Hula Hoop Fitness – The benefits and how to use your hoop for weight loss.
Have you considered hula hooping for fitness? Are you wondering whether it can help you with your weight-loss goals? Or if it can tone your tummy?
Well, the answer is yes! If you’re looking for a fun way to get fit then you’ll love this article 🙂
Hi! I’m Scarlett, creator of Hoop Plus Fit with over 12 years hooping experience.
In this article I will…
On top of that:
I’ll share with you some guided fitness hooping workouts with me. Practice these regularly and you will start to see results.
So… Let’s start
Benefits of fitness hooping
# 1 Fitness hooping burns 420 calories per hour
There have been a number of studies into how many calories hula hooping burns.
However the most conclusive study was carried out by the American Council on Exercise, who concluded that fitness hula hooping burns on average 210 calories per 30 minutes (or 420 p/hour).
Their study was based on 16 participants of varying ages between 16 and 59. Who completed a five minute warm-up and 30 minute hula hoop fitness workout, with heavy hoops.
This is a similar calorie burn rate as aerobics classes or boxercise. It gets the heart rate up over an extended period of time, which helps your body burn those calories.
Obviously it depends on the hoop you’re using, what you’re doing with it and how far you push yourself to determine how many calories you actually burn.
30 minutes can be a long time to hoop, so how can you stay motivated?
The trick is to be inspired, challenge yourself and push your body to new limits of strength and stamina. Obviously going to a class makes it harder to give up. You can check out my regular classes in Berlin.
But home practice also has great benefits. You can get in 10 minuites of exercise when you have 10 minutes to spare.
You can slowly build up to 30 minuites, it can be a challenge at first so start with five minutes and build it up from there.
Feel the music!
Good music has the power to push you further in your training, so be sure to put on your favorite tunes.
In my classes I select awesome DJ sets that motivate the students to keep on going!
It can be challenging to hoop for 30 minutes straight, but feeling the tunes is a great way to reach the next level.
You check out my YouTube channel for some free Fitness Hooping workouts with me. Or equally if you are choosing your own
#2 Fitness hula hooping can help you lose weight
Hula hooping is an aerobic exercise that gets the heat beating faster, similar to…
Working up a sweat with hula hooping can cause you to lose weight all over your body.
It’s a high energy yet low-impact exercise. So you can raise your heart rate for an extended period of time without risking damage to your joints, in comparison to something like jogging.
Important: A daily hoop fitness workout can help you reach your weight loss goals.
Obviously, if you spend the rest of the day on the sofa eating donuts, then any fitness routine is unlikely to make a difference to your waistline. So your fitness hooping routine should be accompanied by a healthy diet.
Exercise regularly… I know you’ve heard that one before – But luckily for us, hula hooping is fun! Exercise does not feel like a chore. It’s something you’ll want to do, not feel like you have to do.
“It’s an ab workout, without the sadness” – This a quote from one of my students that made me chuckle, but I also feel the truth in it. Fitness hula hooping works the body hard but is also fun and satisfying at the same time. Perfect combination!
#3 Hula hooping can slim your waist
As mentioned above hula hooping can help you to lose weight. Exactly where and how fast depends on your body type and how it stores fat.
In addition to the overall weight loss, it also tones and trains the muscles in the abdominal area. Tightening the muscles in this area can sculpt the overall shape of your waist.
If muscle development is your goal then you will need to also pay attention to what you’re eating. A diet rich in protein and good fats is necessary for improving muscle mass.
Nonetheless, hula hooping alone will not be enough to give you a body builder six pack. Those guys do a lot of weight training and with serious weights! So if washboard abs your goal, then unfortunately hula hooping will not get you there. You will need to do a lot of extra weight training to achieve this.
When we’re talking about fitness hooping we are mainly referring on on-body hooping. So we are mainly targeting the muscles in the abdominal area. Different moves target different areas of the abdomen and you can train them with the right fitness hula hoop workouts.
For example, you can target your upper abs with chest hooping, or work the obliques harder with the Skyscaper.
If toning your tummy is your goal then you can increase the strengthening and toning effect with the type of hoop you use. Fitness hooping is traditionally done using a heavy hoop. However the lighter the hoop the harder it is to keep it going.
So if you want to increase the challenge and the toning effect try a slightly lighter hoop. For example if you’re using a hoop with 25mm (1 inch) tubing and it feels too easy, then try it with hoop with 20mm (3/4 inch) tubing.
#4 Hula hooping improves your balance
Core strength is the key to good balance. When waist hooping, you’re strengthening your core muscles from front to back.
After a stint of regular hula hooping you will start to realise you are able to do things that weren’t available to you before. A while ago I discovered that I could finally ride a bike with no hands! What will you suddenly be able to do?
If improving you balance is your goal you can try a few hula hoop workouts that really target that.
