My Top 20 Hula Hoop Tricks

Are you n absolute beginner to hula hoop tricks? Do you want twist and twirl your hula hoop like a pro? Not sure where to start with it all?

Then this article will be great for you!

In this article I will

  • Breakdown my top hula hoop tricks for absolute beginners
  • Give tips to help you nail the tricks
  •  Suggest ways of progressing through experiment and play.
  •  Show you how to link them together in sequence
  •  Show you how to time your transitions to the music

 

Hoop tricks are a lots of fun and incredibly satisfying! I’ve met countless people who initially thought they couldn’t hula hoop, but with a little bit of instruction they were able to nail the basics within minutes! So can you too 😀

There are many hoop tricks to learn, and hoopers are inventing new ones all the time. It all comes from experimenting and playing and putting your own spin on things.

I’ve put together this selection of tricks for absolute beginners to get you flowing from day one! This sequence has been designed in a way that you can easily flow from one trick to the next.


#1 Basic Hand Hooping

This is the foundation of all hand hooping tricks. Once you’ve got this one down it will be much easier to get the rest of them. It is also a great transition move, so once you’ve got a few more tricks up your sleeve you can use this one to transition between them.

How:

  • For this trick you must keep your arm strong! You should be able to feel your biceps with your other hand
  • Place the hoop in your dominant hand (let’s make it easier for ourselves) – with your thumb between you and the hula hoop
  • To get it started you can push down with the other hand with force!
  • Once the hoop has started remember to keep the strength in your arm
  • Try both hands! Once you’ve got it on you dominant had try it all again with the other one.

 

Tips:

  • Keep your hand in a vertical position  – so facing the wall, not the floor
  • To keep the strength needed in your arm, you bring your arm close to your body.
  • If the hoop travels up your arm, then you can angle your arm down – keep it straight and let the hula hoop slow down and move down your arm. Eventually it will reach your hand again.

 

Experiment and Play

  •  Start with the hula hoop in the front plane – so the hula hoop is parallel to your body – get it steady and then experiment by turning your body 90 degrees
  • Keep your hand in exactly the same place – now the hula hoop should be in your side plane.
  •  Turn 90 degrees back towards the hoop – back to the front plan.
  • Try to stick your second hand in – you can rotate the hoop around both hands together in prayer position.
  • Take the first hand out – now you’re hand hooping with your weaker hand
  • Experiment with turning your body 90 degrees here too – so the hoop is back in you side plane.
  • This is a 180 in your body –  the hula hoop always stays in the same place.

#2 Hand Hoop Breaks

Ok, so you’ve got the first move down, well done! Next we want to play with changing the spinning direction of the hoop. Some tricks only work with certain spinning directions, so it’s handy to know how to change it.

How:

  • For the start we want to keep the hoop in the frontal plane – later we can experiment with doing this in the side plane and all other fancy stuff but for now, let’s face the hoop.
  • So! Start you basic hand hooping by pushing the hoop down with your opposite hand – The hula hoop should be spinning into you – What I mean by that is, if you extend your arm out to the side (right arm out to the right – left arm out to the left) then the hoop will move down > to the side > up > then down as it moves towards you.
  • As the hoop is moving downwards and towards you, you can place your hand underneath the hoop path and push it back to spin in the opposite direction
  • Now the hoop will be spinning in the opposite direction – So the hoop will be spinning away from you: Down > towards you > up >to the side.
  • Now when the hoop is coming upwards and towards you, you’ll need to place your hand above the hoop to send it in the opposite direction.
  • You can use you thumb to give your hoop an extra push, when sending it back in your second hand.

Tips:

  • Again, keep your arm strong and the hoop in your hand. This will help you to maintain control over the hoop.
  • If you try this trick and the hoop keeps on flying away. You can slow it down by catching the hoop with you free hand (rather than just tapping it) and send it in the opposite direction.
  • Think about where the hoop is hitting your hand – You’ll have more control if it hits the centre of your palm or the middle of your fingers.

Experiment and Play

  •  Once you’ve got these breaks in the frontal plane down, you can experiment with it on the side plane.
  •  Experiment breaking the hoop with your second hand behind the back
  •  Or play with breaking the hoop with other parts of the body. I like to break it under my armpit. But you can also play with breaking the hoop with your leg!

#3 Behind the back pass

In the fist trick we learned to pass the hoop from on hand to the other in front of the body, turning 180 degrees. With the addition of this Behind the Back Pass you will be able to turn your body a full 360 degrees with  the hoop staying in the same place.

