You want to start hula hooping and you have LOTS of questions! Of course you do. It looks fun, and you have heard you can get fit FAST! It improves coordination, it burns calories, your neighbor is doing fancy tricks in her yard! It looks SO FUN! But where to start? (Personally I want to punch the person who made this ad. Very unrealistic. I mean 15 minutes? How often? For how many months? I don’t look like this and I have hooped for YEARS. Please.)
What size do you need? Where can you get one? The dollar-store hoops are so tiny, you tried and you can’t do it, you feel frustrated and disappointed. You ask your neighbor where she got her hoop. She explains you need a big adult sized hoop. She made hers herself. Your eyes roll. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
You hit the local Big Box store and in the yoga mat aisle, there it is! A WEIGHTED hula hoop! It breaks down in convenient sections, the picture makes it look so easy, the box promises instant results! You get one, take it home and put it together and following the instructions or DVD that came with it, you are hooping! Kind of. It falls down a lot. But you’re doing it! Finally! Problem solved! ( I wanted to put a picture here but my web guy said I might get sued. Picture a bumpy rainbow in sections. Very strange.)
After an enthusiastic first few days, you are super sore! You even have bruised hips to show for it. No pain no gain right? Its exercise. Like any new skill practice makes perfect. Your neighbor made it look so fun and easy!
Except those bruised hips are pretty bothersome. You might even need to take a break for a few days. Every time you think about hooping you remember how sore it made you. The hoop ends up in the basement rec room gathering dust with all the other workout equipment. Sighing, you tell yourself, “maybe that just wasn’t for me”. Saddest.story.ever.
Because for thousands of us, hooping changed our bodies, minds, and lives forever.
Here is the Truth about Weighted Hula Hoops. In my experience, which is extensive, weighted hoop stories all have these things in common: The enthusiast in question is looking for a quick way to tone up and slim down, the lure of quick yet fun results hooks them every time. Little research is done, and the easy availability of these commercial hoops is enticing. I have seen MANY new hoopers start out with weighted hoops and NOT ONE of them stays hooping, at least not with a weighted hoop. The few that stick with hooping switch to a mid-weight or light weight hoop, meaning a hoop that’s weight is determined just by its materials, the tubing used, and the little extra weight added by the covering or tape. Many never hoop again after the bad experience with these hoops. I have seen horrific photos of bruises and even tales of dangerous blood clots caused by weighted hooping! Most simply give up and never hoop again, which is really a tragedy.
So where to begin if not with one of these? First, measure your waist. DO NOT JUDGE. It’s just a number. Multiply that number by 1.4. This is YOUR beginning hoop number. Ex: My waist is 28 inches 28 X 1.4= 39.2. I round down to get my hoop number of 39 inches. This is the diameter of my hoop. If you live in Bloomingotn IN, you can pop into The Dance Circus and pick one out, I make them myself. If you do not have any hoop makers in your town, you may indeed have to start making them yourself, but it really isn’t terribly hard, and if that isn’t your cup of tea your best bet is to try ETSY. There are SCADS of great hoop makers there. I recommend a nice big fat hoop to get started. Look for PE tubing and a 3/4″ diameter. Skinny lightweight hoops can be VERY frustrating for a beginner. Trust me, been there. What you want looks something like this:
Once you get a hoop that is right for your body, you should be able to keep it up and get some good cardio going with your core engaged, knees bent slightly and pelvis tipped upwards. Pretend your pelvis is a bowl and you are tipping the bowl towards you. A rocking motion from one foot to the other will push on the inside wall of the hoop and keep it in motion. **Many beginner tutorials out there on YouTube, too many for me to recommend just one.
The material weight of your hoop is certainly adequate to get you in shape,( most weigh about 1 pound or more) and yes, pretty quickly. Like any regimen, start 3 days a week for 15-20 minutes and add time or days as you go. Playing music is very nice and helps the time go quickly. Best plan is to grab a hoop buddy, which really makes for a fun workout, you can share tips and laugh together! Check back here for more hoop info and remember Hoop Dance is a really big conglomeration of all different genres of hooping, one size does NOT fit all.