Hula hoops burst onto the toy scene in 1958, and since then generations have been wild about them. Who wouldn’t be? These colorful plastic hoops can be used for dancing, performance art, or simply having fun the the park. But it turns out that fun and entertainment aren’t all the hula hoop brings to the table--it’s also a great workout.
For years, hula hoops were a popular children’s toy, but now they have become something people of all ages can use to have fun and get healthy. In fact, the Mayo Clinic has confirmed that hula hooping is an effective way to get your physical activity each day. This is great news for those of us who need to get fit, but hate logging hours at the gym or on the treadmill. Just put on some music and hoop my belly fat away? Sign me up!
Once you decide to give fitness hooping a try, your first step should be finding a hoop (of course). But where do you start your search? We’ve got a few tips that just might help you being your hooping journey:
When you think of hula hoops, you think of toys, right? So why not head over to your nearest toy store and pick one up? The reality is that your standard toy hoop is quite a bit different than the fitness models available for today’s hooping adults. While the average hula hoop may suit your niece and nephew just fine, it’s not likely to get you the workout you’re looking for.
Firstly, there’s the issue of size. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the average child is quite a bit smaller than the average adult! This means that hula hoops made for children aren’t likely to give an adult an effective core workout. Common knowledge says that the right sized hula hoop, when placed vertically on the ground, should reach the person’s belly button. As you become more advanced, you can make the hoop a bit smaller--but not as small as a child’s toy.
The second issue with toy hoops is weight. One of the ways that hooping benefits the body is by weighting down the hoop itself, so the body has to work harder to keep it spinning. Most fitness hoops range between one and two pounds, but a toy hoop is only a measly two ounces! Without that extra weight, you simply won’t see the results you want from your hooping routine.
Hooping’s rise in popularity has not gone unnoticed by the fitness industry. As a result, your standard sporting good stores (where you might by tennis rackets or running shoes) are starting to sell fitness hoops too! This can be a great place to start for a new hoop-enthusiast; you can try out the store’s selection right there and make certain you find a hoop that helps you reach your fitness goals.
Of course, the selection at a sporting goods store won’t be quite as varied as a specialty store. You may miss out on certain sizes, weight levels, or even specific colors. Once you’ve found the right size for you, or once your starter hoop isn’t challenging enough, you’ll likely want to check out a store that specializes in hula hooping for exercise. Brick-and-mortar hula hooping stores are hard to come by (though who knows what the future holds), so to find the perfect hoop for you, you may have to go digital.
The internet has revolutionized everything, from the way we make friends to the way we shop. With a few simple clicks, our everyday necessities (and even a few luxuries) are sent straight to our homes from shops all over the world. It’s hardly a surprise, then, that one great place to get the perfect fitness hoop is in an online store.
Online shopping means that you can compare different shops, different styles, and differents sizes at home, quickly and while wearing your pajamas. Do you want a weighted hoop for an extra tough workout? A collapsible hoop you can take with you to the office?
You could even custom order your hoop, making it as unique as you are. With an online shop that specializes in fitness hoops, you are more likely to get a piece of exercise equipment that you can use to great effect.
What are you waiting for? Now’s the time to buy a hoop!
For many individuals who aren’t accustomed to a regular fitness routine, exercise is intimidating. What if you look ridiculous? You aren’t even sure what an elliptical even looks like--let alone how to use one. Not only that, but what if you aren’t in the shape you want to be in yet? The gym can be swimsuit season on steroids--especially at the beginning of the year when it’s the most crowded.
Adopting a consistent fitness routine should never elicit fear, self-loathing or anxiety. And exercising does not require a gym membership. The simplest way to stay in shape is to adopt an exercise routine that is so much fun, you’ll want to be exercising all day!
Enter the hoola hoop. Or hula hoop (as it can be spelled both ways!). Hooping is a fun, easy and budget-friendly form of fitness. The hoola hoop workout has become so en vogue that celebrities have adopted the hoop as their latest, greatest piece of fitness equipment.
Beyoncé—yes, THE Beyoncé—hoops to maintain her physique. First Lady Michelle Obama hoops. Perfectly quirky indie it-girl Zooey Deschanel opts for the hoop. Even Shaq hoops beyond the basketball court.
Celebrate a new year by grabbing a hoop and beginning a hoola hoop workout for a healthier happier new year and new you!
Anyone can hoop! Grandparents, young kids, millennials. Even if the hips can’t move well, use the hoop in other ways. Hoops are versatile. Jump rope with them. Use them on the legs. Or the arms. Hoops can hoop anywhere on the body!
Yes, everything we do burns calories. But hooping burns LOTS of calories, without the dedication of a ton of time. Hooping can burn up to seven calories a minute, or 210 calories per half-hour workout. Hooping works the body and gets the heart pumping. And hooping has been shown to be a great workout for weight control. So hoop it up!
