Hula hooping is the laugh-a-minute childhood game which has recently seen a comeback as a fun adults’ exercise. Not only can it boost your mood (you try playing with a hoop for 10 minutes and not crack a smile) but it’s a great total body workout.In this article, we’ll explain how hula hooping can support you in achieving your fitness goals. Then, we’ll suggest exercises to the hula-curious, so you can begin to enjoy those astonishing health benefits yourself.
Benefits of hula hooping
- Burns calories. Hula hooping is as effective at burning calories as salsa, swing, or belly dancing. With 30-minutes of hula hooping, women can expect to burn 165 calories, and men, 200 calories.1
- Smaller waist and hip measurements. A 2015 study found that women who used a weighted hula hoop every day for six weeks saw a significant decrease in fat around their waist and hips.2
- Better balance. Hula hooping requires you to maintain posture and core stability, two activities which are connected to better balance overall.3
- Support heart health. Hula hooping is a kind of cardiovascular exercise. Regular cardiovascular exercise support heart health in later life.4
- Support brain health. Regular cardiovascular exercise has been shown to improve cognition, with benefits increasing the older you are!5
Hula hoop exercises
Hula hooping is a fun form of exercise you don’t need a costly gym membership to enjoy. All you need is a hoop (slightly weighted ones are recommended for adults) and some space. Be advised, if you plan on hula hooping in your house, don’t do it near any valuable ceramics!
If you’ve never hula hooped before, we’re here to help. We’ll give you a list of great exercises you can do to reap the benefits of hula hooping:
- Side-stretch with the hoop. Place the hoop in the small of your back and raise your arms to parallel with your head, lightly holding the hoop. Sway from side to side, encouraging a good side-body stretch as you do so.
- Half-lunge hoop. Place one leg in front of the other in a half-lunge position. Rotate the hoop with your hip muscles. Do this for a couple of minutes and then switch sides.
- Arms out, wide-legged hoop. Stand with your legs more than hip-width apart and extend your arms outward, so they’re parallel with your toes. Rotate the hoop.
- Plié hoop. Adopt a ballet posture and place your weight in the balls of your feet. Keep your torso upright and lower your body in space, while rotating the hoop on your hips, simultaneous to the plié.
- Halo hoop. Hold the hoop above your head like a halo while you rotate your arm. This move works your triceps, shoulders and core. Switch sides after a couple of minutes.
Last updated: 5 November 2020