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Spin a hula hoop and release your inner child!

I discovered my love for hula hooping back in 2011 when I attended a class near where I live in the south of England. A friend suggested we try it out and as I’m always up for trying new things I thought – yes that sounds different and like it could be a lot of fun!

Before the class I had created a vision in my mind of spinning a flimsy plastic toy shop hoop which I had never been able to do, but my vision couldn’t have been more wrong. When I arrived at the class I was handed a rather large robust plastic hoop which surprisingly was quite easy to keep up and I would later discover was in actual fact made out of the robust mdpe blue water piping.

As the diameter of an adults hoop is a lot larger than a children’s hoop it takes longer to travel around your body, therefore you do not have to move your hips quite as fast as you would in order to keep a smaller children’s hoop up. To my delight I also found that the class did not just involve waist hooping but also a multitude of arm tricks and even leg and foot tricks. I absolutely fell in love with hooping and it very quickly became a healthy addiction.

After about a year I decided that I wanted to share my love for hooping with others and as there weren’t many classes in my area I knew it would be a hit! I trained up as a fitness instructor and started by teaching friends and family to hoop. I’ve been teaching it ever since and the majority of my classes now have waiting lists. As well as teaching adults classes I also now teach children too and this is where my purpose really lies – seeing children enjoying exercise and having so much fun with it just fills me with joy! I absolutely thrive on sharing my passion for hooping. I get asked a lot about what the benefits of hooping are so I’ve outlined just some of the benefits below:

  • 1. Increased confidence

Before I discovered hooping I was quite the introvert but since taking it up it has done wonders for my self esteem and confidence levels. I think it’s to do with the fact that I love it so much and I know I’m actually good at it. I can now quite happily stand up on a stage at a fitness convention or a festival in front of hundreds of people and hoop. This is something I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing 3 years ago.

  • 2. It’s a brilliant meditation tool

I think when you are stood inside that circle (hoop) it acts almost as a protective barrier between you and anything else, you feel nothing can harm you or touch you and you feel like you can actually do anything. You shut your mind off to the outside world and you let your body and mind just flow – this is better known as hoop flow or hoop dance. Dancing with or without a prop can have the same affect but many hoopers can vouch for the meditative benefits of hooping I’m sure!

  • 3. Physical benefits for the body

Hooping is proven to improve muscle tone, flexibility, coordination and cardiovascular fitness. When core hooping for 10 minutes you are burning an average of 100 calories. Hooping works around 30 core muscles, including glutes, thighs, abs and lower back muscles that support and stabilize your posture. Although hooping is not an intense form of cardiovascular fitness it certainly increases the heart rate and you will see and feel the benefits within a matter of weeks.

  • 4. You can be a child again!

Who would say no to a bit of fun? Hooping releases your inner child and allows you to let go of any inhibitions you may have. Hooping isn’t just for children, it’s for any age to have fun with and that’s the great thing about it. I’ve only ever known class participants to have plenty of giggles with it and that’s what it’s all about – having fun!

(Photo credit – Chris Meany)

  • 5. New friends and new opportunities

Hooping has opened the door to a whole new world I never knew existed before. I have met so many new people through hooping at the various festivals and specialist hoop events I’ve attended. I’ve found myself being invited to perform at festivals and offer workshops at various events worldwide. I’ve even now created my own instructor training programme in order to be able to pass my knowledge on to other teachers who can help spread the joy of hooping and touch even more lives.

So the bottom line is – hooping really is a wonderful thing and if you haven’t tried it yet then I really recommend that you give it a go and please do let me know how you get on, I bet you discover your inner child…

Hannah Hoopy Murphy x

Find out more about my instructor training programme, workshops and classes at

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