Hooping is a relatively low impact exercise, so knees and leg joints won’t take a brutal beating. Unlike running or even brisk walking, which requires the feet and legs to quite literally pound at the pavement, hooping can be done on carpet or anywhere with the space to move.
Hooping helps tone and trim the core. The muscles used to keep the hoop in rotation may become stronger through regular hooping. And some studies have shown that hooping may help trim waist and hip size.
Hooping can be both a form of fitness and a form of relaxation at the same time. The rhythmic motions of rotating the hoop can keep the mind focused and mindful. Hoop for stress relief and to move the mind from negative thoughts, worries or to help loosen up after a bad workday.
It’s easy to smile while hooping, because the hoola hoop is pure joy! Hoops are so much fun and spark smiles on so many faces that Hoola for Happiness, a non-profit organization in Tampa, Fla., sends hoops around the world. According to the organization: “The hoop may seem like just a silly child’s toy, but it is an incredibly powerful “joy magnet” for transcending language barriers, introducing joy where hope has been lost, creating pockets of light in darkness, and releasing freedom for bodies and souls.” Hoola hoops can and have changed lives.
Hooping may go above and beyond just one hoop. When the body is required to spin multiple hoops at once on different places on the body, focus and coordination are vital. Over time and with lots of practice, a hoola hoop workout pro can move with multiple hoops. Going from one to two or more hoops pushes the body to fine-tune gross motor abilities and improves coordination.
Every person needs fitness. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that adults need “at least 150 minutes (or 2 hours and 30 minutes) each week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise” and strengthening exercises on two days per week. A half hour each day of hooping provides the minimum daily requirement of aerobic exercise needed for a healthy lifestyle.
Begin 2017 by adopting a hoola hoop workout routine for a healthier lifestyle. Not only is hooping fun, but hoola hoop workouts are also the “it” fitness obsession for many of Hollywood’s A-list stars. Find a happier, healthier new you and…jump in the hoop!
The movements of hula are native only to Hawaii. Once only performed by men to honor the gods, hula is now divided into two types of dance: the ancient art--Hula Kahiko--and the more modern interpretation of hula known as Hula Auana
Modern hula is the form most tourists have come to recognize, with its floral printed or grass skirts, leis and female dancers. However, Hula Kahiko is the ancient and religious-based art that has been passed down through generations. It was this ancient art of hula—the historic hula—that was suppressed as the Hawaiian culture was bent to modern times.
Today, ancient and modern hula traditions are celebrated and honored across the Hawaiian Islands. Both Hula Kahiko and Hula Auana are performed on the islands and hula continues as a venerated tradition of Hawaiian culture. The beauty of the modern Hula Auana is so revered by those who have watched the dance that it has been adopted beyond Hawaiian culture and even integrated into fitness routines.
Hula’s movements are graceful, flowing and elegant and reminiscent of the tides of the ocean that surround the islands. The beauty of the dance and the intricacies of the movements also provide dancers with a workout that matches many dance fitness routines. Movements of the pelvis and hips are integral to hula, and these movements help chisel the core.
Hula fitness may incorporate a hula hoop or the dance may serve as its own form of fitness. Channel the traditions of Hawaii with these fantastic Hula-inspired fitness routines:
Hula was never danced with a hoop, but keeping the hula hoop in rotation requires mastering hip motions similar to dancing the hula. Hooping tones and strengthens the body without the pronounced rigor of a typical fitness routine. Staying fit with a hoop doesn’t feel like work, but the body still reaps the benefits.
There are numerous fitness routines that incorporate the hula hoop. Before branching into a full-blown workout routine with the hoop, the basics of hooping must be mastered. Learning to keep the hoop in motion is simple, but can be a bit tricky for some individuals.
Beginners should always learn with a larger or heavier hoop. While a weighted hoop is easier for controlling the rotation, keep weight size to a minimum so the body doesn’t become overexerted. Typically, heavier weights are used by individuals who want more resistance in a hoop workout.
Hooping novices should learn to hoop around the waistline, where the hoop is controlled the easiest. Hip and waist movements keep the hoop in motion, and beginning workouts should focus on keeping the hoop in motion at longer intervals.
Once the basics are understood, move on to more challenging hoop workouts. Discover ways to incorporate modern dance with the hoop for a rigorous cardio boost. Christabel Zamor with World Dance New York teaches one of the best modern dance hoop fitness routines. Zamor’s instructional videos can be downloaded via multiple channels.
Looking for free hooping inspiration? Check out Deanne Love’s Hoop Dance Workout tutorial that will help burn more than 200 calories per half hour of hooping. Love is masterful with the hoop and offers video instruction to teach numerous hoop movements...all of which work the body.
Hooping for fitness goes beyond the basics of hip movements and dance. The hoop can be rotated anywhere on the body, and each crazy motion offers its own unique benefit. Challenge the body to rotate two hoops at once. Don’t focus only on the waistline, however. Try rotating around the hips and the waist at the same time. For more resistance and a heavy workout, use weighted hoops. The body should feel the burn!
