The hoop came unassembled in a box similar to the one in the photograph, however the exact box I got came only in Russian with no instructions what so ever, I did manage to figure it out after a while.
Basically you get 7 black curved lengths of hollow plastic with white links which you lock each piece together with which then creatures the hula hoop. You literally slide the black bit into he white bit and twist the white bit into the lock position until all pieces are together. You can use the hoop just like this (which I would recommend if you haven't hooped since a young age or want to get used it it for a while). However one of the selling points are the "massage" (nothing massaging about it, my ribs and stomach kill from internal bruising) balls with magnets in (the company claims that the magnets aid blood circulation and remove toxins from the body). What hurts more than hooping with the magnetic balls on is fixing the balls together - you have to put a transparent bit into a white bit (with the magnet in the middle) and they are so hard to put together I was close to having blisters on my fingers, relatively easy to snap onto the ring and also easy to take off if they really do hurt too much. Just a quick note there are no spare parts, which is a bit crappy really.
|This is the hoop once everything is pieced together.|
Once pieced together I set about hooping and it was pretty funny trying to hoop after not having done since being a child, dropping it every few seconds, bashing my knees etc. I found it a little too painful with the massage balls on at first so I took them off and set about finding a hoop workout video on youtube. I found this gem which really is a workout (and I can't do half of what this woman does), however she is obviously a hoop trainer/instructor (it is a video for beginners apparently haha) so I don't expect to be amazing instantly. After one go of the work out (basically me spinning a hoop for 10 minutes), I put the massage balls back on and did it again. By this point my brother and his girlfriend had come out into the garden for a cigarette and were laughing at me but also wanting a go. My brother was hoop-less and his girlfriend was pretty much the same as me, we ended up playing with my hoop outside for about two hours, taking it in turns, trying to do the moves on the video (with little success between us).
It is honestly so much fun, if a little painful, and I would recommend it to other as a fun way to exercise and I will definitely be doing it again as a form of getting fit. However, I would like to add for those that bruise easily, or don't deal with pain very well to be wary.
|Bruises from day one of hooping.|
So I am going to keep up hooping, to see what happens and if the bruises become less as time goes on.
I've also bought an exercise mat from Argos and have started doing POP Pilates, it is so much fun, Cassey is so motivational, and it was a great work out for me so I'm going to keep this up too. GWEN STEFANI ABS WILL BE MINE.