How:

  • Start the hoop in your good hand, on the side plane –  The hoop must be spinning forward!
  • As the hoop starts to move down you’ll need to change your grip – I like to hold the hoop loosely in three fingers. However at the beginning you might want to hold the hoop in your hand.
  • So, as the hoop is coming down, turn your body away from the hula hoop until it’s behind you.
  • Your hand should be gripping from the inside with the wrist facing up
  • Bring your second hand to meet the fist behind your back with the wrist also facing up
  • Transfer your grip to the second hand
  • Turn 90 degrees and the hoop should be spinning backwards in your second hand.

Tips:

  • Slow the hoop down before you turn around. this will give you more time to transfer the hoop between hands
  • At the beginning you can hold onto the hoop for the transfer of hands
  • Remember both wrists should be facing the sky
  •  If you’re gripping the hoop – then once it is in your second had make sure you swing it up and back to give it enough force to continue spinning
  •  Once you get the hang of it, try to hold the hoop loosely in your fingers

Experiment and Play

  •  Once you get comfortable with this try truing 360 degrees, while keeping your hoop in the same place or continuous turns.
  • Remember to try this in both directions.

#4 Two Beat Weave

The Two Beat Weave is also known as the figure of 8. I just the symbol here because this is the shape you’ll be creating with your hoop in space. This is a super versatile move, which you can flow in and out of from many different positions.

How:

  • Start the hoop in your side plane, gripping your hoop from the inside with your wrist facing up.
  • Bring the hoop down, back and over your head. So you are drawing a circular shape the the hoop.
  • Now here’s the important bit! As you follow this circular shape downwards, bring the hoop across the the body.
  • So if you are starting with the hoop in your right hand, then at this point your right hand should be by your left hip, with your arm crossing your body.
  • From here, continue the flow upwards, bending at your elbow, with your wrist facing your body
  • Once the hoop reaches its highest point, swing the hoop back down to your side, where you’ll land back ion the starting position.
  • As this is a figure of 8 (also known as the sign of eternity) you can do this continuously or for eternity 😉

Tips:

  • Once you’ve got the basic move down, loosen your grip. I normally hold the hoop in just three fingers
  • Momentum really helps in this move, so don’t be afraid of the hoop and build up a bit of speed. This will help it flow

Experiment and Play

  • When you first start the movement is likely to be coming from your arm. However, once it feels more comfortable try to move it to your wrist. It looks a lot neater
  • Play with the position of your hoop, bringing the centre of the figure of 8 from in front of you to above your head

#5 Behind Back Hoop Toss

Love this move! Throws and tosses can be a little scary at first, at the beginning I avoided them as I wasn’t sure I’d be able to catch it again. But this lovely little move includes a little spin above the head that gives you the time to get the hoop back again. Also of your miss it, there are a number of great ways to style it out.

How:

  • Start in the same position as the Two Beat Weave, with the hand (and hoop) in your side plane, gripping from the inside, wrist facing up.
  • Again, you bring it down back and up in your circular motion.
  • However this time you keep the hoop on the same side you started on.
  • Bend forward as you follow the circular shape until your hand reaches your armpit
  • Once you feel the hoop on the back of your armpit, let go!
  • Then straighten up and catch the hoop above your head.

Tips:

  • Loosen your grip, when bringing the hoop towards your armpit. I like to take it just my index finger at this last moment. This makes it easier to let go at the perfect moment.
  • Bending forward is important. This will allow the hoop to spin above your head instead of flying backwards.
  • Check that your hand is really in your armpit, if it’s too far away this trick won’t work
  • Before trying, touch yourself on your target point, at the back of your armpit, right on the crease. It will be easier to tell afterwards whether you’ve his the same place or somewhere else on your body
  • It matters what you wear. Since making this video I realised I should have taken off my baggy jumper. It stopped my hoop from reaching the right place and kept on flying backwards :/

Experiment and Play

  • Play with the speed and swing of your hoop, how high cam you get it to go without loosing control.
  • Play with where you catch the hoop. I like to catch it from underneath (hand gripping from the outside) and strike a pose.
  • however you can also catch it from inside your hoop and go back into your two beat weave.
  • You might not always catch it the way you intended, if you’re finding it hard to catch it with your hand, then try to get your arm in. from her you can spin your body 360 and the hoop will slide into your hand.

# 6 Jump through

Fir this trick we’ll be…. Yes you guessed it, jumping through the hoop. It’s a great one to flow into from your Two Beat Weave and an awesome way to transition from the side to the front plane.

