An Expert’s Guide to the Aerial Lyra Hoop
In this day and age, working out can be as fun as you want it to be.
Gone are the days when your only real options for exercising included running or working on any machine that was open at the gym.
You can now take part in training regimens that specialize on specific parts of the body, join in on fitness classes that involve dancing or cycling, and even try out performance arts as a form of exercise. Case in point: Pole dancing is now a form of exercise practiced by many people in many corners of the world.
If you’re still looking for something else to try as a combo workout and performance art routine, then it may be worth your time to check out exercising using a lyra hoop.
To those who are curious about the lyra hoop and how it could potentially improve their regular workout routines, this article will shine a light on it, how it works, what it can do for your body, and pointers on what to look for when shopping for one.
I’ll also provide reviews of some lyra hoops currently available while also providing tips for those who want this piece of equipment added to their home.
Buckle up and get ready for a spin as we talk about all things lyra hoop!
What Is a Aerial Hoop?
Even if you’ve never heard the term lyra hoop prior to reading this article, chances are that you’ve at least seen a glimpse of it before.
The lyra hoop often hangs in the air via some form of suspension equipment. It’s a larger circular ring that is used for performing various physical feats. Those who have been to a performance of Cirque du Soleil will recognize the lyra hoop immediately.
According to Basic Invert 78, a performer who went by the name “Caedo” was among those who pioneered the usage of hoops in their routines. Caedo rose to popularity back in the late 1800s, so as you can imagine, seeing someone perform tricks with a hoop while hanging in the air was quite the spectacle.
It’s not exactly clear why it’s called a lyra hoop however.
Why Do People Use Lyra Hoops?
Now that we know a bit more about the backstory of the lyra hoop, let’s move forward by answering another pertinent question.
That question: Why do people use lyra hoops for exercising?
There are some good answers to that particular question.
For starters, working with a lyra hoop can be really good for your body. In order to use the lyra hoop properly, you need to have a good amount of upper body strength. With no ground to stand on, you are essentially relying on your upper body to hold you up.
In addition to working on your upper body, exercises involving the lyra hoop can also help you become more flexible. The various maneuvers you will perform with the help of the lyra hoop require you to carefully move your body in certain ways.
Because so many parts of your body are being activated during a lyra hoop workout routine, you can also count on more of your muscles getting better defined as you continue with these exercises.
One more benefit of exercising with the help of a lyra hoop is the fact that it’s simply a ton of fun. For many of us, performing those daring physical feats has always been a dream.
What Should I Look for When Shopping for a Lyra Hoop?
Several factors can affect how beneficial of an addition the lyra hoop is either to a home or to a studio. To ensure that you make the right purchase, keep the following factors in mind as you go shopping.
Number of Connection Points
The number of connection points present on a lyra hoop matters because it can influence how much space you need for installation, how stable the hoop will turn out to be, and how wide the range of movement you’re getting will turn out to be.
For beginners or those who just want something easier to work with, Vertical Wise notes that a lyra hoop with two connection points offers greater stability. You should also be able to move a lyra hoop with two connection points back and forth pretty easily.
Rotation becomes optional if you decide to use a lyra hoop with two connection points.
The biggest downside to using this kind of lyra hoop is that you need a lot of available vertical space.
A single-point lyra hoop is a better option if you don’t have a lot of space to work with. You can also move this kind of lyra hoop in all kinds of directions.
The tough part about working with a single-point lyra hoop is that it’s simply not as stable as the option mentioned previously. This lyra hoop design is better suited to those individuals who already have plenty of experience.
Last up are the lyra hoops that provide no connection points which are also known as tables lyra hoops. Versatility is the strong point of zero-point lyra hoops as they can be set up to work as either two-point or single-point hoops. They can even be aligned horizontally if needed.
You may end up needing additional pieces of equipment if you opt to install a zero-point lyra hoop.
Lyra Hoop Makeup
How the lyra hoop is constructed will also affect its level of performance.
Hollow hoops are great if you want something that you can rotate with relatively little effort. A hoop made from aluminum is also lighter in terms of weight, so getting a hoop fashioned from that material should prove to be an easier task.
A steel lyra hoop may end up lasting longer though.
What Is the Lyra Hoop Size That Is Best for Me?
There are two important factors to consider when choosing a size for the lyra hoop you will be using. One is the diameter of the hoop and the other is the thickness of the ring itself.
Let’s start with the diameter.
Available diameter sizes for lyra hoops range from 30 inches all the way up to over 40 inches. So, which one is right for you?
