The Fun Fitness Benefits of Doing a Hula Hoop Workout



Chances are the last time you twirled a hula hoop around your hips was in your college playground or in your backyard when you were 8 years old. Basically, for most people, the hoop is screaming #TBT, # 90skid, and #nostalgicAF.

But just like varsity jackets and chunky ’90s sneakers, the hoop is making a comeback and reinventing itself as sassy fitness gear. Yes really! Below, fitness experts explain why everyone should hula hoop, along with tips on how to hula hoop to get fit (and have fun!).

The Fun Fitness Benefits of Doing a Hula Hoop Workout

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Yes, the Hula Hoop counts as an exercise

If you think “is the hula hoop good exercise, really?” ” He is! “The hula hoop is absolutely considered an exercise,” says certified personal trainer Anel pla with Fitness simplexity. Research confirms this: a to study of the American Council On Exercise found that a 30-minute hula hoop workout has similar benefits to other more “obvious” training techniques, including boot camp, kick boxing, Where cardio dance same length class. (Related: Playground boot camp training that will make you feel like a kid again)

“Partly it’s a good workout because the hula hoop requires you to be constantly on the move,” explains Getti Keyahova, hula hoop fitness instructor and Cirque du Soleil alumnus.

Hula Hoop Benefits That Improve Your Fitness

According to Pla. “The hula hoop really stimulates your heart rate,” she says. This is especially true when you get more adept with the tool and maybe use multiple hoops at once or try out fun tricks like walking, crouching, dancing, or even jumping during a hoop workout. (Don’t worry, just wrap one around your waist!)

Best of all, unlike many other aerobic exercises (running, hiking, dancing, etc.), hula hoop workouts have a low impact. “Because the hula hoop has a low impact on the knee and hip joints, it’s something people of all ages can enjoy,” says Keyahova. (Related: Try this 15 Minute Lower Body Workout from Kayla Itsines New Low Impact Program)

However, the heart is not the only muscle recruited during hula hoop training. “Moving the hoop around your body requires your abdominal muscles – especially your obliques – to work,” says Pla. Your heart is made up of many muscles that run from your pelvis to your chest and all around your torso to keep you upright and stable, she explains.

To keep the hoop moving around you, hula hoop workouts also activate and strengthen your glutes, hips, quads, hamstrings, and calves, explains Pla. And, if you try hoop exercises with your arms (that’s one thing – this woman can hula hoop with almost any part of her body), then the tool also works your upper body muscles, including your traps, triceps, biceps, forearms and shoulders, she adds. Just think of your hula hoop workout as a full body burner!

While there are many reasons to workout aside from weight loss (endorphins! Have fun!), If that’s one of your goals, know that hoop workouts can also be used to promote healthy weight loss. “The hula hoop burns a ton of calories per hour, and achieving a calorie deficit is how you start to lose weight,” says Pla. (The Mayo Clinic reports that most people can burn 330 to 400 calories per hour from hula hoop workouts.)

There’s also the fact that playing with a hoop is a really good time! “The hula hoop is fun – almost everyone loves to do it! Said Keyahova. And it goes without saying, but when you enjoy exercising, you’re more likely to and keep doing it, says certified personal trainer Jeanette DePatie, creator and author of The big chick works! and Anyone Can Exercise: Senior Edition. “Whereas if your fitness program is outdated or boring or you hate it, you’re much more likely to let other things get in your way,” DePatie explains.

How To Make Hula Hoop Workouts Easier

Beyond the fact that it requires lugging around a giant hoop – sometimes a weighted hoop, in general, hoop exercises are fairly low risk, according to DePatie.

But as with any exercise or fitness modality, attempting a hoop workout with poor form, going too fast (or heavy if you are using a weighted hoop like this TikToker who claims she caused a hernia!) for your current level of fitness may increase your risk of injury, she explains. For example, if you haven’t done a hoop in second grade and buy a 5 pound hoop and do ham hoop for 60 minutes … you might be twisting a core muscle, or even that you injure your lower back if your core is not yet strong enough.

Fortunately, “most injury risks can be avoided by gradually switching from a short hoop workout to a longer routine” or from a lighter hoop to a heavier option, says DePatie. (BTW, this is called the progressive overload principle – and this applies to all fitness workouts, not just hula hoop workouts.)

To reduce your risk of injury, start your hula hoop workouts using a 1 to 3 pound hoop and keep the workout duration under 30 minutes. Listen to your body, as always. Pain is your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong. “If it hurts, stop,” Pla said. “If you meet very severe muscle pain after training, reduce next time. “

How to Incorporate the Hula Hoop Into Your Fitness Routine

Ultimately, how you add hoop exercises to your workout routine depends on your fitness goals and lifestyle. If you already have a regular workout routine, Pla suggests using the hoop as a tool for your warm-up. “Because it works your glutes, midline, legs, hips and arms, the hula hoop can be used as a whole body warm-up before any workout,” she says. In practice, this means that instead of rowing 1,000 yards or running a mile before going to the weight room, you can hula hoop at a moderate, steady pace for, say, 4 to 8 minutes.

Hoop workouts can also be your complete routine for the day. You do not know where to start ? Create a 20- or 30-minute playlist, then try to sync your movements with the hoop to the beat, she suggests.

Once you know how to hula hoop like a pro (or okay, enough), Keyahova says you can even try a few hula hoop tricks, such as incorporating the device into your current weight workouts. bodily. “You can hula hoop while you squat or lunge or lift your shoulders,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to be creative! “

That said, unless you are also a hoop instructor, please use caution and keep the hoop to the side when lifting weights, please! This baby can go around your waist, but it’s not weight belt.

How to choose the right adult hoop

Keyahova recommends starting with an adult hoop measuring between 1 and 3 pounds and 38 to 42 inches in diameter. An inch or two of that range is fine, “but anything below 38 inches will be a little harder at startup because the spin will be faster,” she explains.

Keyahova’s recommendation is Power WearHouse Take 2 Weighted Hoop (Buy it, $ 35, “I use it religiously and recommend it to all of my hula hoop students,” she says.

“If storage and transportation is an issue, there are travel hoops that break down into multiple pieces,” DePatie adds. To try Just QT Weighted Hula Hoop (Buy it, $ 24, Where Hoopnotica travel hoop (Buy it, $ 50,, and for a weighted hoop from Amazon, you could opt for, Aurox Weighted Fitness Exercise Hoop (Buy it, $ 19, If you are looking to avoid any pain on your sides, try this Walmart foam padded hoop (Buy it, $ 25,, which comes in six different colors.

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