How:

  • Start in the same position as the Two Beat Weave, with the hand (and hoop) in your side plane, gripping from the inside, wrist facing up.
  • Again, you bring it down back and up in your circular motion.
  • As you bring the hoop down position the hoop in front of you, towards your belly button with your wrist facing your body.
  • Jump over the hoop, it can be a small hop.
  • Simultaneously lift the hoop up, with a light grip and the hoop should fly over your head.
  • The hoop will land in your front plane, ready for your next move

Tips:

  • As you bring your hoop in front, try to place it so the base if thew hoop does not hit the floor.
  • Just a cm or two off the ground is enough
  • Have a loose grip as you are lifting your hand up.
  •  Lift your arm up quickly and as the hoop is coming down in front of your tighten your grip to control the speed of movement.

Experiment and Play

  • Play with the speed of the hoop as it comes down you can make it look like slow motion
  • Play with your jump, try a pony hop or both feet together, see what feels right

# 7 Beat Pump

A beautiful and simple move I love to do when there is a prominent beat in the music. You can hit the hoop down on the first count and control the speed of the hoop so the move lasts till the fourth count

How:

  • Bring the hoop in front of you, with one hand gripping the hoop the top of the hoop from the outside and the bottom hand gripping the hoop from the inside
  • Both wrists should be facing down
  • The top hand then pushes the top of the hoop foward
  • Simultaneously the bottom hand rises up and the top hand catches the hoop at the bottom
  • The hands have now replaced each other and you can repeat this move over and over again

Tips:

  • You can control the speed of the hoop with the tightness of your grip.
  • A tighter grip will result in a slower hoop
  • Try to time the hit with a strong beat in the music

Experiment and Play

  • Put on your favourite song and really tune into the different components that make up the beat. Tune into one of them and time you Beat Pump with that part of the music

# 8 Smear

This is a great one to dance with! There are so many ways to play with this one and you can get your sassy style flowing from the get-go.

How:

  • Grip the hoop from the inside (wrists facing out)  with your hands on either side of the widest part of the circle
  • Your hands should be evenly placed, so bring the hoop in front of you to check whether you need to adjust your hands to the half way mark
  • Bring the hoop around you, parallel to your floor plane with your body in the centre of the hoop, your hands to the side and your elbows tucked in
  • Now, imagine that the hoop is a coin and there is a surface below and the coin rotates around on this surface
  • It will dip down at the front
  • Then dip down on the right side
  • Then at the back (we know its down at the back when its up at the front)
  • Dip don on the left and then roll it around to dip down on the front again
  • Keep this going around continuously

Tips:

  • Once you’ve got the basic move down take away the imaginary surface and let the movement of the hoop get so big that it smears across your body
  • Keep you hands to the side
  • If they are coming in front of you then slow it down: dip own at the side, up at the front, down on the side up at the front
  • remember to keep your body in the centre of the hoop

Experiment and Play

  • Try keeping your body still and the hoop (and your arms obviously) is the only thing that moves
  • Then experiment with keeping your upper body in the centre of the hoop and move like the hoop is controlling you
  • Play with reversing the direction and back again

# 9 Barrel Roll

This is the intro trick for isolations. Like an isolation, the hoop has to stay in the same place throughout. This can be a difficult concept to grasp, but have no fear. I’ve got some great tips to get you started!

How:

  • Grip the hoop from the inside (wrists facing out)  with your hands on either side of the widest part of the circle
  • Sick your head in the centre of the hoop
  • Turn your body 360 degrees while keeping your hoop in the same place

Tips:

  • Draw or find a line on the floor and line up your hoop with it. If you are out of like at the end of your turn, you’ll need to slow it down
  • At the beginning, its good to take small steps to turn around
  • Once you are familiar with what to do with your upper body, then try the leg twist
  • Look at one point of the hula hoop.

Experiment and Play

  • Play with taking small steps to turn around
  • Or cross one leg over the other and use your legs to spin you around

# 10 Two hand isolation

Now onto a real Isolation! This is a total crowd pleaser, guaranteed to impress your friends 🙂 There are a lot if things to think about at the same time. So we are starting with the two handed isolation.

