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Hula hoop exercises aren’t just for kids anymore. This simple piece of equipment can make your fitness routine a lot more fun while giving you an amazing workout. When it comes to exercise, it’s important to find something you enjoy so that you’ll stick with it. That’s where hula hooping comes in. It’s a refreshing and enjoyable way to stay active while reaping a bunch of health benefits. Here, we’ll explore different hooping exercises and techniques that will help you get the most out of your workout and reach your fitness goals.
What Is Hula Hooping?
A hula hoop looks more like a toy ring that is spun around the waist, limbs, or neck. Hula-hooping isn’t just for playtime. You can actually use it to get in shape and have a great workout.
Your core muscles are engaged as you spin the hoop around your waist in a rhythmic motion, giving your abs, hips, and lower back a great workout. Additionally, it enhances balance, flexibility, and coordination.
The best part about hula hooping is that it feels like you’re playing, not exercising. Also, hula hooping can be a bit confusing when you’re starting out. So we’ve put together some simple hula hoop workouts, to begin with.
Simple Hula Hoop Exercises to Start With
Before starting your hula hooping routine, warm up for 5 minutes with a light jog or some running. Then, proceed to perform the following hula hoop exercises.
Basic Workout – How to Use a Hula Hoop?
- Place the hula hoop on the ground, choosing a size that reaches your waist and chest. Typically, larger hoops are recommended for beginners as they spin more slowly, allowing you to adjust to the rhythm.
- Step inside the hoop, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart and slowly lift the hoop off the ground.
- Raise the hula hoop to your waist level, while stepping one foot in front of the other for balance. Hold the hoop firmly with both hands and relax it against one side of your torso.
- Start spinning the hoop in a counter-clockwise direction if you’re right-handed, or clockwise if you’re left-handed.
Benefits – Legs, back, and arms
- Place the hula hoop on the ground in front of you as you lean forward.
- Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- With a straight back, rotate the hula hoop like driving a car.
- First, rotate it to the right, moving it along the entire length of the area.
- Roll the hula hoop to the left and return to your starting position.
- Repeat this sequence as many times as you can.
Triceps Hoop Extension
Benefits – Tricep muscles
- Hold the hoop behind the head.
- Place your right foot’s sole inside your left leg, just below the knee, lifting your right leg.
- Keep your back straight and look ahead.
- Bend your elbows to lower the hoop behind you, then return to the starting position.
- Repeat this movement 10 to 15 times before switching legs.
Weighted Hula Hoop Exercises – Advanced
To level up your hula hooping game, give weighted hula hoops a try. These hoops are heavier than your regular plastic ones, weighing between one and eight pounds. Using a weighted hoop will make you feel like a pro and add an extra challenge to your workout.
Benefits – Hips and thighs
- Start with a side-to-side hooping while maintaining a shoulder-width distance between your feet.
- When you have got enough momentum, lower your body into a squat position by bending your knees and pushing your hips back.
- Make sure that you keep a straight back and an upright chest.
- Hold the squat for a few seconds and return to the starting position by pushing through your heels and extending your legs.
- Repeat it for 3 sets.
Benefits – Abs
- Lie flat on an exercise mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
- Place the hoop under your mid-back, with the bottom touching the mat and the top positioned over your head. Hold onto the sides of the hoop.
- Engage your abdominal muscles and perform a sit-up, lifting your upper body off the mat.
- Repeat this movement for 10 to 15 repetitions in 3 sets.
Benefits – Hand muscles
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the weighted hula hoop above your head, with your arms fully extended.
- Slowly move the hula hoop in a circular motion around your head, keeping it close to your body.
- Complete the circle in one direction and then switch to the opposite direction.
- Continue rotating the hula hoop around your head 10 to 15 times in 3 sets.
Benefits – Core muscles
- Sit on the ground and hold the hula hoop with both hands.
- Keep your knees slightly bent as you lift both legs off the ground.
- Lean back slightly while holding the hula hoop, then twist your body to the right side.
- Take a pause, and then twist to the left side.
- Complete 20 to 25 repetitions on each side for one set and aim to perform at least 3 sets.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Stretch your back and sides before you begin your hula hoop workout.
- Activate your core by tightening your abdomen.
- Improve your hooping technique by focusing on your posture.
- Hold the hoop parallel to the ground at your waist and rotate it.
- Move forward and backward with speed, ensuring your back remains straight.
- Keep practicing to enhance your hooping skills and see progress over time.
Becoming a hula-hooping expert is all about practice. It’s also an awesome workout for weight loss and getting fit. Let’s dive into more such amazing benefits of hula hoop exercise.
Discover the Benefits of Hula Hooping
1. Hula Hoop for Weight Loss
Hula hooping helps to burn calories and melts fat. Thus it aids to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. According to the American Council on Exercise, hooping can burn around 210 calories in just 30 minutes. This calorie burn is similar to cardio workouts like kickboxing (1). Also, when combined with a healthy diet, hooping can aid in reducing body fat.
2. For Abs And Slim Waist
By toning and training the muscles in your belly area, it helps tighten and define your midsection, giving you a more sculpted waistline. Studies have shown that using a weighted hula hoop can help reduce belly fat and increase muscle in the midsection for people who are overweight (2).
Another study found that using a weighted hula hoop helped women lose 1.4 cm around the hips and 3.4 cm around the waist on average (3).
3. Strength And Mobility
It also engages your entire core muscles, including the abdomen, obliques, and hips (4). By practicing this regularly, you can target and train these muscles, improving strength and mobility.
4. Enhance Balance
Hooping also improves balance, posture, and body control (4). It requires maintaining stability and posture, thus enhancing your ability to balance and perform other exercises with proper form.
5. Boost Cardio Fitness
Hooping is a cardiovascular exercise that improves heart health, lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes, enhances brain function, and reduces stress (5). It gets your heart pumping and increases oxygen flow.
6. Fun And Affordable
Hula hooping can also be seen as a family-friendly activity that allows you to exercise and bond with your loved ones. Moreover, it is a convenient and inexpensive workout option. You can do it anywhere, whether at home or outdoors, and it doesn’t require costly gym memberships or equipment.
Hula hoop exercises offer a fun and effective way to burn calories and improve fitness. Even a 30-minute hooping can burn more calories like high-intensity workouts. The rhythmic movements and engagement of core and trunk muscles during hooping contribute to increased calorie expenditure and can aid in reducing abdominal fat. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, these exercises provide an enjoyable way to stay active. They also enhance cardiovascular fitness and shape your body. So it’s time to grab a hoop and start hooping your way to fitness.