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Archive - December 2003
House Gymnastics - book review
House Gymnastics - book cover
House Gymnastics - book cover
Here's a fitness regime - born in Nottingham - which might appeal to the adventurous.

Review by Joe Sinclair
SEE ALSO
House Gymnastics - the interview

Feb 2003 : BBC News :

House Gymnastics

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JamesRobertFord.com

House Gymnastics

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FACTS

House Gymnastics was born in Nottingham in 2002.

The creators of House Gymnastics were Nottingham-based arts students Spencer Harrison and James Ford.

The House Gymnastics website now has over 20,000 visitors a week through word of mouth.

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House Gymnastics was created by two Nottingham based arts students, Harrison and Ford, in 2002.

Since then the popularity of the discipline has soared through word of mouth. There are now thousands of dedicated House Gymnasts throughout the world from China to Broxtowe to Brazil.

Harrison and Ford have now released a book to aid House Gymnast enthusiasts. We gave the book to a flexible friend - Joe Sinclair - and asked him to give it a go.

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Joe's review
Recently my house has taken on a whole new dimension. The hallway, doorways and landing have become challenging new spaces in which to maneuver. The couch, banister and toilet are now potential apparatus on which to perform.

Click here to see more pictures of Joe in action
Click here... to see more pictures of Joe in action.

Inspired by Harrison and Ford's new book, I've been getting carried away in the excitement of House Gymnastics.

The book contains instructions and diagrams for 25 core House Gymnastic moves of varying difficulty.

The techniques - with names like Chair Chicken, Human Flag and xXx - require you to balance, bridge and brace yourself in unexpected positions around your home. The only rule is that you've got to hold the move for three seconds for it to count.

It's a cheap form of exercise, encouraging strength, balance and suppleness. But it's also a form of art.

"When someone performs House Gymnastics they become both artist and art" claim Harrison and Ford in their introduction. Each time you perform you are creating a unique and ephemeral human sculpture.

Click here to see more pictures of Joe in action
Click here... to see more pictures of Joe in action.

Like Free Running, House Gymnastics also makes you look at and use your environment in new and imaginative ways.

I started with a simple couch headstand but my childhood sense of adventure had soon taken over and I was hanging off the banisters, forming human bridges across the hallway and wedging myself in the upper corners of the dining room.

But it's not just a great way to relive your childhood Spiderman fantasies. The book also offers some more practical tips, such as how to cover up foot print marks on your ceiling. The authors even claim that House Gymnastics may act as a "sanitary catalyst", encouraging you to clean up your activity spaces.

Click here to see more pictures of Joe in action
Click here... to see more pictures of Joe in action.

Some of the moves described in the book seem quite house-specific. But the beauty of house gymnastics is that you can improvise, adapting the techniques to your own environment, and stretching yourself - sometimes literally - beyond the core moves.

This is a book to stir the imagination and once you've read it you won't be able to resist the urge to "bust some moves" in the privacy of your own home.

Do try this at home.

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House Gymnastics is published on January 1st 2004. Get stretching!

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