How:

  • Hold the hoop in front of you with your eye line in the centre of the hoop
  • Grip the hoop from the inside at the top, with your wrist facing up
  • Your arm should be straight and strong.
  • Try to keep your arm straight at all times with the movement coming from your shoulder
  • Now imagine your hoop is a clock face and your hand is now at 12
  • Now try to take your hand to 9 (right handers) or 3 (left handers) while keeping the hoop in the same place, your arm should be crossing your body
  • Then take back up to 12
  • Practice this until it feels comfortable
  • Then try to take your hand all the way to 6 and then back to 12
  • Once this is comfortable you’ll be ready to get your second hand involved
  • Practice the same process with your second hand, starting at 6 and taking it to 3 (right handers) or 9 (left handers)
  • Once comfortable, start with the first hand at 12  again
  • When your gripping the hoop at 6, cross  and grip the hoop with your second hand over the first hand
  • The second hand is now in control, taking your hands to up to 12
  • Important: Both hands should always stay together!
  • The hand that isn’t gripping the hoop roles over the other, your hands should be back to back.
  • Keep this going, with the first hand taking your from 12 to 6 and the second hand taking you from 6 to 12.

Tips:

  • The most important advice I can give you is: Look through the hoop, not at the hoop!
  • Stare directly through it and it will be much easier to maintain the hoop in the same space throughout the trick.
  • Think of your hands as really good friends, they never want to be parted from each other
  • Remember to keep them back to back when transitioning between positions

Experiment and Play

  • Play with the speed of your movement
  • Make it fast while transitioning and slow when passing over the grip

# 11 Vertical Loop

A really lovely trick that looks fabulous with an LED hoop. You’re keeping the hoop vertical at all times and it makes a lovely illusion

How:

  • Hold the hoop vertically in front of your legs
  • Arms are crossed – right over left – gripping your hoop from the top
  • Bring your arms to the left, keeping your hoop in line with your side body
  • Use your right hand to hold the hoop on top of your left forearm
  • Continue to bring your arm around in this anti-clockwise circle
  • Until your arms are crossed above your head, wrists facing forward
  • Continue the circle. When your right arm is filly extended your left arm should be underneath
  • Continue the circle until you are back in the starting position.
  • You can either go around again, or reverse it!

Tips:

  • Maintain a firm grip on your hoop
  • The trick looks best when the hoop stays vertical

Experiment and Play

  • Play with the speed of your movement
  • Make it fast on the rise and slow as your arms cross over above your head

# 12 Escalator

The hoop makes a super satisfying whoosh sound when doing the Escalator.  It’s best to practice this on both sides, however for ease I’ll explain everything with the right hand. There are a number of things going on at the same time, but super satisfying!

How:

  • Hold the hoop to the side of you
  • Grip the hoop from the top with  your right hand, your wrist facing forward
  • Step your right leg into the hoop from the front
  • Put your weight in the right leg, so the left foot can lift easily
  • Keep the hoop vertical as you bring your hand to your bellybutton
  • This movement should be like a door on a hinge
  • Lift your left leg up while simultaneously bringing the hoop to your bellybutton
  • After your hand arrives at your bellybutton, lift your hand up
  • For Cheat Escalator: Keep you grip lose until the hoop flips over your head
  • For Escalator: Let go of the hoop as soon as it reaches your bellybutton and lift your hand in the air to receive the hoop

Tips:

  • For the Cheat Escalator, keep your grip loose, with you forefinger and thumb together
  • For Escalator, keep your left arm in the air, this will prevent the hoop from flying away


# 13 Reverse Escalator

What goes up must come down! So this move is the reverse of the previous one. It’s great to flow between the two.

How:

  • Start by holding the hoop in font of you
  • Hands gripping from the outside at the widest part of the hoop
  • Push the hoop with your left hand so it hinges around to behind your head
  • Let the hoop rest on the left side of your neck, with your right arm slightly forward
  • Let go of the hoop with your right hand
  • bring your right hand immediately down to receive it

Tips:

  • If the hoop stays on your shoulder, you can help it along by nudging your shoulder forward
  • Remember to bring your hand down to receive the hula hoop as soon as you let go


# 14 Floor Hand Spin

A simple yet beautiful hoop trick that looks fantastic with a LED hoop! It’s so simple it’s even a great one to teach to kids!

How:

  • Start with the hoop to the side of you
  • Bottom on the hoop resting on the floor, gripping the hoop from the top
  • Twist the hoop between your thumb and forefinger
  • Feel the centre of gravity as you twist the hoop
  • Once you’ve got a good momentum then open your hand flat
  • Keep slight pressure on the hoop, so you can keep the hoop vertical but don’t stop the spin

 

Tips:

  • It’s best to do this one on a smooth floor. Grass will make your life difficult
  • Make sure the centre of gravity is touching the floor.

Experiment and Play

  • Try out different poses while the hoop is spinning

# 15 Hit It!

This is a great way to get the hoop above the head. You can also dance a lot with this move. I started to play with this move after being inspired by swing dancers I was performing in the same show as.

