Hula Hoop Weight Loss
Hula hoops are mostly associated with the vivid dreams from a happy childhood where all those adult responsibilities had not yet materialized in one’s life. Somewhat surprisingly, hula hooping is trending recently, and not as a child toy but as a tool for weight loss via exciting hula hoop workouts. Can hula hooping yield all the benefits regular workouts provide, or is it just entertainment? Read this article to grasp all essential stuff surrounding hula hoop weight loss.
What are hula hoops?
Historians have revealed that the ancient Greeks and Egyptians used hula hoops for both fun and fitness. Children reportedly made hoops out of dried grapevines twisted together which they would roll along the ground using sticks. This type of game actually continued throughout the centuries until the early 20th century when cars started occupying streets so children had no place to play.
At the same time, ancient sportsmen were playing games with hula hoops to improve their agility and fitness.
Then, someone between those ancient ancestors and the housewives from the 1950s came up with the idea of rotating hula hoops around their waist, and hula hooping was born. Perhaps the 1950s were hula hoop’s finest hour, but in recent years it has started picking up steam again with celebrities popping up with their hula hoops on Instagram. Even one can find coaches launching classes on hula hoop exercise here and there.
Benefits of hula hooping
Calorie burn and weight loss
One of the first things you will notice when you start hula hooping is the fact that you can burn as many calories as you would if you were running on a treadmill.
On average one can burn between 200 and 300 calories with traditional gym exercises and routines. With hula hooping, you can burn up to the same amount in just 30 minutes (5). This is a huge calorie burn and an advantage for someone who is trying to drop a large amount of unwanted weight through exercising, yet they’re not that much into gym training.
Exercisers can expect similar results from hula-hooping as they’d get from boot-camp classes, step aerobics and cardio kickboxing, all of which meet fitness industry criteria for improving cardiovascular fitness.
It’s a full-body workout
If you are looking for a full-body workout without a ton of equipment then hula hooping may be an excellent choice. The hula hoop can give you a full-body workout as well as fit into your current body resistance routine.
For instance, you can do lunges while you work your arms with a hula hoop. You can also do balancing and some yoga poses while incorporating a hula hoop.
You can work your abs, arms, shoulders, legs, and core as well. It all depends on the way you integrate a hula hoop into your routine.
Still, this does not mean you should resort exclusively to hula hooping. Hula hoops will help you align your body for the core stability, endurance and focus that you need to build core strength, but they won’t bring you a six pack (2). So if that’s your goal, you can’t dismiss the other exercises targeting your core.
It improves spine and back health
If you have spine and back problems, you will likely be told to improve your posture from time to time. It just so happens with the hula hoop as you need to stand perfectly while you’re hula hooping. This is the correct way for most of the methods you have to use in order to hold up the hoop or use it properly.
You’re supposed to keep your back and spine straight which builds the strength of your muscle. Actually, if you are looking for a way to tone up your muscles, but you want to make sure that you are not causing them too much strain, then this may be the ideal bet for you.
As you have probably seen, hula hooping is both fun and great for your body. However, you can’t just take your child’s hula hoop and right away drop 5 pounds.
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Hula hooping: how to start
Find the right-sized hoop
The success of your workouts has a lot to do with the size of the hoop you choose. The larger the hoop, the easier it will be to spin. If you can, try out the hoop before you buy it.
Choose the best weight
The IA weighted hula hoop is the way to go. They have weights built in, which obviously makes them heavier and helps you lose weight, build muscle, tone your figure and improve your cardiovascular health – all the benefits listed by the American Council on Exercise. Also, a weighted hoop is easier to use. If you’re a beginner, use a 1-2 pound hoop.
Watch some videos
There are plenty of online and offline courses in hula hooping, join in!
Start with shorter workouts
With hula hooping, you are teaching your body how to move the right way with the hoop while working your cardiovascular system at the same time. That’s why it is completely okay to start with shorter sessions. Aim for two or three 10-minute sessions a day. Later you might want to increase the time or incorporate them in your overall workout. As your results improve, you can add more time to each workout.
Choose the right hoop
It is not the best choice to use, for instance, the same hula hoop for both your waist and hands.
While a single hula hoop may feel like it’s the one fitting you best, as with any exercise routine, different props are required for various exercises. Weighted hula hoops can feel uncomfortable on sensitive and bony parts of the body such as your hands, arms and legs. If you wish to avoid discomfort or bruising in these areas, dedicate your weighted hoop to only hooping on your waist. Add an additional lightweight hula hoop to your collection for other uses.
How to use hula hoop for weight loss: tips
Wear the right clothes
Wear clothes that allow plenty of movement. Choose stretchy, close- fitting garments that are not slick in texture. Cotton leggings and a tank top is an amazing choice. If you practice yoga, yoga clothes work really well for hooping insofar as they are breathable fabrics that allow for lots of movement.
If you wear a dress or something baggy or loose, the hoop will not move well as it will not be able to grip your body. The same works for fabrics like satin.
Posture and movement
As mentioned before, hula hoops strongly help you to maintain proper posture.
