Fitness Flashback

No longer just a kid’s sport, adults are discovering hooping; toning their bodies and burning major calories. Want to get in the spin of things? Read on and find out what you need to know to get started.

Hooping may not be an Olympic sport (yet), but that hasn’t stopped Canadians from picking up hoops across the country. No, not those dollar-store rings. These new, adult-size hoops are made of heavy plastic and wrapped with decorative tape. The sport has transformed hula hooping from a playground game into a fitness program.

San Fransisco-based Christabel Zamor, author of Hooping: A Revolutionary Fitness Program, created the HoopGirl Workout. Zamor says twirling a hoop works the heart and tones the whole body.

“When the hoop is whirling around your torso you’re stimulating not just the external muscles but the internal core muscles,” says Zamor. When it travels up the body, it works the pectorals and deltoids. Spin it around your legs and feel your thighs and glutes burn.

“There’s a lot of butt-shaping that can happen with the hoop,” Zamor laughs.

Allison Tarr trained with Zamor and now teaches the HoopGirl Workout in Toronto.

“I chose HoopGirl because of the sassy expressiveness I want to encourage in my classes,” says Tarr. “My students forget they’re working out because they’re having so much fun!”

And don’t dismiss the craze because you had a hoop disaster when you were a kid. Says Zamor: “I encourage anybody who thinks ‘Oh, I never could’ to give it another whirl.”

Want to take your hoop for a spin? Zamor’s steps:

  1. Put one foot forward and one foot back. Hold the hoop at the small of your back and give it a push. Keep it parallel to the floor.
  2. Shift forward and back, not around and around.
  3. Push into the hoop when you feel it contact your abs and pull into it when you feel it roll over your back.

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