HELPING relieve the boredom of last year’s lockdown, as weeks turned to months the whole country got hooked on recreating TikTok dances.
But this year, retro workouts are the hot new craze, with roller skating, hula hooping, skipping and aerobics all making a comeback.
We’re so obsessed, there are nearly 2 million roller-skating hashtags on Instagram.
And over on TikTok, there are a jaw-dropping 4.7 billion views of skating videos, while hula hooping has more than 900 million and skipping is at over 650 million. But why are we all hooked?
“There’s a nostalgic element to it,” says psychologist Professor Craig Mahoney from the University of the West of Scotland. “Pandemic-induced boredom has made us seek out exercises from our childhood.
Also, these activities are inherently fun, and countless studies show that we are more likely to continue with exercise if we find it enjoyable.
So dig out your sweat bands – it’s time to get your skates on…
Jump through hoops
Hula hooping is the original waist-whittler that you can do pretty much anywhere. “Hula hooping is a great core workout as you have to engage your abs to keep the hoop up around the waist,” says Amelia Sparkles, aerialist and hula-hoop performer.
“It seems to be growing in popularity again because people are realising you can get fit through play, which is what hooping feels like.” Keen to give it a spin yourself? Then opt for a weighted version.
“Weighted hoops are best for beginners as they’re easier to keep spinning around your waist, so you’ll get more reps,” explains Amelia. “Non-weighted hoops go faster but are harder to control at first. And don’t forget to hoop in both directions to avoid injury.”
For some inspo to get you started check out @Symoneforever and @Skyflowartist on Instagram for cool ideas and tricks.
- Let’s get physical Head to your local branch of Argos, where weighted hoops cost from £13.99.
Roll up, roll up
It was the ultimate way to celebrate your birthday throughout the ’80s, and now roller skating is the activity du jour in many parks up and down the country. “This full-body workout is great for strengthening the core, upper legs and improving your balance,” explains personal trainer Jason Briggs of Gear Hungry.
“The learning curve for skating is surprisingly not that steep and you can improve drastically in just a week, but the main thing to master is learning to fall safely,” he adds. That means learning to use your bum to cushion any falls! Finding the right surface to practise skating on is also key.
“Lots of people go straight out on to the streets to learn and are instantly put off because the gravelly roads don’t suit the wheels,” adds Jason. “But empty car parks, basketball courts and hard-surface tennis courts are ideal.”
Also, practise your balance indoors. “If you have the space, keep one set of wheels on the ground, with the other foot balancing on the front wheel only. Then shift to and from each foot with your weight. Over time your body will become comfortable with the constant shifting of weight, which is vital when you’re skating outside,” says Jason.
- Let’s get physical Check out online shop Skatehut.co.uk for all your footwear, pads and helmet needs.
Back to class
You don’t have to don the leotards and leg warmers of yesteryear to enjoy aerobics these days – your favourite workout gear will do, even if it’s baggy joggers. And with classes opening up in studios again, there’s no need to do it alone in your living room.
“Aerobics is super-fun and an accessible way to get your body moving. Even though you’ll work hard (there are lots of reps!), you’ll have a great time,” says Lily Mae McGregor, dance and fitness instructor at Frame Fitness Studios.
Keeping pace to the music doesn’t just target glutes, core, arms and shoulders, but your heart and brain. “It’s a fun mix of cardio and muscular strength and endurance, so a workout for all the major muscle groups,” says Lily. “It also increases levels of feel-good hormone serotonin, which is great for reducing stress and anxiety.”
- Let’s get physical Visit Moveyourframe.com to live stream ’80s Aerobics and check out a range of cool Lycra.
Skip to it
Mention skipping and images of boxers or children spring to mind, but it’s actually a great high-intensity cardio workout for anyone. And once you’ve got a rope, you have all you need.
“Skipping works almost every muscle in your body,” says Maria Binns, trainer at Kobox. “It’s one of the best forms of cardio, increasing your heart rate to improve stamina and cardiovascular health. It also improves bone density and coordination.”
Mastering tricks can work as a mindful activity, too. “Learning a new skipping skill forces you to focus and be present, otherwise you’ll be tripping all over the place,” says Maria.
She offers a word of warning, though. “Ease into it! You need to give your body and joints time to adjust to your new sport. Start with just 10 minutes a day, increasing slowly over weeks.”
Skipping star Lauren Flymen – AKA @Lauren.Jumps – adds: “Skipping on a mat as opposed to paving or concrete will soften the impact and help your rope last longer. Carpet and grass should be avoided due to lack of support and increased risk of injury,”
Another tip is to pick up a beaded rope over a speed or PVC one. “Beaded ropes with durable, light handles are easier to control,” says Lauren. “Ropes with long handles give you more room for error on crossing skills because they extend your reach.”
Finally, if the last time you skipped was at school, your technique will need to change. “Stay on the balls of your feet and don’t kick your feet up to your bottom. You don’t have to jump high to clear the rope,” says Lauren.
- Let’s get physical Skipping ropes, mats and gripper socks can all be found at specialist skipping store Rushathletics.co.uk.
Find out how your choice of PJs could affect your health at Fabulousmag.co.uk.
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