March 28, 2011 at 10:22 am , by Jenn Sinrich
It’s round, you twirl it around your waist—and chances are you haven’t come in contact with one since you left elementary school. It’s the hula hoop, and it’s making a big comeback via Hoopnotica, a ridiculously fun workout. I got a lesson with founder and CEO Gabriella Redding, who lost 65 pounds(!) after her first pregnancy when she started exercising with hula hoops that were lying around her house.
Never been able to use a hula hoop before? Neither could I! We took our meeting to the elevator lobby, and Redding got me moving my hips and keeping a hoop above my waist for the first time ever. If this LHJ intern (that’s me, right) can learn in just a few minutes, anyone will be able to master the craft.
Fun, yes. As for the exercise value, I was a little skeptical. But it’s harder than it looks—hooping burns up to 600 calories an hour, Redding says. A Hoopnotica hoop is not the traditional, plastic hoop from the playground: it’s 43 inches in diameter and weighs about two pounds. The heavier weight creates a stronger centripetal force and gains the momentum necessary to stay on your hips while it spins. It also makes you work a little harder.
And it’s a really fun way to get moving. Once you start stepping and dancing to the music during a Hoopnotica routine, you’re getting a complete lower and upper body workout, Redding adds.
You can order the hoop (which collapses into a carrying case) and the instructional DVD here if you want to try it at home. Or get your girlfriends together and sign up for classes, which are offered in gyms across the country.