Hula Hooping Comes Back Around For Fitness Buffs

10:45 AM, May 3, 2010   |    comments
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San Francisco, California - What comes around, goes around - Hula hoops are back in style, but this time in the gym.

The light plastic toy has come full circle, from fifties fad to fitness friend. Hoop fans say it shrinks your waist, melts away pounds, and gets your heart rate up.

Jessica Allen of San Francisco teaches hoop. The 24-year-old says the gentle, low impact exercise is surprisingly effective.

"All your core muscles are engaged," said Allen. "You're bending your knees so you're engaging your leg muscles, you're moving your shoulders and arms, you're engaging really your whole body."

To get the workout you first need find the right equipment. The hoops used in fitness classes are no child's play. Adult hoops are heavier and larger in diameter than your standard plastic "Wham-o."

Allen makes her hoops using black irrigation tubing wrapped in gaffer's tape; The polyethlene tubing is heavier and the tape creates friction.

"For all those's easier to keep the hoop going around your body  so you're able to hoop for longer. and therefore moving longer. You get a better workout," she explained.

Even Academy Award winning actress Marisa Tomei is now in the loop.

Tomei credits hooping for getting her into great shape. She will soon release a series of "HoopBody" fitness DVDs, available online by mid-May. 

The Bottom line is that hooping is so easy, so much fun, you can even do it in the dark.

CBS 5 - San Francisco