Not keen to hit the gym… or like many other people (including me), who just don’t have the time to get there? Maybe hula hooping is for you (especially if you prefer to rather play than workout). Many people have jumped into this fitness craze and the results are showing!!
Hula Hooping can help you slim down. You can burn 7 calories per minute. It may not sound like a lot, but its as much you would burn while walking briskly, and even more than you’d burn doing power yoga, step aerobics or pilates.
Hula hooping does more than just trim your waist (although that may be the first place you notice to slim down). It works your entire core and (depending on your workout) can tone the rest of your body too. You can also incorporate many other exercise moves into your routine.
A weighted hoop can create enough force to give a fantastic workout. Exercise hoops are larger and heavier than the toy hoop you may know, but they are not heavy enough to bruise your body. The size and weight make it easier to keep the hoop up and give you time to move within the hoop. A smaller, lighter hoop can also give a good workout, but because you need to work faster to keep the hoop going, you will find you tire much quicker.
Remember to warm up your muscles before you start hula hooping. A few stretches – and hip rotations should do it.
Using your adult weighted hula hoop, with one hand on each side, hold the hoop horizontally so that it touches the small of your back. You may find it easier if you stand with one foot forward. Wind up by holding the hoop and turning your body in the one direction (opposite to the direction you’ll be spinning the hoop). Give the hoop an energetic spin around your waist in the opposite direction (most people prefer spinning the hoop in one direction over another). Push your belly/hip forward pushing firmly each time the hoop crosses your stomach, moving in a back-and-forth motion. Keep both feet on the ground as you push your belly/hip forward with each revolution of the hoop, slightly bending and straightening the forward leg, shifting your weight, rocking front to back on each push of your hips. The push of your hip back is as important as the forward push. Avoid moving your hips in a circular motion. This will slow down the hoop.
As in all exercise, it is best to exercise both directions to equally balance and tone your muscles as you hoop.
If the hoop continues to fall to the floor while waist hooping, you might need to start with a larger hoop until you find the right point to push into your hoop as it whirls around your waist.
The key to recovering a falling hoop is to push, thrust and shimmy your body much faster than normal hooping, whether or not you bend your knees or turn your body in the flow of the hoop.
So get a hoop (and make sure that your hoop is an adult hoop for exercise), find an instructor and get hooping. No instructor in your hood? I learnt from dvd’s and video clips alone… Turn on your favourite playlist (be sure to include some up-tempo music to increase the speed of your hooping). Incorporate some knee lifts, squats and arm movements (air punches, “jumping jack arms”, or any movements that feel good) as well as hooping in the opposite direction for a complete body workout. As you improve, so will your flow and movements and you will be able to add more to your routine.
Like any new exercise routine, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before starting.
By Melanie Morgan
Start this wonderful exercise and fun activity by getting your own Sooper Hoop from our online shop.