Are you looking for a fun alternative aerobic exercise that will unleash your inner child? Hula hooping may be just what you have been looking for.
Hula hooping will provide similar results to other types of aerobic exercise such as dancing without the impact on your knees and other joints. An average woman can burn 165 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping, whilst an average man can burn approximately 200 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping.
It is essential to use a hula hoop that is the right size for you. The hoop should reach somewhere between your waist and mid chest when it’s resting vertically on the ground. The weight of the hoop is up to you. The smaller and lighter the hoop, the more energy it takes to keep the hoop going. But the bigger and heavier the hoop, the easier it is to keep going, which means you may be able to do it for a longer period of time. You can experiment with different hoops to see which kind and size you prefer.
My preference is a weighted hula hoop as I feel that I get a better work out with it as it takes more effort to keep it rotating and around your waist because of the weight. I have a 1kg and a 1.5 kg weighted hoop and initially I found that I would get extensive bruising around my waist until I got used to the weight. This is not unusual when you start hooping.
Hooping is a complete core workout. Regular hooping will define your waist, strengthen your stomach muscles whilst enabling you to burn fat in the often problematic areas. In fact hooping burns visceral fat, which is the hardest fat to get off as we get older and the most detrimental to the heart. Hooping is an intense workout for your entire body particular your heart.
Another benefit of hooping is that it improves your spine and flexibility. To keep the hoop up and moving requires a significant range of motion for your spine. Hooping requires you to make rhythmic rocking movements both forwards and backwards and shifting of your weight from leg to leg. If you are right handed it is natural to hoop to the right whilst left handed to the left. As you become more proficient with your hooping you can hoop to your non dominant side thus engaging both sides of your brain. It is important to hoop both clockwise and anti-clockwise as hooping is an asymmetric exercise which means it is working only one side of your body.
One of the most beneficial side effects of hooping beside the physical fitness benefit is the sense of joy and happiness. It is an activity that encourages others to join in with you and a hooping session always results in a lot of laughter and frivolity.
- Start out slowly and build up as it takes time to learn how to keep the hoop rotating.
- It is important to keep your back straight and to have good posture. Having good posture allows better rotation of the hoop.
- The hoop must be placed firmly against your back before your start to hoop.
- Don’t rotate your hips
Most major cities now have hula hooping classes either indoor or outdoors and they often sell hula hoops they have made. Approximate cost of a hoop is upwards of $50 for standard hoops with weighted hoops being available only online. I purchased my weighted hula hoops from http://fithoop.com.au
I teach a number of my employees and clients to hoop and it doesn’t take long for them to become proficient and to start to learn different tricks. It is fun to add more than one hoop and learn to work the hoop down your body. As with most exercises it takes time, patience and practice but hooping is lots of fun.
Check with your doctor before using any kind of hula hoop if you have medical concerns, especially a history of back problems. And as with any physical activity, stop hula hooping and consult your doctor if you develop pain or other symptoms.