Learning to hula takes time and patience, as the movements involve coordination of the hands and arms and the movements of the hips and waist.
Beyond the islands, the love and appreciation of the Hula has thrived. There are hula instructors across the country, and, in many areas, there also are Hula societies who are dedicated to serve as the hula hub for their areas. Individuals located in the Midwest who are looking for instructors or resources can visit the Association Group Members list via the Hula Association of the Midwest. The Kumu Hula Association of Northern California also serves as a resource for those interested in Hula.
For individuals who want to learn to Hula but lack a local instruction, online resources remain the best source of instruction. Find videos and numerous resources about the Hula on HulaDanceHQ.com. The site includes videos for Hula instructions for kids, videos focused on learning the dance steps and guidance on mastering the hand and arm movements.
Those looking to step up the benefits of the dance by integrating the movements into a fitness routine may gravitate towards the Island Girl Workout. The instructional video is taught by instructor Kili Kilihune and focuses on the abs and the “buns.”
Capturing the beauty and history of Hawaii, the Hula is an art form that combines alluring footwork, graceful arm and hand gestures and rhythmic hip movements for a dance that is purely paradise. Use hoops for a unique hula fitness routine or learn the art of the dance to appreciate and reap the blissful body benefits.
New year, new fitness goals! Now that January is here, it’s time to reconsider your fitness routine. It’s time to commit to a hula hoop!
Why is everyone so excited about hula hooping? You may not believe this (or maybe you do because you’re already an avid hooper) but hula hooping is a workout that’s actually fun! With so many added cardio benefits (burning more calories per minute than other forms of exercise), we know adding a hula hooping challenge to your new year’s resolution is just what you need to freshen up your 2017 workouts.
This year, begin a fitness journey that brings results. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite hoop and get ready to challenge the body to complete a year-long month-to-month hooping challenge.
Are you a hooping newbie? If you’ve never grabbed a hoop in your life—even as a child—now is the time to learn. Hooping is easy, but it takes time and practice. The first moves you need to learn are the simple waist rotations. The goal is simple: keep the hoop in motion.
Practice moving the hips around to feel the movement of the body, then introduce the hoop. Find a comfortable rotation and work on keeping the hoop in motion around the waist and hips. The bigger or heavier the hoop, the easier it will be to keep the hoop in motion.
Savvier hoopers start the year with a tougher challenge. (You will need extra hoops!) This month, double up on the hoops. No, not two hoops on the mid-section. Try a hoop around the waist and one on the leg or arm. The goal is to rotate both hoops at the same time. Keep the leg out or leave the foot on the floor, but both hoops must rotate. Challenge the body to hold the rotations for as long as possible, and increase the time duration with each hooping session.
This month, beginners should double the hooping fun with two hoops instead of one. Try rotating both hoops around the midsection at the same time. Opt for heavier hoops if you need more control. Both hoops must remain in motion. With each hooping session, try to keep rotations lasting longer and longer. The more you work at it, the better the body will become at hooping!
Double up on the hoopers this month. Grab a friend, a family member or just another like-minded hooping enthusiast and invite them into the hoop! Partner hooping typically involves “interlacing arms” and is less about body rotation and more about orchestrated, precise choreography. To learn step-by-step instructions for simple partner hoop twists, check out Steve Bags’ video tutorial.
The waist rotation has been mastered; now learn to twirl the hoop around the legs. To make the hoop easier to maneuver, many trainers recommends practicing in shorts because, as she states to viewers, “Hoops love bare skin!” The legs must be able to wiggle to move the hoop, which makes this is a move that can take years to master!
Hip hooping works the core, the hips and the buttocks. For beginners, the trick is mastering the rotation of the hoop around the hips.
To hoop on the hips, step into the hoop and hold the hoop around the waist. Expert hoopers Kamala and Hannah recommend in their how-to video to imagine that the hips are attached to the hoop by a string. They suggest that new hoopers practice hip movements while holding the hoop. When you feel comfortable with hip rotations, incorporate the hoop. Unlike the waist, which is a natural groove in the body, the hips are a bit rounder and trickier for hooping. However, the revolution of the hips keeps the hoop in motion.
Hoopers who have mastered the hip movements should focus their routine on endurance. Consistently keep the hoop in motion for longer durations. Hip hooping offers great toning benefits for the body…so stick with it! And move those hips. Channel Elvis, if you must!
There are many online videos that can teach head hooping. For hoopers, head hooping is usually done near the forehead. However, like most techniques in hooping, there isn’t one right way of hooping on the head. The key is rotation. Play around with the hoop and find an area of the head that feels the most comfortable. Then focus on rotating the hoop around the head and keeping the hoop in motion. Don’t exert the neck…you don’t want to pull a muscle.
Hoopers who know this move should focus on incorporating the head hoop in other ways. Try head hooping while rotating hoops around the waist and hips. Or, if you’re brave, channel the talents of Moises Olmedo and head hoop while riding a bike!
