Intermediate Hoop Classes

I can't tell me how happy this class at Warwick Avenue made me last night. It was meant to be a normal HoopFit class but then these three turned up. Heather, Nicole and Sammi have all been hoping with me for... Um I'm not sure how long but they rock and we had so much fun that the class ran over an extra 20 mins mainly because I kept saying 'one more time, lets just do it one more time.'

We came up with new really random tricks and as Nicole said 'it was everything I love about hooping'  Playful, fun but also seriously challenging! Expect to see some of our random tricks in your next class. 

I am NOT a Fitness Junkie

I have been writing this post in my head for months because I feel like people have got me all wrong. My job means that I meet a lot of fitness fanatics… they think I am one of them but I am not. Maybe I should keep this a secret but honestly if exercise isn't fun and interesting I am NOT doing it. 


Before I discovered hooping I’d water skied, tried pole dancing, power plates and the odd dance class here and there. I generally exercised for three months of the year and did nothing for the other nine months. I do not run and I do not do sit ups. 

I remember going for induction sessions at gyms and telling them my aim was to ‘feel good’ which fell on deaf ears every time. Some how it always translated in their minds to ‘loose weight’ or ‘tone up’ but I really just wanted to feel good and have fun. And this to me is one of the major problems with the fitness industry, most people just want to feel amazing and fell alive! 

I know, so shedding a few kilos is great too but when did we decide that it had to be all work and no play. What do kids do to keep fit? They play right? We don't stick them on a tread mill or make them lift weights. Please stop making exercise so awful, lets just go outside and play… please. 

That is what I love about hula hooping. Whether you're working on keeping the hoop spinning for more than a minute at a time or splitting hoops you are always learning and playing. I’m not a fitness junkie, I am a fun junkie!

5 Things That Have Inspired Me This Week

Taking our company name Happy Healthy Hoops literally, I've decided to write about five things that have inspired me this week. 

1. Yesterday my friend won the Peoples Book Prize!!! His book You're Gone to Far This Time Sir won best non-fiction.

Years ago when waiting in the lobby to be interviewed for an accounting job at a property firm, Danny Bent, a stranger at the time, wandered past warmly welcoming me to the office and wishing me luck. It instantly made me want the job more. The staff were so friendly, I got the job and loved working there. 

Since then I've enjoyed seeing Danny's adventures on FB. He always seems to be up to something but I seemed to have missed the fact that he wrote a book!!! Watching his acceptance speck yesterday I learnt that Danny had dyslexia and his journey to becoming a writer had been just as windy as my journey from Accountant to Hula Hooper

I can't wait to read it! 

2. Gemma Smailes one of our Kentish Town HoopFit Students is going to jump out of a plane this weekend to raise money for Canine Partners  for Independence. Best of luck Gemma! 

3. This Photo from Morning Gloryville London just makes me happy. 

4. I spoke to my Dad yesterday, he is in hospital for a few days having some check ups. His health is complicated having suffered from Parkinson's Disease for 17 years and breaking his knee in every way possible. But the first thing he says to me is 'Bree, being in this hospital makes me realise how lucky I am'.  

5. Anna Lisa one of my students from Bannatynes has been hooping for a couple of months. It's been a slow process for Anna Lisa but this week something clicked and we managed 3 hoops yesterday! Perseverance, patience and practice.  


Say No to Sit Ups

This week one of my hoop students tweeted me saying she had sore abs! I tweeted back saying sore abs are great, especially as you didn't have to do a sit up to get them #saynotositups And now I have a new favourite hash tag #saynotositups is my new motto/slogan/mantra?! it is everything!!! I feels like it sums up so many things about my life, not just hula hooping!

When I first moved to London I had a pretty bad case of the old ‘Heathrow Injection’. It was well before I had discovered hula hooping so in order to shift the weight I got my self a rather expensive Personal Trainer. She was sweet and friendly and made me do Sit-ups… Yeah, did you hear that she made me do Sit-ups!!! I hated her of course, well at least for those slow and painful minutes where I was on my back desperately trying to get my upper body off the floor.

Firstly it turned out I had been doing them wrong for years. When she asked me if I could feel it in my abs I said ‘no but I CAN feel it in my neck, my back and even my arms’. The thing was my abs were non existent so I had compensated using the rest of my body.

My tummy has ALWAYS been my problem area. My sister is the same, if we put on weight its tummy and face (just to make sure we can’t cover it with cloths).

Everyone told me I had to do sit ups but I just felt like my abs were so weak that even a few were just too much. I was much happier to dress the problem instead of addressing the problem.


