Say Aloha to Hula Hoop Fitness

By Amanda Roland

Hula hooping used to be all the rage on the playground, but is there a way to incorporate it into your fitness routine as an adult? Absolutely. Hula hooping is a great way to break a sweat and work out some pretty major muscle groups. So dust off the old hula hoop and start moving those hips! 

Hula hooping is a dynamic movement that strengthens your core muscles, hips and legs. It is considered an aerobic activity, like dancing, and can help you burn fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, a woman can burn around 165 calories after 30 minutes of hula hooping, and men can burn around 200 calories in the same amount of time. When you rotate your hips during hula hooping, you are also stretching and strengthening your hips and knees, which is very beneficial for joint health. Just make sure you stretch your hips, knees and abdomen before and after your workout session to protect your joints. 

Are Weighted Hula Hoops Better? 

Any hula hoop can benefit your workout routine. Adding weights can make it more difficult to swing the hoop around your waist at a fast pace, which may strengthen your core muscles more than if you were using a regular hoop. Does that mean weighted is better? Not necessarily. Too much weight on your hoop can potentially cause spinal issues, abdominal bruising or even internal bleeding, as reported in a article. It is recommended to use a hoop no heavier than two pounds to avoid injury. If you have pre-existing back or abdominal issues, talk to your doctor before using any new workout equipment. A regular hula hoop can still help you burn calories through aerobic exercise. So, start small and work your way to a weighted hoop after lots of practice. 

How to Pick the Best Hula Hoop 

We already know that hoops come in different weights, but they also come in different sizes. Your hoop size will depend on your height and weight. According to The Spinsterz, an online hula hoop company, your hula hoop should come up three inches above your belly button when it is standing vertically on the ground. Most people start with a hula hoop that is 38 – 42 inches in diameter. The best way to find the best fit is to test one out! Hoops are easy to find at places like Target and Walmart, and of course, Amazon can provide many options. The good thing is, you don’t have to buy a top-on-the-line hula hoop to feel the burn. This new piece of workout equipment can fit into any budget. 

*Consult your provider before starting any new exercise routine. 



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