I’ll be the first to admit that my lifestyle used to be less than ideal… three takeaways a week, zero exercise and lots of late nights. Apart from always being tired, I hated the way I looked but didn’t have the drive to do anything about it. That’s until I decided to try something new, something just for me and that’s when I discovered aerial hoop.
So I signed myself up to a 6 week fundamentals course at Leeds Aerial Arts with the determination to stick it out and not give up after a few weeks.
Well those 6 weeks quickly turned into 6 months which turned in a year… ONE WHOLE YEAR and I have no intention of stopping. Without aerial hoop, I would still be that unhealthy person with zero fitness, zero strength and zero (body) confidence.
So if you want to find out how aerial hoop can change your life and help you get the body you want, scroll down to read more…
What is aerial hoop?
Traditionally a circus act, aerial hoop or Lyra is a suspended steel ring and is used to perform acro based routines.
Aerial hoop offers a fantastic full body workout designed to improve strength, build muscle and increase flexibility. This makes it the perfect balance of getting fit and having fun at the same time… so what’s not to love?
Super fast spins, daring drops and graceful gazelles will be part of your training but don’t worry, as a beginner you’ll learn the basics first. If you want to learn more about what to expect from your first aerial hoop class, click here.
During your first few sessions of aerial hoop, you’ll find conditioning exercises hard (I really struggled) and unless you’ve trained previously, moving your own body weight around will be a challenge.
Seated pull ups, leg raises and even straddle mounts will seem impossible but stick with it. It was months until I managed by first pull up and now 5,6 or even 7 in a row aren’t a big deal.
The more you train, the stronger you’ll get but I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s easy but when you start to see results – it’ll suddenly feel worth it.
Top tip: If you’re serious about training, invest in a gym membership. A few weight lifting based workouts each week will accelerate your progress, making hoop class a bit easier.
If you struggle to even touch your toes, no worries – the more you practice, the better you’ll get and the best part is that you might not even realise until you nearly drop into the splits or get a near perfect back bend without trying.
The shapes and flows you‘all learn and practice will push your body to new limits helping to figure out what you’re naturally good at and what needs practice. For example, my splits have come along way in a short amount of time with little training but my shoulder mobility is poor.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that regular stretching and flexibility training is important to really push your progression as well as understanding the fundamentals of how to stretch properly and safely.
You can eat more!
No I don’t mean you can stuff yourself with crisps, bags of sweets or bars of chocolates. By eating meals packed full of the good stuff will give your body the fuel it needs to build muscle and recover. After a hard slog during your gym and aerial hoop training sessions, your body will thank you.
The misconception is that to lose “weight” is to go into a calorie deficit meaning eating less but that’s not right at all. If you want to have a more defined figure then you need to lose body fat and build muscle – ignore the scales, muscle weighs more than fat but you will look and feel slimmer.
Just to put it into perspective, when I was at my unhealthiest I weighed 63kg and was a size 12, now I weigh 65kg and currently a size 8/10.
Make sure you have a good breakfast to start the day off right followed by lunch (and a second one in my case) then a lovely big dinner. You can snack inbetween as well if you still feeli hungry but try to stop eating 3 hours before bed time – this gives your body chance to digest your food.
It’s a confidence builder
It can be daunting signing up for a class when you don’t know anyone and for many that can be a turn off. But how can you learn a new skill or meet new people if you don’t step out of your comfort zone every once in a while?
It’s important to remember that EVERYONE is in the same boat so when you arrive at your first class just smile and say hello to everyone – it’ll break the ice and before long you’ll have your own little aerial hoop family.
Enjoy your aerial hoop fitness journey!