Want a fun way to get in shape? Grab a hula hoop!
Hooping is a great way to incorporate fitness into a busy lifestyle without an expensive gym membership. This high cardio, low-impact workout burns up to 420 calories an hour, blasts fat and trims inches from the arms, waist, hips, and thighs.
Pick up a hoop and instructional DVD, find a class near you, or find a few minutes in your backyard while the kids are napping! Here are a few exercise moves to help get you started:
1. Pliés & Waist Hooping
For a killer calorie burn, try combining waist hooping and pliés. Step your feet wide and keep your spine straight as you lower down. To keep the hoop up, you’ll need to shift your weight constantly from side-to-side. Squeeze your inner thighs and press through your heels to stand. Repeat 8 times for 2-3 sets.
Benefits: Waist hooping burns 400-600 calories an hour, and pliés further elevate your heart rate while toning inner thighs.
2. Lunges & Halo
Hold the hoop in your right hand palm up, and turn in a circle to the right to lift the hoop overhead. Push forward-backward through your palm with your thumb on the outside so the hoop doesn’t slide down your arm. Perform 8 lunges for 2-3 sets with your right foot in front. Then switch hands and feet and repeat the series.
Benefits: Halos are incredible for creating sleek, toned arms and shoulders. Lunges target legs and glutes, making this exercise a full-body workout
3. Squats & Overhead Resistance Pulses
Hoops are great resistance tools. Hold yours overhead between your palms, with hands at 3 and 9 o’clock so your arms form a V shape. Lower into a squat, and then squeeze the hoop between your palms as you stand.
Benefits: We all know squats are great for toning the bum. Add the hoop and you’ll engage the arms, shoulders, and chest. Added bonus: holding the hoop up keeps you from collapsing your chest forward – a common form error for squats.
What is the right size hoop for a beginner?
The online marketplace offers an exhausting number of “fitness hoops.” But a 40-44” diameter hoop weighing about 1½ – 2 lbs is the perfect hoop to begin with, whether you are hooping for fitness, flow, or fun! If you’re shopping in a retail store, choose a hoop that is roughly the same height as your belly button.
Why not use a children’s toy hula-hoop as an adult fitness hoop?
Everybody can hula hoop, at virtually any age, size, and fitness level. Unfortunately, a lot of people think they can’t hoop the way they once did as kids simply because they are using the wrong hoop! Children’s hula-hoops are made for children. Choose an “adult size” hoop for a fantastic core and cardio conditioning workout that feels like child’s play.
Does a heavier hoop equal a better workout?
A heavy hoop can blast fat and increase muscle tone, but starting out you will want your hoop to be under 2 lbs. This will allow your body time to build up muscle memory and endurance while providing a low-impact workout. Stay away from those scary looking 5-10 lb knobby hoops… heavy hoops increase the risk of soreness, bruising, and injury.
Pro Tip: Once you have “found your groove” with hooping, you may want to use a lightweight hoop for faster dance movements and added cardio benefits. The BreakAway Hoop designed by Hoopnotica adjusts to your “learning curve” by going from a 40” diameter to a 36” diameter, which is perfect perfecting your dance moves!