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Hoopnotica puts new spin on old hula hoop

January 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
While hula hoop dates back to the 1950s, one particular type has been popular for the last five years: Hoopnotica."It's a non-impact aerobic workout so it's great for people who have joint issues, people who are wanting to get pregnant, people who are pregnant," said Gabrielle Redding, Hoopnotica founder and CEO. "I hooped through two pregnancies."

Redding used the program to lose her baby fat while enjoying movement.

"Lots of people from lots of different backgrounds, with lots of different body types can enjoy this type of aerobic exercise. But it's also a hard core workout," she said. "It exercises your core, it tones your whole body from head to toe, and it also burns a tremendous amount of calories."

Depending on body weight and effort, you can burn anywhere from 300 to 600 calories an hour.

"I noticed my posture got better at first and my abs started to strengthen. I've lost about 50 pounds," said Melissa Palmer of Venice.

Of course Hoopnotica is great at whittling your core, but it also offers a fabulous mind-body connection.

"With yoga and Pilates, you can lose track of what you are doing," said Redding. "With the hoop, if you at any point think about anything other than keeping the hoop moving around you, the hoop goes down."

It's not the hula hoop of yesteryear either. It weighs a little under 2 pounds and comes in a few sizes, as the extra heft and diameter can actually make it easier to use. They also offer travel hoops and high performance hoops that are slightly smaller and lighter than the others.

"It's moving them around and really challenging your arms in ways that most other exercises don't, unless you're really pumping weights," said Redding.

Collapsible hoops start at $39.99 and run up to $150 for the ones that light up at night. Although Redding says most people spend about $50 for their hoop and they last forever.

"One hoop is really all you need; your hoop, a desire to learn and a little bit of space," she said.

There are classes available throughout Los Angeles and countrywide, or you can try one of four DVDs for $19.99.

"I've always found workouts to be like a job, but this I just love to do," said Palmer.