This month, take the hoop to the pool! Underwater hooping is challenging and lots of fun. The resistance of the water also increases the physical benefits. Dive underwater and swim through the hoop. Work the body around the hoop and focus on keeping the hoop underwater at all times. The trick is that the hoop is naturally buoyant (unless you’re swimming with a weighted hoop). For inspiration, check out Kayla Frost’s underwater hooping magnificence.
Combine hooping and jumping rope into one workout. Grab a hoop and use it as a jump rope. Hold onto one end of the hoop and step through. With hands still on the hoop, keep the other end of the hoop behind your feet. Flip the hoop over the body…and JUMP! Weighted hoops will add extra resistance for a more challenging workout. If you really want to challenge your skills, try jump-throughs.
Hoops can spin anywhere on the body. This month, try spinning the hoop around the arm or around one leg. Practice maneuvering the hoop so that it stays in motion without flailing the limbs in an erratic motion. Hoop movements should be smooth and, when mastered, should appear almost effortless. Once the maneuvers are perfected, grab two hoops and rotate on both the arm and the leg at the same time! Be careful not to fall!
This month, hoopers must rotate one hoop on the hip and one on the waist at the same time. Prepare to work the body. Rotating two hoops at once takes practice, skill and patience. The body must be in constant motion to keep the hoops in motion. Remember to make sure the pelvis is in line with the rest of the body…otherwise your hoops might fall! After mastering both hoops, boost the endurance by hooping for longer intervals.
This is the month to try a weighted hula hoop, because this month’s challenge amps up a basic hoop workout by adding weights. Incorporating weights into your hoop routines aids in toning the core and also strengthens other muscles. Weighted hoops are easier to maneuver in many aspects, but the resistance will leave you feeling the burn of a workout. When adding weighted hoops to any routine, be sure to add weight gradually. Like any weight training, build up reps and be careful not to shock or injure the body by pushing too much too soon!
The end of the year means learning to combine movements and hoop rotations. The “Jump, Jump Kick” maneuver is a cool hoop technique that has you literally jumping through a hoop and ends with jumping rope with the hoop all in one seemingly effortless swoop of the hoop. This move requires practice and coordination…and more practice! To see the move and learn it step-by-step, check out Mandi the Clown’s tutorial on Hooping.org.
The work and lessons of the past 11 months culminates in the final grand challenge. .Take all the moves you’ve learned and dance…with the hoop in rotation. Play a favorite song that makes you move, jump in the hoop and dance while rotating the hoop around the waist…then around the hips. Get crazy and confident and add more hoops! Spin your hoops with the beat and enjoy your body, the hoop and the joy of the holiday season!
Yay, you did it! Pat yourself on the back for taking on this insane hula hooping challenge. Which month did you think was the most challenging?
Celebrities love the hula hoop! From First Lady Michelle Obama to Beyonce and even Zoey Deschanel, the hula hoop reigns supreme as an ab-tastic fitness regimen for the A-list crowd.
Hula hooping burns about seven calories a minute, amps up the heart for a great cardio workout and helps trim down the waist. The benefits are numerous, which is why many trainers have encouraged celebrities to jump in the hoop.
Losing inches is a major body perk of the waist-rotating workout, however swirling those hips around a hoop also helps nudge down the numbers on the scale.
Kelly Osbourne, who serves as one of the judges on the show Project Runway Junior, credits hooping for helping her lose 70 pounds. In an interview with Self Magazine, Osbourne proclaimed her love of the hula hoop.
“I have a Hoopnotica hula hoop. I use it every day, and it's made my back and arms stronger, and my waist has gone down 2 inches!” Osbourne said in her interview. “On Saturday nights my friends and I put on ridiculous outfits and hula-hoop and dance when everyone else is at 'da club.' We call it #HipHopAnonymous. Adam Lambert is in it. We live in the same building, and random people show up. The next morning you're like, 'Oh, my God, I'm so sore,' but you had the best night ever."
Workouts with the hoop introduce hooping ingénues to a new world of physical fitness. While the hoop is easy to use and the workout provides ideal results, new hoopers should keep a few things in mind when using the hoop for weight loss.
Invest in a great hooping fitness DVD to learn how to use the hoop as a fitness tool. Basic hooping that you learned as a child provides benefits, but an instructional DVD will show how to integrate levels of fitness into the hoop. Of course, having a virtual instructor also helps, too!
Hooping should be done in an open area for optimal room to maneuver. Remember, a hoop workout goes beyond simple waist rotations. Plenty of space will be needed to move with the hoop. When bad weather hits, make sure to have space inside to dedicate to the workout.
Many resolve to lose weight or maintain a better fitness plan, but few actually stick to the resolution until the end. Setting a big goal means setting a bunch of smaller goals. Write out a plan of fitness, and stick to it. Schedule workouts each week, but make the schedule attainable. Mark workouts on the calendar as you would any commitment. If a workout is missed, reschedule. Don’t give up on the goal!
