Hooping it up for fitness

Published 1:55 pm Monday, December 31, 2012

Robbie Lewis and Ann Kirkwood (contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

The words “hula hoop” evoke an image of plastic tubes with rolling beads twirling around wiggling waists. Today’s hoops have come full circle since introduced by the Wham-O company in 1958.

Made with more durable materials in custom sizes and colors, people of all ages are coming together to bring hooping back in popularity.

A small business was founded in Shelby County as a result of hooping popularity. Robbie Lewis and Ann Kirkwood have operated Hoop for Fitness for four years, offering classes and booking hoop parties and performances for all ages and abilities.

“You may have seen some hoopers at music events, festivals or local city parks,” Lewis said. “These days, they’re doing much more than turning hoops on their waists. Hoop dance and fitness hooping have expanded the moves and tricks that can be done with the right size and weight hoop. Large hoops move slowly for beginners, smaller hoops spin more quickly, allowing an advanced hooper to perform more tricks as the hoop is brought off the waist and body in dazzling moves.”

Hoop for Fitness, as its name implies, provides classes to encourage hoopers to try more advanced moves that give a better core workout, increase heart rate and burn more calories than just waist hooping alone. Classes are held at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they provide interactive corporate classes and demonstrations for businesses through St. Vincent’s Wellness Services.

Lewis and Kirkwood’s hand-make their hoops and decorate them to match your style. Their hoops can be purchased at Mountain High Outfitters’ retail stores, on their website HoopForFitnessBham.com or by email at info@hoopforfitnessbham.com.

Check out the buzz about hooping on their Facebook page or join them for a hoop jam at a local city park.

Mollie Brown can be reached at dmjhb1@bellsouth.net.