My name is Sarah and I am a hula hooping addict! Let me explain…………
I’m no stranger to exercise I do loads of walking, running after my kids and cycling which all helps to keep in shape. I’ve blogged before about my post baby body and how I would love to tone my abs and lose my mum tum.
It’s a bit of a logistical challenge to fit in exercise alongside my 3 kiddos. Anything that needs lots of kid free time isn’t going to happen. I like running but I don’t get a chance to do it regularly anymore. Fitness DVDs haven’t worked out brilliantly. It’s impossible to work out effectively with the kids trying to jump on you. I struggled to fit in a weekly Pilates class once I went back to work. I bought a top of the range slender tone belt but didn’t take to it. There is something quite joyless about trying to electric shock your stomach into shape.
I stumbled across an article in the Times about fitness hooping and thought it might be worth a try. Hey if it works for Beyoncé maybe it could work for me! I was also inspired by my friend Kerrie who is a Power Hooping instructor in New Zealand. She gave me some helpful pointers to get started.
Choosing a hoop
The only equipment you need is a fitness hoop! There are a few different choices of fitness hoopavailable. You can buy a cheap version from Tiger for £10, mid range versions for around £20 from Argos or a Power Hoop costing between £35 and £55 available from Power Hooping UK.
As I wasn’t sure if fitness hooping was for me so I bought a cheap hoop from Tiger just to try it out. It weighs 1.1kg. It has a slightly wavy shape to help it fit to your body. Now that I have really got into hooping I’ll invest in a Power Hoop Deluxe. The advantage of this hoop is that you can add extra weights to make the workout more challenging.
The only other thing that you need is a fair bit of space. My house is small so I can only really hoop in my living room. If the weather is nice I will do my hooping in my garden.
Is it easy?
Because the hoop is heavier than a normal hula hoop it is easier to get it spinning. It took me a bit of practice to get the hang of it. There are some handy videos on YouTube that are worth a look. I found that when I was learning I dropped the hoop quite a few times after only a few spins. I did get a few bruises on my hips when they got a bit bashed as the hoop fell. However I got passed this stage really quickly – in about 3 days. I could defiantly feel that my stomach muscles had been working.
I found it harder to hoop to the left than to the right. However it is important to hoop in both directions so that you develop your muscles evenly. It has been fun to try and get the technique working in each direction. I feel quite satisfied when I do a full session without dropping the hoop.
It is worth checking out the Power Hooping UK website that has details of hooping classes in the UK.
How much do I do?
I’ve been religiously hooping for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening every day. 5 minutes in each direction at each session. This doesn’t seem like much but it really adds up. I’m consistently doing 2 hours and 20 minutes of ab toning exercise per week.
Why I like it
I’ve found I can easily fit in two sessions of 10 minutes per day, even on the busiest days. In the mornings I either do my hooping before the kids wake up or when they are at school/preschool. During the summer holidays we all tend to get up at the same time. I’ve found I can quickly do my 10 minute workout while the kids watch a bit of TV. In the evening I do my hooping once the kids are in bed.
Its fun! I’ve enjoyed getting better at fitness hooping. It reminds me of hula hooping as a kid. I like that I can do it in my living room while watching TV. Who doesn’t love working out while watching a box set! I don’t need to get changed into workout gear so I can get going really quickly. Even if I’ve left it quite late in the evening I can always fit in my 10 minutes.
The crucial question – does it work?
I wasn’t sure if 10 minutes twice a day was going to be enough to make a difference to my mum tum. After 3 weeks I can see that my little and often approach is proving really effective. My core muscles feels noticeably stronger. I am really happy that my stomach looks and feels a lot more toned. I have lost 1.5 inches from my waist, without making any other changes to my diet or exercise routine. It probably would have been helpful to include a before and after photo but the internet isn’t ready for photos of my stomach (toned or not)!
Have you tried fitness hooping? Does it work for you?