Unique Aerialists recommends performing a simple test to figure out the right diameter measurement for the lyra hoop you’re getting. The test involves sitting down on a chair and then measuring from the chair all the way to the top of your head. Once you get that measurement, you can then add 4 inches to it and that will be the right diameter for your lyra hoop.
The thickness of the hoop is not as important as its diameter, but it can still make quite a difference. According to Uplift Active, beginners tend to prefer thicker hoops more because of the kind of grip they can provide.
How Do I Install a Lyra Hoop in My Home or Studio?
You’ve done your research, determined that you want to try lyra hoop exercises, and have even picked out something to purchase. It’s now time to install the lyra hoop yourself, right?
Well, you may want to slow down there.
Since the lyra hoop has to be suspended in the air and carry weight, you can’t just hang it from a nail hammered into a beam and call it a day. Handle the installation process incorrectly and you could end up severely injured.
According to Firetoys, you should avoid hanging the hoops from trees or using inexpensive ceiling hooks to support them. Hanging from metal or wooden beams built into your home can work if they are remarkably strong, but even then, there’s some risk involved.
The best thing you can do if you are looking to get a lyra hoop installed is to work with a professional who knows a lot about home structures and rigging. As much as possible, consult with the professional during every step of the installation process, and if possible, you can let that person take on the job for you.
In some cases where there are no beams present in the home that can support the lyra hoop or if it’s being set up outside, a steel structure may have to be built first.
Another thing to remember is that the items used to attach the hoop to either the beam or a structure will wear down over time. After a few months have passed or if you’ve noticed any kind of difference in the stability of the hoop, bring in a professional to check if there are items in the setup that may have to be repaired or replaced.
Once again, it is crucial that you work with a rigging professional here. The accidents that can happen if your lyra hoop is not properly secured cannot be taken lightly. Go ahead and pay the amount necessary to seek professional assistance because doing so will ensure your safety.
Convenience is one of the major selling points of Firetoys’ Professional Aerial Lyra.
If you decide to purchase this lyra hoop, you are immediately provided with the hooks and strops needed to set it up correctly, but that’s not the only reason why it’s easier to work with this item.
The connection points attached to this lyra hoop are remarkably versatile. You can use a wide variety of carabiners in order to connect this hoop to the strops provided.
If you already have some spare carabiners at home, you can use them during the installation process for this lyra hoop.
Notably, you don’t even have to use carabiners to install this lyra hoop. It can be connected directly to the strops.
Sizing options are pretty limited for this lyra hoop however. The manufacturers only offer 35, 37, and 39-inch options. The good news is that lyra hoops in those sizes should fit the majority of potential users.
Thickness is also not an issue with this lyra hoop as you’re given a sizable enough surface to grip.
Speaking of grip, a matte powder coating has been applied to the exterior of this lyra hoop in order to make it easier for users to hold on to it. The introduction of the matte powder coating certainly does its job in terms of improving the grip, but as the manufacturers acknowledge, you do have to let it warm up for a bit before it becomes sticky.
The most disappointing thing about this lyra hoop from Firetoys is its lower weight limit. The most it can hold is a load of 396 pounds. That’s well under what you can get from comparable lyra hoops.
In stark contrast to the lyra hoop from Firetoys mentioned above, this Runner Deer creation provides a lot of wiggle room when it comes to its weight limit. To be more specific, this lyra hoop can hold up a load that weighs up to 660 pounds.
That should be enough to hold up to two or even three people. Be careful before you attempt anything like that though.
Sizing is also not going to be an issue when it comes to this particular lyra hoop. You can find hoops that are small as 30 inches and at the opposite end of the spectrum, there are items that measure at 40 inches across.
You should be able to find a variant of this lyra hoop that will fit your perfectly.
The manufacturers have also included the components necessary to install this lyra hoop. That should help you cut down on your expenses.
Compared to other lyra hoops, I noticed that this Runner Deer creation is on the thicker side. That’s a good thing because it enables you to establish a firm grip. The only issue is that your hands may tire out faster if you have to wrap them around a wider surface.
Using a lyra hoop for working out can help you improve your physique while simultaneously enabling you to express yourself better. It’s a unique piece of exercise equipment in that regard.
Just remember that safety should always be prioritized when it comes to lyra hoops. Have it installed by professionals and never use it by yourself as you never know when accidents can happen.
By erring on the side of caution, you can ensure that your experiences with the lyra hoop will be nothing but pleasant.