Thus, the first thing you should learn is how to stand up nice and tall and keep your spine straight. Simply try that for a minute, close your eyes, and pay attention to how your body feels.
When you’re at the beginning of learning how to hula hoop, you also should try to keep your legs as still as you can. Movement in your knees or anywhere below your waist is going to draw the hoop downward. So when you send that hoop on its first spin around your waist, remind yourself right then to keep a nice tall back and stay conscious about your movements. Your feet have to be positioned side to side or with one foot slightly in front of the other. Your rhythmic motion will be forward and backward.
When the hoop makes contact with the front of your body, lean forward to give it a push. When it touches your back, go backward to keep the momentum going. Before you know it, that hoop will stop falling down!
The last tip regarding movement is walking in a circle in the same direction the hoop is going. This will help slow down the hoop, giving your body more time to pulse back and forth.
Many hoopers say playing the right music made the difference for them when they were just learning how to hula hoop. Sometimes all it takes is hearing one of those hits from your loved artist which feels familiar and natural to your body. Music with a nice beat makes it a lot easier to keep the proper rhythm going to keep the hoop up.
Hula hooping is often described as a type of meditation because to really be a cool hooper means you absolutely need to be in tune with your body and your hoop as well as the space around you. This in a way means letting go of all the stress of the day, of everything you’re worried about, including learning how to hula hoop.
Make videos of yourself hula hooping, so you can observe the way your body moves and correct your form if you see it’s necessary.
Also, hooping in front of a big mirror (like one at a dance studio) is very helpful for your progress. You could use any other big reflecting surface like sliding doors at home as well.
Hula hooping is not something everyone learns in a couple of tries. It takes many hours, and even months to master.
It took weeks for some of the super-talented hoop dancers to learn how to hoop their waist. Just keep in mind that it takes a lot of consistency and dedication but you are doing good for your body ever since the first time you picked up that hoop and gave it a try.
You are burning calories, improving your cardiovascular health, toning your core, and lots more.
Besides all this, hula hooping involves a lot of muscle memory, so once your muscles start to get used to the movement needed to hula hoop it becomes much easier and you will wonder how it happened that you needed so much time to learn.
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Some hula hoop exercises
There are lots of them, but here are one of the most interesting ones.
Hold the hula hoop behind your head. Then, lift your right leg and place the sole of your right foot on the inner side of the left leg, right below the knee. Keep your back straight and look ahead. Now, lower your hula hoop behind you by flexing your elbows and then bring it back to the starting position. Do this 10 times, and then switch legs.
Place the hula hoop in front of you at an arm’s distance, and hold it with both your hands. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart. Your toes must be pointing out. Now, push your hips out, flex your knees, and lower your body as if you are going to sit on a chair. Simultaneously, move the top of the hula hoop away so that you can squat properly. Ensure your knees don’t overshoot your toes. Get back up to the starting position.
Hoop Russian Twist
Sit on the floor and hold the hula hoop with both your hands. Flex your knees slightly and lift both your legs. Lean back a little and twist to your right side while holding the hula hoop. Pause for a second and then twist to your left.
The Ninja Pass
Plant your feet on the ground shoulder width apart and bend your knees slightly. Hold your hoop in your right hand and twist at the waist over your right shoulder. Then, twist to the left while passing the hoop to your left hand. Repeat, but rest when you need to, as the added weight from that hoop can be tough.
Hoop side stretch
Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and holding your hoop in the air over your head. Lean to one side, stretching your sides and warming up your body. Then, hold the stretch for a few beats, and switch sides.
To sum up, hula hoop weight loss is a compelling alternative to workouts for those shying away from crunches or push-ups. They are on par with cardio in terms of weight loss effectiveness, while simultaneously improving your core. Still, you need to follow a nutritious diet to replenish the energy you lose while dancing to the recent bop while spinning your newest hoop. And fad diets should not be your choice – protein, fiber-rich (6, 7, 8) lifestyle dietary plans like Keto or Vegetarian one will help you balance out yourself and achieve a satisfying harmony between your mind and body. Never forget to keep your fluid intake high by drinking plenty of water before and after your sessions to boost your hula hoop weight loss results (3, 4).
If you want your weight loss plan to be efficient, don’t forget to do some exercise on the regular basis. Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- ACE-sponsored Research: Hooping—Effective Workout or Child’s Play? (n.d., acefitness.org)
- A Six-Week Trial of Hula Hooping Using a Weighted Hoop: Effects on Skinfold, Girths, Weight, and Torso Muscle Endurance (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Dehydration (1997, medlineplus.gov)
- Drinking water and Health (1977, nap.edu)
- Effects of Weighted Hula-Hooping Compared to Walking on Abdominal Fat, Trunk Muscularity, and Metabolic Parameters in Overweight Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Study (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Optimizing Protein Intake in Adults: Interpretation and Application of the Recommended Dietary Allowance Compared with the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The impact of soluble dietary fibre on gastric emptying, postprandial blood glucose and insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes. (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)