How:

  • Start by gripping the hoop with your wrist facing up
  • Hit the hoop between your right and left side
  • To get it up in the air… (hoop in right hand) Hit the hoop to your right
  • as it swings back, lift your arm up high and open your hand
  • It is also possible to do this move with your wrist facing down
  • To transition to the hoop above the head, the hoop will need to rotate around your thumb to in order to get the hand inside

Tips:

  • Dance with this one!
  • Cross over both hands at the same time as the hoop crosses the body
  • Then pull both hands out

Experiment and Play

  • Play with making the movements big and get your legs involved too
  • Swing the hoop to the beat of your favourite music!

# 16 Hand Hooping Above The Head

This is pretty similar to the Basic Hand Hooping in #01, the difference being that its now above your head! The hoop is now in the horizontal plane, opening up a number of trick possibilities for you.

How:

  • Use the #15 Hit me move to get the hoop above the head
  • Open your hand
  • Keep your arm straight and strong
  • keep the hoop spinning bu subtly beating it with your hand

Tips:

  • If the hoop starts to get wonky (not flat), then you can grab the hoop as it comes into your hand and straighten it out with your grip
  • Keep a straight arm for neatness


# 17 Lasso

A dynamic trick that takes your hoop from high to low.

How:

  • Start with the hoop spinning above your head
  • The hoop should be spinning inwards – Right handers from right to left and Left handers from left to right
  • With the wrist facing forward, wait until you feel the hoop in your hand
  • grab the hoop with loose fingers
  • Begin to turn your wrist inward as you bring the hoop down,  in front of you
  • Your wrist should be facing up
  • Once the hoop reaches waist height, rotate your wrist over the hoop, facing down
  • Continue the rotation to face upward again, while lifing the hoop to the above the head position again
  • Open your hand

Tips:

  • If the hoop is quite big and your arms are quite short, you might need to bend over a bit
  • I like to stick my butt out and make a cute Betty Boop move
  • Keep your grip loose in your fingers and the action in your wrist


# 18 Behind The Back Pass

This is quite a tricky one but still achievable for beginners. The action is going on behind your back, so you really need to rely on how your body feels as it moves through space.

How:

  • Start with the hoop spinning above your head
  • The hoop should be spinning outward this time – Right handers from left to right and Left handers from right to left (I often do this with my left hand)
  • With the wrist facing forward, wait until you feel the hoop in your hand
  • grab the hoop with loose fingers
  • Begin to turn your wrist outward as you bring the hoop down,  behind your back
  • Bend over and bring your second hand to meet the first behind your back
  • Both wrists should be facing up
  • Grab the hoop with the second hand and bring it around and up
  • Keeping the wrist facing up until you’re back in the hoop above head position, wrist facing forward

Tips:

  • Practice spinning the hoop on your hand behind your back
  • Try this with just your index finger behind your back

Experiment and Play

  • Experiment with adding an extra spin behind the back
  • Try adding an extra twist bu crossing one leg over the other and twist out of the move as you rise.

 


# 19 Vertical Twist

This is a lovely vertical move, which looks great when your play around the speed of your movement.

How:

  • Start with the hoop standing vertically in front of you, hand gripping from the top, wrist facing toward you
  • Keep your arm straight as you begin to cross the body.
  • Continue to move your hand up, making a large circle with your hand.
  • Keep the wrist facing towards the body
  • Once your hand had has reached 11 O’clock start to twist the wrist outwards while continuing the large circle with your hand
  • Stop twisting once your wrist is facing you again.
  • Continue the circle until you reach the original position

Tips:

  • A strong grip is important in this trick! So press your thumb on to the inside of the hoop
  • Remember to keep your elbow straight throughout. It looks 100% more elegant!

Experiment and Play

  • Experiment with your speed. Start slow and then speed up on the twist
  • Try taking the hoop in the opposite direction. You can alternate between the two.

# 20 Sassy Bow

Time to get your sass on!!! This is a super simple move to do but looks amazing and super sexy!

How:

  • Start with the hoop standing vertically in front of you, both hands gripping from the top.
  • Lift the hoop with both hands
  • Fold the bottom of the hoop into your crotch
  • Fold your body over so your hands are now by the floor
  • Flick your head up and smile
  • Then slowly caress the sides of the hoop until you reach the original position

Tips:

  • Take your time with this one, especially on the way back up.
  • If possible keep your feet together and your legs straight.
  • Stick your butt out and arch your back on the way up for full sass effect
  • Flick your head up before you bring the rest of your body up
  • Remember to smile!

Experiment and Play

  • Play with the head flick, especially if you have long hair
  • Experiment with different speeds to see what works for you

 

 

 

 

 

 

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