I got into hula-hooping after talking to my friends who took a couple of hoop exercise classes. They loved the low-impact workout, the fact it was fun and it did not feel like “work”. You will feel the effects after your first session and as long as you keep it up regularly, you will see it in the mirror, within six weeks.
What do I need?
– A weighted hula-hoop. I recommend a 1.2kg weighted hoop* to start as it’s nicely balanced and a good weight for a beginner. As you grow stronger, you can move up to heavier hoops. Also look at the span of the hoop – when its’s resting on the floor, the top of the hoop should be between your waist and your breasts. If you are ordering off the internet, check the diameter first.
– Enough space: you need an area as large as your outspread arms, eith in the house or the garden.
– A timeslot to practice: unfortunately your weighted hoop will be at the right level for a toddler’s head to bash, when you are using it. Either do it when they are sleeping or allow enough space (a park or garden) to keep them apart.
How do I get started?
Make friends with your hoop. Don’t be intimidated by the size – large hoops are easier to move and much more forgiving of mistakes. Spin it a few times in an area where you don’t have to worry about it getting caught on anything else. To adjust to the weight on my hips, I actually used a padded coat for the first few sessions (to be fair, I was outside in the garden in October weather).
There are some great videos on Youtube to get you up to speed on hooping. If you have never done it before, watch Jeanette Ryals on basic techniques.When you are feeling more confident, try this five minutes belly blast, or this dance fitness video that incorporates moves with your hoop.
What can I expect?
Hooping tones up the core, thighs and hips. You will know it works as
you will ache after a good session! Sadly, it will not – by itself- get rid of your mum tum (especially if you had a C-Section). You also need to get rid of the excess fat by eating sensibly. However, after hooping four times a week for a month and following the 16/8 diet, I could fit back into my bikini and feel happy to go to the local swimming pool.
Where can I try it out?
The good news is that a quick look on the internet brings up a lot of different classes. Take a look at Hula-fit if you are in London or the West Midlands, whilst PowerHoop has a UK-wide network. If you can get an hour off to attend, it’s worth the time to decide if this is the right exercise for you.