Losing weight and physical fitness should not feel like a punishment. Remember, the hoop is also a toy in the eyes of many kids. The hoop was invented for fun! So motivate yourself to hoop by setting a positive upbeat mood during workouts. Like Osbourne, create your own workout #squadgoals. Be sure to include a fantastic soundtrack to get everyone moving. Grab The Pixies, some Rage Against the Machine, some Florence & the Machine…or even some Yeezy! Whatever music knocks your socks off, just play it loud!
Hooping has become a favored fitness routine for many celebrities, and the results are enviable. Whether hoopers want to nip in the waistline, tone the abs or just feel the burn, the hoop provides a knock-out workout. As New Year’s approaches, set fitness goals to feel good and look good…and get ready to jump in the hoop!
YouTube attracts millions of viewers daily with a seemingly infinite catalogue of videos. While the online video hub creates the perfect online diversion, the site also acts as an amazing visual reference for viewers who seek guidance and instruction on any given topic. YouTube offers both avid and amateur hoopers inspiration for new hooping routines, amazing demonstrations of hoop acrobatics and even how-to videos to introduce kids (and adults!) to the fun of the hoop.
Hula hooping is much more than just rotating the hoop around the waist. Hooping includes acts of agility, challenging dance moves and feats of flexibility. Check out the best of YouTube’s hooping videos to discover new opportunities to get in the hoop:
Kids love hula hooping for the fun and silliness that hooping movements create. Challenge kids to go beyond the typical hoop routine by pulling up the best and most joyfully entertaining hooping video for kids on YouTube. Boasting almost nine-million views, the adorably sweet and happy animated character Bada Namu teaches kids new hooping dance routine in the video “Hoola Hoola Hooping.” Younger kids will love the character and the upbeat music, and even parents won’t be able to resist the temptation to dance along…because Bada has some crazy cool hoop moves! Dance, sing and hoop with Bada Namu!
Rachel Lust masters the hoops in her video “Groove.” The video features Lust contorting her body with effortless ease as she positions the hoop. She amazingly rotates the hoop from her calves up her body while always keeping the hoop in motion. Her masterful movements reveal hoop skills that are worthy of study for those who want to take their routine to the next level. Set to Oiko’s techno-beat “Groove,” Lust’s moves are choreographed perfection.
Turn out the lights and glow with the hoop. LED lights in hoops display a hypnotic effect as they spin in the dark. Perfect for music festivals like Ultra or Burning Man, LED hoops give dancers that techno touch as they spin and move. Hooper Lisa Lottie spins six LED hoops in her video and the result is an acrobatic hooping masterpiece that leaves viewers in a hypno-trance.
Most adults learned to hula hoop as kids. The basics of the hoop seem simple…slip the hoop around the waist, wiggle the hips and keep the hoop in motion. However, the world of the hula hoop opens up to more complicated dance routines and challenging hoop moves. Never even picked up a hoop? Learn the very basics of hooping (start with the waist) with Deanne Love’s video “How to Hula Hoop for Total Beginners.” Once the basics have been mastered, learn from Love to use the hoop for a great workout with her video “Beginner Hoop Dance Workout.”
A YouTube video compilation list is never complete without the inclusion of a cute cat video. And cats love hooping too, just in their own crazy way. The cat in this video goes insane inside a rainbow-hued hoop and even manages to keep the hoop in rotation.
Use YouTube’s bottomless supply of videos to find new ways to explore the world of hooping. Learn new tricks, discover dance routines or master the basics. Wherever the video search leads, viewers will always uncover new and crazy ways to stay in the hoop.
Avid hoopers who suffer from back injuries often wonder if the motions involved in hooping can add insult to injury and further damage or even reinjure susceptible problem areas. Activities using the hoop—and especially more intense hooping—cause the body to rotate the hips and the hips are connected to the spine. By rotating the hips and twisting the spine, individuals with a sore back or a back injury can exacerbate the issue.
In an article for the The Arizona Republic, J. Lucy Body, RN and CRN, stated that “hula hooping isn't appropriate for many individuals with pre-existing back problems, such as a herniated disc, low back pain or spinal fractures.” Individuals with back injury should step away from the hoop until they receive the ‘all clear’ from their own doctors.
However, back soreness and/or stiffness might be different from an actual back injury, and the difference between injury and a simple ache makes a world of difference when using the hoop.
For tight muscles in the back (not a back injury), the motion of hooping might help alleviate muscle tension caused from everyday strains like sleeping incorrectly or sitting for too long. According to an article on 3FC (or Three Fat Chicks on a Diet!), hooping actually helps improve spinal mobility as it “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.”
A woman dances with her hoop in a studio.
