London Fitness Classes #1
What? Flying Fantastic‘s Ariel Hoop class
Where? Gymbox, Farrindgon
How much? £20… less if you book in bulk
This all began with Ariel Hoop. My BFF and I have recently decided to sample different fitness classes in London: which are the most fun? Best value for money? Best for actual fitness? And Ariel hoop is where it started: It was a birthday present for BFF.
Run at Gymbox in Farringdon, right next to the station, it was no problem finding, and we got there early enough to catch a few last minutes of the last class. ‘I’m never going to be able to do THAT,’ was my only thought as I watched one of the girls dismount the hoop…but actually, pleasantly, I was wrong.
They started us with a warm up, running, jumps, stretches, all that malarkey… then split the class into beginners (there were 5 of us) and more advanced (again, about 4 or 5.) This amounted to 2 or 3 per hoop – a good balance.
We began with the simple ‘how to get onto the hoop’ introduction. You grab the bottom of the hoop and crouch, then throw your feet onto the hoop and up above your head (like the above photo) you can then flip your legs over and, easy peasy, you’re on. After around 3 attempts me and BFF managed to get this, and felt rather pleased with ourselves… until the pull ups.
The disadvantage for me (BFF faired better at this part) is that, even though I have strong legs, my arms are weak. Thus, anything (which is most things) that involved pulling up with your arms, was tricky. However, the lovely instructor knew to mix it up and after pull ups with our arms sit ups were in order – a great tummy work out and really fun (trying to keep the hoop from swinging back and forth .)
Lastly, we got up onto the hoop and did some mounting and dismounting then ended with a ‘man in the moon’ pose (similar to the above photo but with your back gains the back of the hoop and one hand hanging off.)
Over all… a really fun class with genuine fitness benefits (my legs felt like steel after that class.) A spot of advice, lift some weights before if you have weak arms (like me) and one disadvantage…your hands get ripped to shreds on the hoop, after a while my hands were near to bleeding and calloused: but if you do keep these classes up, you’re hands will get used to it.
Fun Score: 8/10
Fitness Score: 7/10
I loved this as it was so different to other classes, but it was a little too challenging for me to get any kind of fitness benefit from it – My hands and shoulders were sore for days and not of the ‘no pain no gain’ type after a tough workout, just OWCH! The class was long which was great, the teacher was supportive and we built up slowly to learning a full routine. 6/10