Hooping is a complete core workout.
(Cue the killer abs.) Hooping regularly can help to whittle your waist and strengthen your stomach muscles while blasting fat in these (often problematic) areas. (Studies that show that hooping burns visceral fat- the fat that is the hardest to get off the older you get, and also the most detrimental to heart health.) That’s what we’d like to call a win-win-win situation!
It’s also a full body workout
.Recent studies have suggested that hula hooping works as many as 30 of your body’s muscles. Just by incorporating some of the moves from HoopnoticaDance DVD 1, you will be working your arms and thighs as well as your complete core.
Hooping will make you feel the (calorie) burn. Hooping has been proven to burn over 400 calories per hour by the American Council on Exercise, although the calorie-burn from hooping may be as high as 600 calories per hour when other parts of your body, such as your arms and legs, are engaged.
To break this down, even more, consider that, according to a 2009 AARP Bulletin, hooping it up for eight minutes gives you a good cardiovascular workout and will burn a whopping 50 calories, or a satisfying 6.25 calories per minute! And the ACE reported, according to a study they conducted, that hooping burns approximately 7 calories per minute! Burn, calories, burn!
Hooping is good for your heart.
Hooping is an intense workout for your muscles..including one of the most important muscles of all: the heart! Anyone who picks up a hoop will notice their heart rate go up in minutes! So hooping for just twenty minutes a day can count towards your moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity recommended for improving and maintaining your health.
It improves your spine’s strength and flexibility. The movements require a significant range of motion for your spine while increased practice can train your spine to a greater range of motions than you are used to, increasing your flexibility and even preventing back injuries. According to 3FatChicks, one of several online sources on the subject (and an awesome diet and health blog), “While performing hula hooping, you make very rhythmic rocking movements forward and backward, shifting your weight along the way.
This kind of movement releases the tension of the muscles surrounding the sacrum (the lower part of the back) and realigns the sacrum with the rest of the spine. As a result, blood flow to the spine improves and total flexibility of the spine is increased.”
It improves hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
Like other sports, hooping requires hand-eye coordination and challenges your brain as well as your muscles. Hooping in both your natural direction and your reverse directions (recommended) is an excellent opportunity for your brain to engage both your dominant and non-dominant sides while guaranteeing your body’s balance.
The “H” Factor. Happiness. At the risk of sounding sappy, aside from these amazing physical fitness benefits, most of us fall in love with hooping because of how it makes us feel: Happy. Besides the wonderful burst of endorphins, you’re likely to enjoy after a good bout of hooping, this activity can have other, more subtle positive effects on your psyche. After hooping we often feel like younger, stronger, more toned, more confident versions of ourselves…in other words, we feel better–if not our best Selves.
The bottom line is that Hooping, just like running, as a solitary or a shared activity, can be anything you need it to be, big or small: a tool you use to center yourself before or after a long day or a healthy activity you in which you take part with family and friends; an 8 minute-a-day activity (with a big fitness payoff); a satisfying career; or–a way of life.
This much we know is true: whatever hooping brings to us personally or professionally, whatever benefits (and lessons) we take from it, whether they are quantifiable or not, we, as hoopers, keep coming back for more!
Learn more about Hula Hooping on Boxing Bayside .
Although there’s limited research focused specifically on weighted hula hoops, there’s still solid evidence to support the following seven benefits.
- Improves your aerobic health
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of trusted Source of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise each week.
Hula hooping is a fun, invigorating way to fit more aerobic exercise into your routine. It has the potential to provide similar benefits to salsa dancing or belly dancing.
Some of the benefits of regular aerobic activity include:
- stronger heart and lungs
- improved blood flow
- lower risk of cardiovascular disease
- a stronger immune system
- improved brain function
- lower stress levels
- Burns calories
According to the Mayo Clinic, women can burn about 165 calories during 30 minutes of hula hooping and men can burn about 200 calories.
This is comparable to other aerobic activities like ballroom dancing, mowing the lawn with a push mower, or walking about 4.5 miles per hour.
- reduces fat around your waist and hips
A small 2015 study trusted Source evaluated the potential benefits of a 6-week weighted hula hooping program for women.
At the end of the 6 weeks, the researchers found that the 13 women in the study had lost inches around their waist and hips.
Overall, the women in the study lost an average of 3.4 centimeters (1.3 inches) from their waistline and 1.4 centimeters (0.6 inches) from their hips.
- Reduces abdominal fat
A 2019 study trusted Source compared the potential benefits of a weighted hula hooping program with a walking program for individuals with overweight. The 53 subjects in the study either performed an average of 12.8 minutes of hula hooping per day or walked 9,986 steps per day.
The researchers found that the subjects in the hula hooping group lost a significant amount of abdominal fat and also trimmed inches from their waist, compared with the walking group.
- Increases core muscle mass
Hula hooping requires you to activate the muscles in your core to keep the hoop around your hips. Because of the work your core muscles need to do with this activity, it may help strengthen the muscles around your midsection.
In the same 2019 study mentioned above, the researchers noted that participants in the hula hooping group had a significant increase in the muscle mass in their trunk, compared with the walking group.
- Decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol
LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. If it gets too high, it increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Aerobic exercise, such as hula hooping, has the potential to improve your cholesterol levels.
The previously mentioned 2019 study also found that participants in the hula hooping group had a significant drop in their LDL cholesterol levels at the end of the 6-week hula hooping versus the walking program.