So, can dance hoops cure back pain? It depends on the cause. Dedicated hoopers with back pain who absolutely cannot step away from their hoop addiction should follow a few helpful tips before hooping with back pain:
The spine is long, and it is important to figure out where the pain originates. Chronic back pain should be evaluated by a doctor before hooping. Back pain that is likely associated with sleeping positions might benefit from stretching or movement. However, never hoop if the pain increases or the body tightens. Always listen to the body and if pain does increase, call the doctor!
If the doctor has given the go-ahead for the hoop, take it slow. Hoop for short spurts and don’t aggressively work the body. Build up to a full-on hooping routine over a period of days or weeks. Also, if a back injury has led to physical therapy, inquire with the therapist if the hoop can be incorporated into therapy.
Returning to any exercise routine after an injury can be frightening. However, if a doctor has signed off on activity, understand that timidity is normal. The easiest way to conquer the fear is to just do it. Don’t let the fear hold you back, but be kind to your body.
Back pain or any pain associated with an injury causes hesitation in physical activities. Individuals who love hooping naturally feel fear when re-entering their favorite pastime after an injury or when having tenderness or pain. However, if a doctor has approved the return to exercise and hooping, then hooping may continue without concern. Listen to the body and always stop if movements cause pain. Otherwise, have fun and stay in the hoop!
Too often, the misconception that fitness equates with personal trainers, gym memberships, and expensive equipment keeps many on the couch and out of motion. How much you’re making (or saving for holiday shopping) should have little to do with the ability to exercise and maintain an active lifestyle. The body was made to move!
Ditch the need for the perfect athleisure image and instead embrace frugal fitness. There are countless ways to stay in shape, tone the body and increase strength without maxing out the credit cards. Here’s our favorite exercise gear that’s sure to please your budget:
Remember how Rocky Balboa trained for a big fight? Yes, he ran up 72 stairs to the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and punched frozen meat...but he also brought out the jump rope! Jump roping is great cardiovascular exercise, which is likely why it is forever linked to a campaign benefitting the American Heart Society. Not only does jumping rope get the heart pumping, but jump ropes also are relatively easy on the pocketbook. Snag one up for about $5 or buy a weighted rope for under $20 at a department or sporting good store.
When working out at home, small weights make routine exercises more challenging and help tone muscles. Small weights to tone arms retail for under $10 for five-pound weights. Leg weights for toning exercises or to use during brisk walks are under $20, but can get a bit pricier based on weight, brand and design. Regardless, purchasing small weights for home are a steal when compared to the price of a gym membership.
Hula hooping is fun and a great cardio workout for all members of the family. Grab a hoop to move the body and tone the core. Travel hula hoops from Hoopnotica cost under $20 and make a great gift for friends or relatives who want the benefits of fitness without joining a gym. Buy one for yourself, too, for a little workout fun!
Fitness or yoga balls help improve balance and can be used in a number of ways during workouts. Use the ball to learn new positions in yoga or use it to help tone the abs during workouts. The Mayo Clinic offers a great visual resource online for individuals interested in toning the core with a fitness ball. For about $20, the ball provides a vast number of ways to engage in a fun and satisfying workout. Expectant moms can even use the ball while laboring.
FitBits may be all the rage, but they also are extremely pricey for those on a budget. Another way to track steps and make sure to hit the 10,000-step mark is to buy a simple pedometer. A basic pedometer ranges in price, but usually start at around $5. Find one that suits your lifestyle and budget and start tracking those steps!
Physical fitness isn’t a luxury, it’s a responsibility. Everyone can afford fitness, and some of the best athletic gear for workouts can be purchased for a small price. Making a small investment in athletic and fitness gear reaps a huge return on wellness and physical health and your body will thank you.
So you’ve got yourself a hula hoop -- maybe it’s a heart-warming reminder of your childhood that you play with from time to time, a toy for your own children, or your favorite workout tool. But did you know that in addition to using a hula hoop for its intended purpose, you can use a hula hoop in a host of other fun and practical ways? What’s more -- you can build this all at home using some creativity and your best DIY skills.
One of the most obvious uses for a hula hoop is a base for a tent, tent bed, or canopy. Its firm, round shape provides an excellent base for draping fabric to create a hanging tent. Whether you want to build a play tent for your kids or a beautiful canopy for your bedroom, the possibilities are endless.
Be sure to choose a fabric that is lightweight enough for the hoop--options include 100% cotton, jersey, and more whimsical fabrics like tulle if you’re looking for something more playful or feminine. Some projects advise that you use pre-sewn curtains, which is an excellent option to find fabric that naturally drapes and hangs well. You could even select two fabrics--one for the side drapes and one for the top piece to mix and match your hula hoop creation. Another way to spruce up your canopy is to select a fabric that is embroidered or features embellishments, whether it be fake flowers or small stars that glow in the dark. You can add lights to your creation yourself by buying tubed lights and fastening them to the core base of the hula hoop.
Here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing:
#3. Dorm Bed Canopy
Hula Hoops also make an ideal base for signature light fixtures, particularly hanging ones like chandeliers. Possibilities range from the extremely simple fix of hanging strands of Christmas lights from a hula hoop to the much more ornate approach of building a chandelier using a hula hoop, lights, tulle, beads, and more.
