Step aside, dumbbells, there’s a new kid on the block. Hula hoops might look like toys, but they can be incorporated into an effective workout routine that your body and mind will thank you for.
Weighted hula hoops are perfect for toning the body and regulating a sense of balance. They provide you with an incredibly fun way of getting fit, and you can work out absolutely anywhere. From your living room to the beachfront, you can hoop just about anywhere. Even if you haven’t hula hooped since 1981, the rhythmic motion of this routine is easy to pick up with a little practice.
If you get bored or exhausted by intense workout routines but still crave a full-body workout, hula hooping might be the exercise for you!
Let’s find out more.
Beginner Hula Hoop Exercises Anyone Can Try
This simple circular tool is ideal for executing a number of effective exercises. All that’s needed is a hula hoop, a space wide enough to swing it around in, and a flat surface to stand on. Some bouncy music also helps to energize your session.
In addition to the traditional hula hooping method of standing in fifth position while moving the hips in a circular motion, there are plenty of other ways to hoop your way to fitness. These exercises will challenge your body a little more, while adding slightly more complex physical movements.
- Forward-stance waist hooping
Waist hooping describes the classic motion of swinging a hula hoop rhythmically around the waist. Forward-stance waist hooping takes this up a notch by putting one foot forward in a semi-lunge, increasing resistance and waking up your quads. Arms are spread out, albatross-style at shoulder height.
- Hula hoop pliés
Pliés are a great way to work your legs and glutes. This exercise requires that you stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width, arms stretched out, and hoop spinning, while slowly dipping the knees up and down. Keeping your hoop in motion while moving up and down may be a challenge at first, but the payoff is well worth it.
- Lunges with hoop twirl
With this exercise, the hoop graduates from the hips to the hand. While alternating deep lunges on each leg, hold one arm directly above the head while twirling your hula hoop in hand. Your other arm can stretch outwards for balance. The combination of two pretty complex movements will strengthen your mind as well as your body.
- Hoop passing
Hoop-passing is a simple exercise that entails standing in fifth position while passing the hoop around your body from one hand to the next. You can keep your arms readied at your sides in order to grab the hula hoop as it transitions from hand to hand. This exercise is great as a warm-up or cool-down after a hearty hula hoop session.
What Are The Benefits Of A Hula Hoop Workout?
Using hula hoops to work out and strengthen your body works wonderfully for people who find regular routines boring or under stimulating. The routine acts as an effective method of toning and stretching the body, while refining your sense of balance and hand-eye coordination.
Among all the many health benefits that come alongside hula hooping, here is a roundup of the most notable ones.
- Burns calories
The aim of most workouts is to burn at least a few calories, and hula hooping certainly does not disappoint. In fact, hooping for just 15 minutes each day can burn as many as 900-1000 calories.
- Strengthens abdominal muscles
All of that twisting and turning the hoop around your waistline activates core muscles and helps your abdominals become stronger. Both Beyoncé and Michelle Obama swear by hula hooping as their preferred method of keeping core muscles tight and full of energy.
- Promotes balance and coordination
It requires significant balance to maintain the rhythm of a hula hoop rotating around the body, but these exercises will reinforce your ability to balance and improve your hand-eye coordination.
The combined movements of spinning a hoop around your midriff and working arm and leg muscles provide an excellent opportunity for your physical coordination skills to develop. We’re never too old to stop developing fundamental parts of the body or mind.
- Helps you get toned
Many people use hula hooping as an effective fitness method for toning both muscles and skin. The consistent motion of having a hula hoop rotate around the abdominal muscles prepares the body for developing a tight core and keeps skin looking healthy and bright.
- Increases stamina and heart rate
Hula hooping can help your body work up a significant sweat if you go at it for long enough. Hooping doesn’t just help you burn excess calories, it can also promote stamina and physical endurance. By engaging many important muscles at the same time, hooping can really help you tap into energy you didn’t even know you had.
3 Key Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of Your Hoop
While hula hooping might seem at first like child’s play, it does require real physical effort and coordination.
If you’re new to hooping or would like to know how to make the most of your time with this unique exercise tool, take a look at our top three tips.
- Clothing: wearing comfortable but tight-fitting workout clothes will allow your hoop to rotate around the waist smoothly without getting snagged on loose bits of fabric.
- Environment: make sure to pick a hooping space that is relatively even-grounded and free of any obstacles that might collide with your hoop.
- Starting position: the most comfortable way to start hooping is in fifth position with the hoop placed flush against the lower back.
No matter how experienced you are as a hula hooper, learning is a simple process that will result in success if you keep at it.
There are plenty of reasons to give this creative form of exercise a try, last but not least being that it’s simply great fun. It turns out that the humble hula hoop is so much more than just a toy. It’s exercise equipment that brings an abundance of benefits.
About the Author:
Megan P. Howard started her writing career specializing in educational copy in the fitness industry, covering a wide range of topics, and is editor-in-chief of Find My Footwear. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking the outdoors or signing up to run a 5K.