Fed up with pounding out the miles on the treadmill? So why not take to the air to make graceful shapes in a fun new fitness class?
More and more people across the country are swapping gyms for studios to try out the exciting aerial hoop.
Pole Perfect Fitness, in Austin Way, Lynn, is the only place in West Norfolk providing lessons and has received an amazing response over the last four months.
Owner Jane Cole and her team began to offer classes in December for adults and youngsters.
Inspired by the high wire and trapeze swinging acts, aerial hoop, also known as “Circeaux” and “Lyra”, provides a fun way to increase strength and flexibility.
Miss Cole, 30, of Lynn, said: “People are getting bored of the traditional gym. They want to do something different and that is why people are turning to hoop and circus skills. It is still a challenge, but it is fun.
“I have a 100 per cent success rate as everyone who has tried it has carried it on.
“Hoop has been a slow burner but I think it is going to explode in the fitness world.”
Miss Cole has three suspended steel hoops in the studio and limits the number of people per class.
The hoop is suspended a short distance from the floor. It can be rigged up with a single or double tab, which is a harness to connect the hoop to the chain or rope.
A single tab allows the hoop to spin and swing easier while a double tab adds balance and stability.
People on the hoops are able to create a variety of graceful poses along with spinning and the splits.
Miss Cole, who founded the studio seven years ago, said: “It has elements of gymnastics and acrobatics. It is considered an art form.”
The studio runs a children’s class for five to 11-year-olds along with three adult sessions.
But there are plans to add a further two classes, which include a warm-up and down.
Miss Cole, who also runs pole and other fitness classes, said: “As an instructor, it’s amazing to watch how people come on. They start a class and can’t lift up and over the hoop, but within three weeks they are doing a combination of moves.
“I have one lady who is 50 and within three weeks she was hanging from a hoop.
“People don’t believe in themselves enough and are always surprised at what they can do.
“A common thing with hoop and pole is that people say they have no upper body strength, but you have to give it a try.
“Everyone has different skills and it is a matter of bringing that out. We try to have a laugh and a joke. Fitness is supposed to be fun and achievable for everyone.”
Miss Cole, who has been involved with pole for 10 years, swapped life as a bar manager for the fitness industry.
She learned about aerial hoop and began attending classes in Milton Keynes a year ago and began teaching in December.
Miss Cole, who will be learning aerial silks in the autumn, said: “It is a new physical challenge for me and it is also a lot of fun.”
Fitness instructor Sylvia Lloyd, of Spalding, said: “Hoop is a unique and creative way to get fit and build strength – where else could I get away with hanging upside down?
“It’s a beautiful and creative art form that can help keep you strong and fit and at the same time builds camaraderie.”
For more information go to www.poleperfectfitness.co.uk