If you want a more permanent, every-day fixture, use a hoop with more carefully arranged Christmas lights or tea lights to create a beautiful chandelier to hang over your dining table. Or you can really go all out -- using the hoop not only as a base for central lights, but as a focal point from which to stretch strands of lights across the entire room. Hula hoops create a natural base to hang and attach lights, as well as to attach strings, chains, etc. to hang a light fixture from the ceiling.
Ready to string up a chandelier on a hula hoop? Try out these light fixture styles:
#5. Garden Lanterns
Dreamcatchers make beautiful decorations for your home, and for many, they hold spiritual meaning as protection against evil spirits and negative energy. If you want to create a truly unique (and oversized) dreamcatcher, a hula hoop is the perfect base.
You will need yarn or twine, beads, feathers, and more to create your dreamcatcher--let your imagination run wild and pick feathers and beads in bright colors and outlandish shapes. You’ll want to shape the core of the dreamcatcher by winding twine around the hoop to form unique shapes across the center. If you really want to go DIY, forgo the feathers and beads all together and create the hanging decorations for your dreamcatcher with strips of colorful fabric. You can even combine ideas and create a dreamcatcher chandelier, as the hula hoop provides a strong enough base from which to hang feathers and lights.
Check out these unique dreamcatcher designs:
If you’re welcoming a new baby to your home, you’ll want to have everything just so and a hula hoop can be the perfect base for creating several personalized items for your child. Many love to hang mobiles above their baby’s cribs to entertain, distract, and soothe their child -- hula hoops are the perfect base with endless options for a DIY mobile, whether you hang ribbons, small animals, or paper butterflies from the hoop.
If you cut a hula hoop in half, you can create a baby activity gym/mobile using some fabric, a glue gun, and soft stuffed toys. Or a hula hoop also provides an excellent base for a toy/oversized rattle -- decorate the hoop with tulle, small toys, and materials of varying textures to create the perfect sensory toy for your baby. If you want to get really fancy, you can even use a hula hoop to create a homemade hanging cradle for your child.
Here are some of the most popular ideas for baby DIY:
#10. Ribbon Chandelier
#11. Butterfly Mobile
#12. Baby Activity Gym
#13. Baby Sensory Toy
#14. Crochet Cradle
Being a perfect circle, you can make a wreath with a hula hoop for any time of year. Naturally, you could make a traditional Christmas wreath by covering your hoop with greenery and baubles or an assortment of ornamental balls. If you want to make a wreath for the holiday season that’s a bit more chic, consider using eucalyptus branches instead of pine, and creating a decorative centerpiece for your wreath like the word “Joy” placed on twine.
You can also use a hoop to make wreaths for anytime of year--simply select fabrics and ornamental decorations that accompany the proper season--perhaps black and orange garland with spiders for halloween or pink and blue fabric with Easter eggs for the spring. A hoop can be a wreath for any occasion. You can even turn it into a floral wreath or floral peace sign to be a year-round decoration.
Start decorating today with these great wreath ideas:
#16. Ornament Wreath
While wreaths are the most obvious holiday decoration you can create with a hula hoop, the possibilities are endless. For Halloween, create a hanging decoration with cut-out bats (you could adapt this for any holiday, using snowflakes for winter, hearts for Valentine’s Day, shamrocks for St. Patrick’s day, or American flags for the Fourth of July).
Another great Halloween idea is to use a hoop to create an oversized spiderweb to hang as decoration. Other Christmas ideas abound--one of the most fun is to use a series of hoops to create a unique and environmentally friendly Christmas tree. Or, you can use a single hoop as the base for an outdoor tree made entirely of lights and a central stick or pole.
We love these unique decorations created by some talented DIY-ers:
#20. Spider Web
Hula Hoops also make wonderful swings for the backyard. While you can certainly buy a custom hoop swing, those are pricey and a worthwhile investment primarily for those looking to use the hoop for training, aerial performance, and more. If you merely want a backyard swing for your small children, but don’t have a spare tire to make a tire swing, consider a DIY hoop swing. All you need is a rope, a hula hoop, and something to hang the swing from, such as a post or a tree. Pick a colorful hoop or rope to add an extra playful touch to your new backyard plaything.
Check out this cool hoop swing:
#23. Hoop Swing
With their round shape and sturdy build, hula hoops are a natural base for homemade area rugs. There are a lot of options for making a rug from scratch with a hula hoop base. Perhaps the more complicated and more intricate method is to hand finger-knit a rug using the ball of yarn of your choice (nowadays, yarn comes in multicolored and color-shifting balls, so feel free to pick something totally off-the-wall). If you want to repurpose more than just a hula hoop, you can also make a rag rug out of the strips of old t-shirts. It’s a great way to clean out your closet and create a memorable piece for your home.