#5 Hula hooping makes you happy
Yes, it’s true, hula hooping is good for the mind as well as the body!
It’s pretty difficult to hula hoop without a smile on your face. It’s a really playful form of exercise which turns people of any age into children. It allows you to engage with your inner child, that you might need to keep locked up inside during your day-to-day life.
It’s also no secret that regular exercise that gets the heart pumping can release endorphins that boos your mood. The added benefit of hula hooping is that it is addictive!
At first somethings can be difficult, even basic waist hooping can be a struggle. But hoppers soon notice that with a bit of practice their bodies are actually able to achieve things they never thought possible. It can boost your confidence and self-belief. Once you’ve felt the satisfaction of nailing a hoop trick or move you’ll get the bug.
How to get the most out of your hula hoop fitness workout
Ok, so we know know that hula hooping can be a workout – but how can it be used to achieve weight-loss?
The key things you need to consider here are
Which hula hoop to use for fitness?
Traditionally heavy hoops are used for fitness whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hooper. The heavier the hoop, the easier it is to keep the momentum.
How to hula hoop for fitness?
Fitness hooping is predominately waist hooping, however it can also involve leg and chest hooping, as well as exercises for the arms.
# 1 First tings first:
So, if fitness is your goal then you need to get the hoop spinning around your waist. You also need to make sure that you’re using your core muscles to do this… not you knees or hips.
# 2 Be inspired:
You’ll need to have some motivation to keep on going. Some people who hoop for fitness like to do it in front of the T.V, they put on their favorite program and waist hoop.
For me, it’s the connection between hula hooping and music that really inspires me. If I’m feeling tired or like I could stop, it gives me that extra push to go further.
# 3 Hoop in both directions:
I know I say it all the time, but guys, I just can’t stress it enough. Hula hooping in both directions is so important!
It might not be as fun at first but improving your weaker direction will greatly improve your good one. It also ensures you develop even muscles on both sides of your body and protects your back.
Last year I met a fellow professional hooper. She came to my Hoop Plus Jam while she was in Berlin. We were discussing the importance of hooping on both sides and she told me that she was training a six hoop split for a show.
She had been drilling this for days and then started to feel pain in her back. She went to the doctor and he told her that her muscles were pulling her spine in one direction. Since then she trains both sides equally and doesn’t have back pain anymore.
Now I know that not everyone will be drilling six hoop splits everyday, so it’s unlikely that ten minutes a day of fitness hooping would have a similar effect. However it’s important to note that hooping in both sides will ensure you’re working the entire core muscles.
# 4 Make hooping a habit:
For most hoopers its more than a habit, its an addiction. You can get there too.
If, at the beginning you need some help in motivating you to get the hoop out in the first place then the best thing you can do it put a quick fitness hooping session into your daily routine.
I have a morning routine that I stick to – 20-30 minutes of yoga and 15-30 minutes hula hooping. I have a core workout that I do everyday and then If I have more time then I will extend it and add more.
By making this my habit, it feels odd of I don’t do it. Of course there are days when it doesn’t happen, like if I have an early flight or appointment but those days are the exception.
# 5 Do your hula hoop fitness workout first thing in the morning.
I know there are many things that can get in the way – like work or getting the kids ready fir school. Or things you’d rather do – like big breakfasts or sex.
But doing your daily fitness hooping before breakfast means that you are burning calories at when your body is in fast mode. You haven’t eaten since the day before, so your body is running on it’s existing resources. It’s the peak time for fat burning!
I think the morning is the best time to do your daily workout as it wakes your body up and sets you up for the day. Furthermore, I find that if I don’t get it over and done with first thing, then I struggle to find the motivation to start it later on in the day.
# 6 Don’t give up.
If fitness is your goal, then I’d say that a 30 minute hula hoop workout is a good length of time to aim for.
If that’s not available to you today, no problem. With practice you will certainly get there!
If the hoop falls down, that doesn’t end the workout. Just pick it back up and start it again. We all drop the hoop every now and again, even the professionals.
It makes it all the more satisfying when you get further than your last fail.
# 7 Don’t be hard on yourself and have fun.
We are often our own worst critic. Especially when we are in self-improvement mode.
So if something is not working it is good to take a little break and return to it later.
Hula hooping is a great way to help you achieve your fitness goals. You burn on average 7 calories a minute, similar to step aerobics and boxercise. It raises the heartbeat and helps to encourage weight-loss all over the body.
Waist hooping strengths then core and tones the abs. This in turn, tightens the overall shape of your waist.
Regular fitness hooping must also be accompanied by a balanced healthy diet if you want to see weight-loss results.
You are also unlikely to build large muscle mass and gain a six pack with hula hooping alone. But can see a tucking in of the waist the more you hoop.
To see good results you have to hula hoop regularly. Three to seven times a week will help you see great improvement in your body, mind and skills.