New exercise class with a great twist

Hannah Murphy runs hula hooping classes
Hannah Murphy runs hula hooping classes
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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She already has fitness fans twisting and spinning, but Hannah Murphy hopes to get people doing a lot more than that.

It could soon be hundreds of spins and plenty of impressive tricks for those who regularly attend Hannah’s Hoola Fitness classes.

The hula hooping sessions promise to be great fun, wonderful for the waistline and, because participants use specially-designed hula hoops, a chance to keep them rotating rather than dropping to the floor.

‘The hoops we use aren’t weighted but they’re heavier than the ones people would have used as children.

‘So it is a bit easier to keep them going,’ explains Hannah.

But there is still work to do in order to develop impressive hula skill and keep working out rather than bending down every few seconds to retrieve the hoop.

‘It doesn’t matter how quickly people pick up the skill, though,’ Hannah says reassuringly.

‘It’s about having fun. People who come to the classes want to learn to do it properly but they have a lot of fun to start with too.’

The fitness instructor says students already in the class have developed at different rates.

Someone with strong stomach muscles might find it easier than another new hula pupil.

But everyone has come on in leaps, bounds and rotations.

The sessions start with the kind of warm-up exercises used in general fitness classes, but the hoop is used – for balance or as a prop.

Then it’s a case of learning to spin – either around the waist or the arms to tone up the arm muscles.

Beyond that, fitness fans can learn to do tricks.

They might do squats and lunges while keeping the hoop spinning.

Hula hooping is becoming a popular way of keeping fit.

It’s a good calorie burner and particularly great for toning up the stomach muscles.

Hannah has become a qualified instructor by training with UK Hooping. She runs a Tuesday evening class for adults at Paradise Fitness in Titchfield, although there is a waiting list for this.

She’ll be starting new classes in September at Victory Hall, Warsash (Weds 8pm) and Stubbington (details tbc).

For information call (07796) 936041 or email thehoolafitnesscompany@gmail.com.