“Fitness with a Twist!”

Tiring of the same old exercise activities?

Looking for a new, innovative activity?

Well look no further! I was able to participate within a truly exceptional form of exercise which puts the fun into fitness: Powerhooping. Evis Akinsanya runs a Powerhoop class in Wallington, the only class in the area, and was able to inform me on the ‘hoopla’ behind this inventive work out.

The Powerhoop is a weighted hula hoop designed for adult use for a full body work out, weighing between 3.5 to 5 pounds and varying in different sizes and models, including:

The Powerhoop Classic: A hoop made from plastic and vibrant coloured foam padding, with a waved inner surface.

The Powerhoop Deluxe: A hoop comprising of four stainless steel weighted inserts, waved inner surface, compression padding.

The Powerhoop Slim: A 3 pound hoop consisting of plastic with foam lining, has no waved inner surface.

The hoop is used as a tool for a full body workout, used for cardio, strength and training exercises: primarily training the core muscles. The hoop follows the concept of a hula hoop, powered by the rotation of the hips and waist of the user. It’s fairly easy to get into the swing of things, and from personal experience I find the weight of the Powerhoop makes it easier to keep spinning than a regular hula hoop. This routine burns calories, up to 420 calories per hour, and improves co-ordination, flexibility and balance. Additionally it increases muscle tone, relieves back ache and slims the waist and hips.

The local class was established through the fitness fanatic’s personal journey starting up a fitness company after training as an instructor, after her fitness instructor left; Evis’s ambition and determination led to her advancing to qualify as a fitness trainer, with the intentions of not wanting to stop the activities she wanted to do. Her introduction to Powerhooping occurred whilst attending a ‘Fitness Fiesta’ in London, in which arrays of numerous sport and fitness activities are available to participate within. Powerhooping was predominantly attractive as it appeared enjoyable and something many could do- it was utterly “unique”. From there on, a class was formed and for the past 5 years running, continues to develop. Along with her general love of fitness, Evis wanted to help adults of any age, whether 18 or 80, whom are relatively fit to stay toned and increase fitness. The classes are a great way to “Keep fit, lose weight and have a laugh”.

The class grew primarily through “word of mouth”, with members enjoying the activity and inviting friends. When running a class it is important to consider location, choosing an accessible place with parking, and producing fliers to promote the session.

When forming a routine for the session, a structure must be followed, consisting of: a warm up, pulse racer, muscle, strength and endurance exercise, hooping, cardio and a cool down. Significantly, the classes must be amusing and when choosing accompanying music for routines, current, popular music is often used, as well as songs with associated dances, such as ‘The Macarena’ . The routines usually change on a 4 to 5 weekly basis.

Improved fitness is not the only benefit; many frequent hoopers find an increased sensibility of confidence as well as forming friendships. One of Evis’s favourite elements of the classes is the building of relationships, describing the gatherings as “Intergenerational” with friends, sisters, mother, daughters, even grandmothers attending. There is a strong communal sensation.

If you want a twist on traditional exercise and experience something new, Powerhooing is for you.

Patryce Richter, St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls