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 a great workout at the same time. When it comes to exercise, it’s important to find something you enjoy so you stick with it. That’s where hula hooping comes in. It’s a refreshing and enjoyable way to stay active while enjoying a host of health benefits. Here we’ll explore different hoop exercises and techniques that will help you get the most out of your workout and reach your fitness goals.
What is Hula Hoop?
A hula hoop is more like a toy ring spun around the waist, limbs, or neck. Hula hoops aren’t just for playtime. You can really use it to get in shape and have a great workout.
Your core muscles are engaged as you rotate the hoop around your waist in a rhythmic motion, giving your abs, hips and lower back a great workout. In addition, it improves balance, flexibility and coordination.
The best thing about hula hooping is that it feels like you’re playing, not exercising. Also, hula hooping can be a bit confusing when you’re just starting out. That’s why we’ve put together some easy hula hoop workouts to get you started.
Simple Hula hoop exercises to start with
Before starting your hula hoop routine, warm up with a light jog or run for 5 minutes. Then move on to perform the following hula hoop exercises.
Basic Training – How to use a hula hoop?
- Place the hula hoop on the floor and choose a size that reaches your waist and chest. Typically, larger hoops are recommended for beginners because they spin more slowly so you can adjust to the rhythm.
- Step into the hoop, hold your hands shoulder-width apart and slowly lift the hoop off the floor.
- Raise the hula hoop to your waist, placing 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 counterclockwise if you’re right-handed, or clockwise if you’re left-handed.
Benefits – Legs, back and arms
- Place the hula hoop on the floor in front of you as you lean forward.
- Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- With your back straight, rotate the hula hoop as if you were driving a car.
- First turn it to the right and move it 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 – Triceps
- Hold the hoop behind your head.
- Place the sole of your right foot inside your left leg, just below the knee, and lift 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 take your hula hooping game to the next level, give weighted hula hoops a try. These hoops are heavier than your regular plastic hoops, weighing between one and eight pounds. Using a weighted hoop makes you feel like a pro and adds an extra challenge to your workout.
Benefits – Hips and thighs
- Start with a side-to-side hoop while maintaining a shoulder-width distance between your feet.
- When you have enough momentum, lower your body into a squat position by bending your knees and pushing your hips back.
- Make sure to maintain a straight back and upright chest.
- Hold the squat for a few seconds and return to the starting position by pushing through your heels and straightening your legs.
- Repeat for 3 sets.
V sit up
Benefits – Abs
- Lie flat on an exercise mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Place the hoop under your mid-back, with the bottom against the mat and the top above your head. Hold the sides of the hoop.
- Tighten your abs and do a sit-up, lifting your upper body off the mat.
- Repeat this move for 10 to 15 reps in 3 sets.
Benefits – Hand muscles
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the weighted hula hoop overhead, with your arms fully extended.
- Slowly move the hula hoop around your head in a circular motion, keeping it close to your body.
- Complete the circle in one direction, then switch to the opposite direction.
- Continue to rotate the hula hoop around your head 10 to 15 times in 3 sets.
Benefits – Core muscles
- Sit on the floor and hold the hula hoop with both hands.
- Keep your knees slightly bent as you lift both legs off the floor.
- Lean back slightly while holding the hula hoop and turn your body to the right side.
- Pause for a moment and then turn to the left.
- Complete 20 to 25 reps 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 floor at waist level and spin it around.
- Move forward and backward quickly, making sure to keep your back straight.
- Keep practicing to improve your hooping skills and to see progress over time.
Becoming a hula hoop expert is all about practice. It’s also a great workout to lose weight and get fit. Let’s look at more such amazing benefits of hula hoop exercises.
Discover the Benefits of hula hoop
1. Hula hoop for weight loss
Hula hoop helps to burn calories and melt fat. So it helps to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. According to the American Council on Exercise, hooping can burn about 210 calories in just 30 minutes. This calorie burn is comparable to cardio workouts such as kickboxing (1). When combined with a healthy diet, hooping can also help reduce body fat.
2. For abs and slim waist
By toning and exercising the muscles in your abdominal area, it helps tighten and define your tummy, giving you a more sculpted waist. Studies have shown that using a weighted hula hoop can help reduce belly fat and increase abdominal muscle for overweight people (2).
Another study found that using a weighted hula hoop helped women lose an average of 1.4 cm around the hips and 3.4 cm around the waist (3).
3. Strength and mobility
It also engages your entire core muscles, including the abdomen, obliques and hips (4). Practicing this regularly will help target and train these muscles, improving strength and mobility.
4. Improve balance
Hooping also improves balance, posture and body control (4). It requires maintaining stability and posture, improving 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, improves brain function and reduces stress (5). It makes your heart beat faster 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. In addition, it is a convenient and inexpensive training option. You can do it anywhere, at home or away from home, and you don’t need expensive gym memberships or equipment.
Hula hoop exercises provide a fun and effective way to burn calories and improve fitness. Even 30 minutes of hooping can burn more calories like intense workouts. The rhythmic movements and engagement of core and trunk muscles during hooping contribute to higher calorie expenditure and may help reduce belly fat. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, these exercises provide a fun way to stay active. They also improve cardiovascular fitness and shape your body. So it’s time to grab a hoop and start working your way to fitness.
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