Can a hula hoop exercise routine help you get lean and sexy? Tons of celebrities have hula hooped including: Beyonce, Marisa Tomei, Liv Tyler, as well as first lady Michelle Obama. Not only is hooping fun, relaxing, and a body confidence booster but it may help you with your fatloss and sculpting results too.
My fascination with hooping started about 3 years ago after watching the Cirque du Soleil show Zumanity (at the NYNY Hotel & Casino). It featured a killer aerial hoops act by hooping pro Julia Kolosova who gyrated more than 30 hoops at once while hanging on to a rope with one hand and flying through the air. When I saw this I knew I had to try hooping so I started looking for exercises and workouts and what I found really surprised me.
By the way I've tried a one arm hang from a trapeze and can barely hold it so imagine how difficult it must be to hoop while swinging from straps with one hand like Cirque performer in video here.
The hooping you see in these Cirque videos is very advanced but you don't have to hoop like this to experience the benefits of hula hoop exercise. Every day hula hoop exercises are simple and an incredibly fun way to burn extra calories, work your entire body, and improve your mood. Hooping can also restore transverse abdominis (corset muscle) activation, improve coordination, reduce stress and boost digestion/metabolism.
Irina Akimova of Cirque du Soliel's Delirium. Hooping portion starts about 12 seconds in.
But the reason most women love hooping so much is how liberating it feels. Rotating a hoop around your hips and performing halos frees your body to move in all directions and gets you out of linear patterns that create stiffness, pain, and stress. Best part of all is it feels like play.
Getting started is easier than you think the key is starting with the right type and size/weight hula hoop. Try the Weighted Hula Hoop for Exercise and Fitness. You can also check your sporting goods stores but all they seem to carry is kids hoops or the acuhoop. I actually tried both and they just don’t spin the way they’re supposed to spin so I ordered mine (in video here) online.
If you’re going to hula hoop at the park often you may also want to consider a Fitness Travel Hoop which is easier to store and pack in a car. The only other thing to consider is workout style. Watch a few videos with different instructors to make sure you like their style of teaching before ordering a set of dvd’s or signing up for a course.
Some hooping instructors don’t provide very good instructions while others are just not that fun so choose according to your preferences. I found Hoopnotica: Hoopdance Workout Beginner Level 2 to be both fun and very effective.
Rayna McInturf and her hooping instructors are awesome and I learned quickly how to do some of the moves in their video here but you may like a different type of instructor so don't be afraid to try before you buy with youtube videos.
Once you get confident enough to start hooping in more confined spaces be sure to clear the clutter so you don’t damage your hoop or break ½ your living room decor. I managed to do both just a few weeks into my hooping adventures (oops). To care for your hoop just lay it flat and keep it out of the sun to prevent warping. Also keep it away from sharp edges to prevent it from nicks and cuts.