I checked out the DVD first to get an idea of what I was about to get myself into. The quality and clarity of Katie's video was great! Vocals are clear and well-paced; the whole workout is easy to follow. She includes a stretching section that actually uses the hoop, which I thought was very cool. Her workout moves are really the highlight of the video, though: it's all functional - with the hoop constantly keeping the core engaged and testing the balance, your entire body is forced to continuously make tiny (and sometimes large) adaptations. Every muscle lights up! My core was starting to feel sore just from watching Katie's demonstrations!
The only downside to the video is that Katie uses several different hoop sizes for a more robust workout. Some of the smaller hoop exercises could still be performed with my large hoop, but there were a handful of moves that simply can't be done with a large hoop, making the video a little tricky to follow if you're not an avid hooper with a full range of sizes. Fortunately, Katie does provide modification suggestions for the super mini hoop, allowing me to participate in a greater portion of the video without having to dig up specialized equipment.
Katie sent me a custom-made hoop decorated with my favorite colors! Her hoops are made of sturdy tubing decorated with tape, which is pretty common for handmade hoops, but often with handmades you'll see tape pulling or uneven coverage - Katie's hoop is very smoothly decorated with no loose corners or pulling ends, and it was very well-packed for shipping. The tubing is pliable enough to literally fold the hoop in half for easier shipping, and there is an instruction card included for how to properly unpack the hoop for the best shape. At first I thought I could easily fold it back up for storage, but the info card recommends not twisting the hoop after unpacking. It's not like it's all that hard to store a hula hoop that fits behind any piece of furniture!
Actually hooping, though? Holy crap, we did this for FUN when we were kids?! I can barely keep the hoop moving for more than 20-30 seconds at a time, and when I try to do some of the workout moves like hooping on one foot, it's game over in just a few short seconds. No way I can keep up with the video yet - gonna need to work on hooping endurance first before getting tricksy! My (embarrassingly brief) foray into following the DVD proves that the video will be an amazing workout once I'm able to actually do any of it.
As the weather continues to get warmer and it's easier to spend time outside, I'll be working hard on my hooping. I am setting a tentative goal for myself: to be able to do most of the workout video by the end of the summer! If I can get through Katie's awesome workout, I have no doubt I can teach a hooping class that my students will LOVE, thanks to the high level of challenge and the sense of returning to childhood when hooping. If you're looking for a way to shake up your home fitness routine with a true challenge that is also fun and unique, head over to Katie Sunshine - she'll get you moving!
Have you ever taken a hula hooping class? Can you last more than ten seconds doing some of the hooping tricks?