
The closest we have to boozy yoga in Britain is The Brynne Vineyard yoga experience in Northamptonshire, where the wine tasting comes after the yoga. We predict a pairing of chardonnay and chaturanga soon.