Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Hula hoop to fitness

This is not just any hula hooping fitness workshop.

Lisa Midlarsky, owner of Defy Gravity Yoga (5821 N. Federal Highway), is hosting three upcoming Hoop Core Fitness workshops, with five-time Guinness Book Athlete Betty Hoops. The guru of the Hula Hoop Core Fitness program is visiting South Florida to teach locals about her approach to exercise.

One of the workshops will take place at Delray Beach’s Veterans Park (802 NE 1stSt.) on Oct.1 at 6 p.m. Workshops are also available at Defy Gravity Yoga on Oct. 3 at 10:30 a.m. and Oct. 4 at 4 p.m.

The cost is $20 per person, and I suggest preregistering because space is limited. Click here to sign up.

I got the scoop from Betty Hoops. Here’s what she has to say.

Fit Life: Describe your workout approach.

Betty Hoops: My focus is on alignment, core power and moving from the inside out. This involves teaching students to feel and see what is going on in their mind and body. Once the student becomes aware of how to correct their posture, breathing and movements, they gain a higher potential to heal. Most teachers teach just a routine. I teach the student how to reconnect to their power and playfulness by using sports science and easy techniques.

Fit Life: Does any old hula hoop work? Why or why not? 

Betty Hoops: Great question. No. [Regarding the Hoop]: You are only as good as your gear. I designed a safely weighted and sized hoop which has been proven to be the most effective on the market. Hoops that are too light and small—anything under an 8-foot circumference and 1.5 pounds—will be too hard to keep up. Many have torqued and injured themselves trying to keep it up. Heavy hoops, anything over 2 pounds, have caused serious injuries. They pinch nerves, rupture discs, tear knees and bruise organs.

[Regarding the teacher]: Most teachers use hoops that are too light and small because they are focused on just doing tricks where the hoop is not on the core. They thrust their body forward to try to keep the hoop up. This makes the chest and butt pop out. This creates major compression in the low back with limited access to the core. Also, many teachers say one should roll their hips in a circle to learn how to hoop. This is dangerous and wrong. It is not my opinion because, in the laws of physics, the wheel spins on an axis. Your body is the axis, so when one tries to move in rotation with the hoop, it will fall and pinch discs, nerves and vertebrae. The correct way is to not move your upper or lower body and just move your hips … side to side [or] back to front.

Fit Life: Are there any people who should not attempt this kind of exercise?

Betty Hoops: I’ve taught thousands each year since ’97. I’d say that one should be careful and check with their doctor if: they are pregnant, usually in the 2nd trimester; [have] lower disc issues; or if they have seizures or heart issues. I have taught people to hoop successfully up to 420 pounds, over 70 years old, with heart stents [and other health and musculoskeletal issues]. I also have worked with chiropractors and physical therapists using my Belly Pump Method. This is a very effective spinal decompression technique, which has cured many chronic pains.

Fit Life: What benefits does it offer?

Betty Hoops: The Belly Pump Method retrains the body to move correctly. It gets us out of using just our legs and low back for everything, and it gets the person to use the deep core muscles first for each movement. [It] also quickly flushes toxins from the organs, boosts digestion and metabolism.

The 4 Rhythm Segment connects one to Earth Medicine. Living in the mountains, I wanted to bring the power and playfulness found here. I designed isometric moves which instill the elements of earth, water, fire and air into their mind and body.

Athletes confirm that my program Hoop Core Fitness has helped them with their golf, tennis, [kayaking], hockey and cycling. This ease of rotation is due to my focus on stabilizing the upper and lower body to really get into the core.

Hoop Core has helped with boosting confidence, team building, better attitudes and mental focus when I teach through schools and for corporate teambuilding sessions. I’d say that the most important benefit is that Hoop Core corrects bad posture, and how we move with stress in our bodies.

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For more posts from The Fit Life, click here

About Lisette

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.

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