Get inspired with these unique hula hoop rug designs:
#24. Finger-Knit Rug
#25. Rag Rug
Do you need to make an outdoor shower? Perhaps for washing the dog? Or maybe you just want a space for the kids to rinse their feet off before coming inside? Or maybe you just need to build a shower in a small space, like your trailer or motorhome? A hula hoop is the perfect base for building an outdoor shower and hanging a curtain around the perimeter of the hoop. Simply hang the hoop, run a hose with a wide nozzle over the top of it, and string a curtain or fabric from the hoop to create privacy. Alternatively, you can place the hoop above a plastic bucket to help capture water for reuse later.
Here are a few examples of outdoor showers for you to try:
#26. Outdoor Shower
#27. Trailer Shower
Hula hoops can be used for a variety of home decor, as well as potential wedding decorations. Want to create a decorative wall-hanging or wind chime--hoops are a great base from which to hang anything, including starfish and seashells if you’re going for a beach theme. If you’re planning your wedding, think above the table when it comes to your centerpieces. Hula Hoops covered in greenery with hanging flowers and petals are a striking alternative to plain bouquet on a table. String lights around hula hoops and hang them in your garden to give your yard a romantic gleam after dark. Or cover a hoop in rocks to create unique statues for your garden that will offset your flora and fauna beautifully.
These beautiful designs have been shared over and over on Pinterest boards:
#28. Seashell Windchime
#29. Hanging Centerpieces
When it comes to DIY projects with a hula hoop, the possibilities are endless. Go out there and turn your hoop into a thing of beauty.
Core workouts are essential for athletes and anyone looking to build strength, endurance, and agility. However, it can be difficult to find the right way to work up a sweat without hurting your joints or falling into the same boring routines you learned in gym class. That’s why so many have incorporated hula hooping into their training.
Hula hooping? Really? If you thought hula hooping was easy, you should watch the Glamour video of Olympians attempting to hula hoop. Because hula hoops force you to build muscle strength and balance at the same time, it can be challenging for even the most fit of individuals. It’s time to take your hoop workout to the next level and try these popular exercises for athletes:
This is a serious workout routine! Set a timer for three minutes. Hula hoop for that entire time period, and then immediately drop to the floor and hold a plank for another three minutes. Repeat this three times. No cheating!
The perfect plank.
Planks engage all core muscle groups. Plus, it has a low impact on your spine and hips. You should add planks to nearly every workout, not just hooping!
Everyone knows about the benefits of traditional hula hooping, where the hoop rests on your hips. However, hula hooping can give you a full body workout! Try changing it up by putting the hoop around your neck, arms, or even legs. It’ll work different muscle groups than you normally do, so you’re guaranteed to feel the burn. Especially if you are recovering from surgery, you can still add toning to your regime with a hoop.
Ready to turn your workout into a competition? Grab a few of your workout buddies and start a good old fashioned relay race! Hoop for ten rotations, then run down and tag a friend. Keep this up as long as you can. Make sure you pick your teammates wisely; you never know who may need more practice at the hoop...
Hula hooping doesn’t have to be in one place. Gently roll your hula hoop on the ground in front of you. Then, run as fast as you can to try and beat the hoop to your finish line. This trains your fast-twitch muscles and adds some much needed variety to your routine. You can also try running with the hula hoop. (Yes, it’s possible! Check out the Hoopathon for Race for Life in the UK.)
Race for Life in 2009
Runners often practice fartlek training, where the pick a certain point and run to it as fast as they can. Hula hoopers have their own version of fartleks, too! For this exercise, pick a number from 1-1000. Then, hoop as fast as you can until you reach that number of rotations.
Hula hooping is a great cardio workout, but it can also work wonders for your muscular strength! Try to hoop as slowly as you can. Take caution, though -- it’s harder than you think! By slowing down, you’ll be adding more control to your core (and more power to your abs).
Everyone remembers stepping up and down on a ball as fast as you could during middle school soccer practice. But, few people know that this can be done while hula hooping! This trains multiple muscle groups and is pretty hard to do. So, it’s a mental exercise as much as it is a physical one.
You can use a hula hoop for more than just hooping! Lay a few on the ground, and then hop in and out of them as quickly as you can. You may remember seeing this exercise from movies featuring intense army training--but with tires instead of hula hoops. Remember to pick up your feet as high as you can to maximize the effect. This is great for your muscles and is a good source of cardio!
A quick search on Instagram or Pinterest can help you find countless of hula hooping tricks. Try to learn a few. They’re sure to work some new muscle groups! Add music, neon lights, and trending hashtags--you’ll have new followers passionate about your hula hooping in no time.
All athletes know the best workouts are unpredictable for your body. Once your body knows that to expect, it stops workout as hard. Work your fast AND slow twitch muscles by rotating between hooping quickly and slowly. This is definitely a great way to great in an excellent workout in no time at all!
Next time you’re looking to change up your exercise routine, try to use more of these great hula hooping workouts for athletes. After all, variety is the spice of life.