The Evolution of the Fitness Hoop

fitness hoop

Hula hooping has become one of the latest fitness trends, and for good reason. It offers a wealth of health benefits that range from working out up to 30 of your body’s muscles and burns more than 400 calories an hour! Talk about a great workout!

Hula hooping has been around for a long, long time; so why does it seem like people are only recently realizing the incredible health benefits that this circular device that spins around the hips offers? If you are just getting into hula hooping for fitness and you are wondering how it has evolved from a children’s play thing into a powerful tool for health and wellness, read on to learn more about the evolution of the hula hoop.

Ancient Greece

While nobody knows for sure how hula hoops became a part of fitness regiments, records do indicate that they were used as far back as ancient Greece. Known as some of the greatest and strongest athletes in history, the ancient Greeks used hula hoops for exercise. While there is no evidence that proves hoops were used in the early Olympic games, one has to wonder if they were used as a tool to get into shape for the events.

Ancient Native American Dance

Records indicate that Native American tribes as far back as the 1400s used hula hoops as tools in their dance as a means of telling stories. A circle with no beginning or end, the hula hoop was used by many tribes to signify the continuous circle of life.

Dancers would use several hoops of various sizes to represent a variety of symbolical animals, including eagles, butterflies, coyotes and even snakes. Today, Native American tribes carry on the tradition of dancing with hula hoops to tell the stories that their forefathers shared. The evidence of the hula hoops providing valuable fitness benefits can be seen in the depictions of ancient Native American hoop dancers who were very physically fit, and can be seen in the exceptional physiques of those who dance with them today.

Mainstream Modern Culture

Hula hoops came into the mainstream in the late 1950s. In Australia, children played with hoops made of bamboo and twirled them around their waists for exercise. A popular Australian toy manufacture, Toltoys, began making hula hoops out of plastic when they became so popular that the production of bamboo hoops could no longer meet the demand.

Hula Hoops in the US

The use of hula hoops as children’s play things spread to the US when the founders of Wham-O, a California-based toy company, supposedly visited Australia, saw how popular the toys were, and decided to start mass producing and marketing them in the US.

This ‘new’ toy gained rapid popularity in the late 1950s, becoming one of the most beloved children’s activities in the US. When sales of hula hoops started to lag, Wham-O started to modify their initial design, placing ball bearings inside the tubes so that they would make noise and further attract the interest of children. The ball bearings also added weight to the hoops, stepping up the physical fitness factor that they provided.

fitness hoop

Hula Hoops for Fitness

The benefits of using hula hoops for exercise have long been known, but only in recent years has the fitness hooping trend really taken off. In looking for ways to make exercising more interesting, enjoyable and engaging, people began to add hula hoops to their workout routines. The hoops provided exceptional results, which ushered in the use of different types of hula hoops, such as the weighted hoop, and of the latest and most advantageous exercise crazes.

If you haven’t yet jumped on the fitness hooping bandwagon, you really need to give it a try. After just a few sessions, you will realize the complex benefits such a simple device can offer.

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