When I started hooping it was because it looked freaking cool and I wanted those magical powers that move the hoop from your legs all the way up to your arms! Yes I wanted to be magic! And guess what it was, with in 5 months I had dropped 5kg with out even noticing and now that am using proper technique for my waist hooping I’m actually starting to see my abs! I even had a friend comment on them in an instagram video!! Look here!!! My first EVER COMPLIMENT ON MY ABS! EVER!!

So SAY NO TO SIT UPS and say yes to a hoop!

P.S. Move the hoop from your legs all the way up to your arms is not actually magical! Its the first think I tell people in my leg and chest hooping workshop but when I started I really thought it was.

Hoop Buddies Nicole and Sammi


When Sammi and Nicole first came to a HoopFit class together it made me realise how beneficial it was to have a hoop buddy so I decided to interview them to find out more and here it is!


How did you guys meet?

Sammi: I have known Nic’s husband since we were 16 so we met through him. Nicole: When I first started going out with my husband, he took me to meet two friends of his for drinks; queue Sammi and her boyfriend. This was during a world cup match and we bonded over our lack of interest in football!

And I am guessing you then bonded over hooping? How long have you been hooping for?

Sammi: Around three and a half yearsNicole: I dipped my toe in the water in 2006, but I’ve been properly doing it for fun on and off since 2010.

What inspired you to start Hooping? Did you start together?

Sammi: We had both been interested in it without mentioning it to each other until New Years Eve one year, when I said I wanted to try and it turned out Nic did do.  We went on the hunt for a workshop to go to one weekend and the rest is history!

What keeps you hooping?

Sammi: Hooping is so much fun!  There is always something new to learn and so many different people to learn it from.  Especially being part of the London Hula Hoopers group you can always find hoop happenings to suit you. Nicole: I’ve never been into sports and have had trouble keeping a steady workout routine. This feels like I’m just playing with a toy, I just pick it up when I’m bored or distracting myself from things. I  don’t even really think about it as exercising- it’s just a nice bonus! There is also a bit of it being a puzzle learning new moves. I love puzzles and I get this buzz when I’m struggling to ‘get’ a trick and suddenly it clicks and works. Oh, that’s the best feeling!

What is the best thing about having a friend that hoops?

Sammi: You always have someone close by that is happy to come to the park in any weather to hoop away! Nicole: It’s great motivation to get to classes and having someone to talk to about it is awesome.

What’s your favourite trick?

Sammi: I love the two hoop weave, could do it for hours! Nicole: Hahaha! Vortex??? Even if it is our in-joke that it’s the only move we know how to do. (Not anymore, luckily!) I can’t knock it;  it’s fun, it looks impressive, and it will always have a special place in my heart for the as the first trick I mastered.

What is your favourite hoop trick that Nicole can do?

Sammi: Chest hooping!  This still eludes me! 

And Nicole dose Sammi have a trick which still alludes you?

Nicole: Sammi’s ninja ambidextrous skills with picking up tricks with the mini-hoops. I’m useless with my left hand, so I’m always in awe when she can start whirling the mini ones around in both hands like it’s nothing.  Just need to practice more with it though and I can get there!

What has changed for you since you started hooping?

Sammi: Before moving to London five years ago I didn’t know many people here and hooping is a great excuse to get out and meet new people as well as great exercise! Nicole: I get anxious very easily and I find after I play with the hoop for even just 10 minutes it helps me to de-stress and collect my thoughts. It’s made me a bit more carefree and reminded me it’s OK to have fun as an adult- it’s absolutely fine to go to the park and play, and it makes people walking by smile. Bonus!

Is there anything else you would like to tell the world about your hooping experience?

Sammi: Having a hoop buddy really encourages you to keep it up (as if you need help with that) and you bounce of each other.  You can help each other with those tricks that you just can’t seem to get! It also helps to have two pairs of eyes looking out for hooping events going on so you don’t miss anything! Nicole: I’m so glad I gave it a second go! It definitely helped to have a friend interested in it as well. Sammi is a great hoop buddy to have because she’s always up for a spin in the park in the summer and we keep each other motivated to attend classes when we can. We’re both a bit obsessed with making sure our future dream homes will suitable for our hooping needs; large front room -or just a hooping room, high ceilings, big garden… move over Barbie Dream House!

Since we did this interview Sammi and Nicole have both moved house and they have hoop space!!! YAY

So who are your hoop buddies? And how do they inspire and motivate you to keep hooping?