Birmingham Hula Hoopers: give it a whirl?

Last night Karen Strunks introduced me to the world of hula hooping for fitness, taking place in a church hall in Moselely and taught by possibly the smiliest person I've ever met, Julia Higgins, who runs Birmingham Hula Hoopers.

As you can see from the awkward jump through the hoop, it flexes the parts other exercises don't ordinarily reach. But we learnt lots of tricks in just one hour and I was quite chuffed to even be able to do this.

Also much fun was Hula Hoop tig (tag?). Being 'It' was hard work but picking up dropped hulas every minute gave both the heart and the gluteus maximus a very good workout indeed!

Original video source: Twitvid/Karen Strunks

Sessions every Wednesday in Moseley St Columba's Hall on Chantry Road, £3, followed by Julia's ace zumba class (£5 for both). You'll probably have to register you're going on the Facebook group, though, as space is limited.

Hackybeanpouffe: the rules

Yay, I have found an exercise that I can be bothered to get off the sofa for (and you can play it right next to the sofa so WIN!). Not just discovered but invented; I came up with the concept, Pete Ashton then refined the techniques involved in this brand new sport.

It is called Hackybeanpouffe.

I'll just let that sink in for a second.

Hackybeanpouffe is a cross between hackysack and volleyball, but played with a giant bean-bag type cushion. You get three hits before you must pass it back. It should be played with an imaginary net, preferably to its theme tune (see below).

Although surprisingly aerobic due to the effort involved in manipulating beans mid-air, Hackybeanpouffe can be dangerous – the dust, the dust mites, the heavy aerobic breathing; all of these may contribute to sneezing, stuffiness, red itchy eyes, and possibly an asthma attack.

So Hackybeanpouffe: aerobic but allergenic.

Witness the birth of Hackybeanpouffe on YouTube – and note its theme music Cafe Vixen, by Glatze/Ms Hypnotique, which you can buy for a snip (EP £2.99) from Glatze: