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?
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