- Increases your motivation to exercise again
A 2016 pilot study trusted Source looked at the intentions of women ages 18 to 45 for future exercise after completing 30 minutes of hula hooping or walking.
At the end of the study, the researchers found that the women in the hula hooping group reported stronger intentions for future exercise.
Learn more about Hula Hooping on Boxing Bayside Boxing Bayside.
What to know about weights and sizes
Weighted hula hoops come in a variety of sizes and weights. Hula hoop sizes vary by brand, but in general, adult sizes range between 37 to 41 inches.
Hula hooping experts suggest starting with a hoop that reaches somewhere between your waist and mid-chest when the hoop is standing sideways on the ground.
Hoop weights range from roughly 1 to 5 pounds. The stronger and more experienced you are, the heavier weight you can handle.
It’s important to choose a weight that you can stick with for the duration of your workout. It’s also important to use a weight that doesn’t cause your technique and form to break down, which could increase your risk of an injury.
If you’re a beginner, you may want to start with a hoop that’s around 1 to 2 pounds.
How to use a weighted hula hoop
Before you start hula hooping, make sure you’re using a hoop that’s an appropriate size and weight. Wear form-fitting clothing, as loose clothing can get caught up and tangled in the hoop.
When you first start, you may spend more time with the hoop on the floor than around your waist. It can take some practice to get the timing right, but the longer you stick with it, the better you’ll get. The key is to be patient and not give up.
Here’s how you can use a weighted hula hoop:
- Start by holding the hoop in one hand and stand with your feet staggered, one foot about 6 to 8 inches in front of the other. If you spin the hoop clockwise, start with your left foot forward. If you spin counter-clockwise, start with your right foot forward.
- If you’re just starting, you may want to practice the hula motion without the hoop at first. Make a small forward and backward movement with your hips while rocking your weight slightly from your heels to your toes and back to your heels again. Keep doing this until you get comfortable with the motion.
- Next, place the hoop around your waist with the back of the hoop on the small of your back, just above your hips. The front of the hoop should point down slightly.
- Then, spin the hoop and try to catch it with your front hip as you start rocking forward and back. You can change the speed of the hoop by changing the speed that you rock your hips.
The bottom line
Weighted hula hoops are a heavier, sturdier variation of the popular children’s toy. Hula hooping has the potential to be a fun, challenging, and invigorating way to improve your aerobic health, burn calories, lose fat, and build your core strength.
Although there’s a learning curve, hula hopping is an affordable way to stay active, and it may boost your motivation to exercise more often. It’s safe for most people, but it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor first if you have back or hip issues or other health concerns.
The Hula Hoop is a Fun Way to Workout
Like most other exercises, stretching beforehand can help prepare you for the workout, and help you to prevent sustaining injuries.
Before you begin, you should stretch your arms, legs, and back. For good measure, perform a few lunges as well.
Swing the Hula Hoop around your waist. To keep the hula hoop moving, shift your weight back and forth. Rock your hips in a circular motion as you go.
Over time, focus on increasing the amount of time that you can hula hoop. Increase your time by 5 – 10 minutes each time you practice. This will be a great starting point for your hula hoop exercise program.
Work your way up to being able to hula hoop for 30 minutes.
One of the first things you will notice when you start hula hooping is the calorie burn. On average, you will burn between 200 and 300 calories with traditional gym exercises and routines. With hula hooping, you can burn up to 450 calories in an hour.
That is a huge calorie burn and advantage for someone who is trying to drop a large amount of unwanted weight through burning more calories than you take in.
Check out the video below to learn three moves with Jacqui Becker of Hoopnotica to blast your belly fat and tighten your core with a hula hoop.Learn more about Hula Hooping on Boxing Bayside .
Full Body Workout
If you are looking for a full-body workout with limited equipment then hula hooping may be ideal. The hula hoop can give you a full-body workout as well as fit into your current body resistance routine.
For example, you can do lunges while you work your arms with the hoop. You can also do balancing and some yoga poses while incorporating the hula hoop.
You can work your abs, arms, shoulders, legs, and core as well. It is all in how you use the routines and hula hoop options. Keep in mind, there are tons of hula hooping options and methods so you will not be limited to just a few.
Spine and Back Health
If you have spine and back issues, one of the things you will likely be told to work on is your posture. Well, it just so happens that you have to have excellent posture while using a hula hoop. This is true for most of the methods you have to use to hold up the hoop or use it properly.
You must keep your back straight and spine straight which means building the strength of the muscles.
If you are looking for a way to do these things, but you want to make sure that you are not causing more strain, then this may be ideal.
These are the benefits that anyone starting out using a hula hoop for fitness will start to see. As you get deeper into using a hula hoop for fitness, you will start seeing more and more benefits.
Using your hips to spin the hoop is not only a super-effective (and super fun!) abdominal exercise, but it’s also a great overall cardio workout. Just a half-hour of hula-hooping can burn up to 200 calories — and is way more fun than walking on a treadmill!
You can get a plenty-good workout using the simple hula hoops sold for under $10 at the local toy store — but if you try it and love it, you may be interested in trading up for weighted hoops. Larger than the ones designed for kids, these two- to four-pound hoops give you a workout you can whoop it up about!
No matter what type of hoop you’re using, though, hooping is a blast! Get your friends together and have a contest to see who can keep the hoop going the longest, or put on some music and try to hoop to the rhythm. As you get better at hooping, try moving your arms around to get your heart pumping.