Ok, it's bucket list time! While I'll admit that one of the reasons I'm trying a Hoop class is to add to my party trick repertoire...but really the much bigger reason is that I want to know if you can actually hoop for fitness. Time to find out with the girls at Hoops, Thighs & Buttocks!
I head to my scheduled class held in the Uniting Church on High Street, Northcote. As I'm driving there the heavens decided to open up and unleash the most unrelenting downpour! Not ideal when you're looking for a carpark in one of Melbourne's hippest little pockets where EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the city with a car was there!! I eventually found a park (6 blocks away!) and arrived complete with sopping wet shoes! You can imagine my elation when I was told that we could hoop in bare feet, so off came the water logged footwear and out came the hoops!
As the rest of the class arrives, some with their own sparkling hoops in various colours and sizes, a little group of us wait patiently for our hoops to be handed out by our instructor Jane. Jane, who is the boss babe in charge of this fun and fabulous juggernaut hands me a couple of hoops, and comments that they are in my signature colour of PINK too! She's all for keeping me on brand, I like her already!
I take my hoops to my spot and wait for the class to start. Patient as I might be, it's all just too irresistible not to start playing. I feel like a kid again, twirling, rolling and spinning it around my waist, dropping it and starting all over again. Which is a workout in itself! Turns out the hoops Jane gave me are great for a newbie like me, they were larger and a little heavier making them easy to spin. I switch to a slightly smaller one and still manage to spin it and end up using this one for the whole class.
The class starts and they pick up where they left off last week. FYI I'm coming into the term at week 7, and the girls in the class have been learning a number of cool tricks. We start with a transition move, which you can do when the hoop gets below your knees...something that will happen to me ALL THE TIME during the night. It's a little kick, spin, catch move that I eventually nail and it was awesome! But not before I work up quite a sweat and shoot my hoop in all kinds of directions across the room.
We then took the hoop over our heads for the next move and if I thought I was dangerous before that...you should have seen me with the hoop above my head. Thankfully the girls in the class were very understanding about me hurling my hoop at them! We were encouraged to practice a few versions of the over head stuff aka 'finger spinning', this included spinning the hoop in each hand and then with our hands together in a pray like position. After many attempts, I finally get it and understand how to work with the hoop and not be afraid of it. Hooping is truly a case of practice makes perfect.
By the end of the night, I'm actually managing to piece together the individual movements we learnt throughout the night and can perform a flowing and sequential sequence. It feels really cool, kind of like the hoop is an extension of me. I start thinking of all the wonderful outfits I could wear as a legit hooper!! Oh and don't get me started on the fabulous pink hoop I could rock!
But in truth, I know there's so much more to learn and the 90 minute class doesn't seem like nearly enough time. Especially when I watch 20 year hoop veteran Jane effortlessly demonstrate an assortment of moves. But what I can confirm is that during that 90 minutes I never really stopped moving, and every muscle was being worked, especially my abs!! Hoop is definitely a great low impact cardio workout and you come away feeling an all over body burn but one that was so fun I barely noticed how hard I was working.
Want to know if you can Find Your Fit with Hoop?
Here's my five speedy takeaways from my time at Hoops, Thighs and Buttocks:
1. You don't have to BYO your own hoop. Hoops that are right for you can be supplied and when you're ready to purchase a hoop you'll be guided as to the best choice for you.
2. Wear leggings or shorts and a fitted top, as a newbie it's easier to feel the hoop around your body. Make sure you're in comfy workout clothes though as you'll work up a sweat!
3. Complete novice? Don't stress, this is a super relaxed and welcoming class. Everyone is learning and you'll be shown simple moves to get your confidence up and when you're ready you can learn more difficult moves
4. Larger hoops are easier to spin.
5. You will feel your abs the next day!
Check out Hoops, Thighs & Buttocks on their website, on Facebook or Instagram. Do you know they also do Hens Party's and workshops?