Hooping Basics: What You Need To Know Before You Start Hula-Hooping

Always wanted to get into hula-hooping but never knew how to get started? Hoopologist and Founder of Hipnotic Hoopla Kailey Mitchell breaks it down for us.

Hula-hooping is an exciting and unique workout that anyone can do. All you need is the correct size hula-hoop, instruction, and a little motivation. Spinning the hula-hoop around your waist not only tones your core, but it also burns 7 calories per minute according to the American Council on Exercise.

Hooping is a low impact aerobic exercise making it ideal for most people and injury recovery. It is an activity you can do alone in front of the TV or outside with friends at the beach or park. By combining dance, fitness, and yoga-inspired moves, you have a fun dynamic full body workout.

Benefits of Hooping

There are so many benefits to hula-hooping for dance and fitness. Hooping activates both the body and brain. It improves balance, coordination, and flexibility, works both sides of the body, builds core and back strength, enhances well-being, and lowers stress and anxiety. It is a major confidence booster and skill you can build on. Choreography requires focus to test your memory. And did I mention, it’s fun!? Hooping is all about play and movement; you can’t do it without a smile.

Source: HipnoticHoopla.com

 

How To Get Started

This is not your children’s hula-hoop! To start, you will need the correct size and type for your body. The larger and heavier the hoop, the slower it moves which is easier to learn. The hoop diameter should come up to at least your belly button. You can figure this out by placing a tape measure on the ground and measuring the distance to your belly button.

No tape measurer? No problem. Use a piece of string and search Google for an “online ruler.” Do you have a curvy body type or could “never” hoop before? Add 2 inches to this measurement.

Next is the hula-hoop type. If you’re just starting out you will need a hoop that is in between 1.5-2 pounds. Any heavier and you risk injury. At Hipnotic Hoopla, we carry 4 different kinds of travel hula hoops: polypro, dance, standard, and fitness. The fitness hoop weights 2 pounds and is excellent for working your core. This hoop is recommended if you could “never” do it and use around the waist only.

The standard hoop is the most popular choice for beginners and weighs 1.5 pounds. This hoop is great if you can hoop but haven’t picked one up in a while. It’s excellent for toning the waist, arms, and legs.

The dance hoop weighs 1 pound and is ideal for off body fitness like toning the arms and legs as well as dance choreography. The polypro hoop is 0.5 pounds and suitable for off body moves and injury prone or recovery. All hoops collapse to ¼ of the full size so you can take it on the go! They are 100% handmade in the USA.

Source: HipnoticHoopla.com

What To Aim For

Hula-hooping is like riding a bike. Once you get it, you have it forever. If you pick up the hoop and can keep it up for 2-3 rotations–that is amazing! Next spin aim for 5-6. Keep increasing that number and you will be a pro in no time. The important things to know are: 1. the correct posture 2. the right movement 3. the saves.

Next up, learn a few off-body moves. It’s not all about the waist! I recommend exploring the weave, basic isolation, and passing. A simple search of “hoop fitness” or “beginner hoop dance” on YouTube will keep you moving for hours.

Where To Go From Here

There is always something new to learn with hula-hooping. It is a great creative outlet and stress relieving activity. You can use the hoop as a tool for deep stretching, yoga, and fitness moves. Throw on your favorite tunes and create your own choreography along or with friends.

With hoop dance, the possibilities are endless! Many hoop fitness gurus explore alternative classes like Lyra, aerial yoga, and even end up teaching hoop classes of their own.

And don’t forget: always double check with your medical provider before starting a new exercise routine.

Author: Kailey Mitchell, Hoopologist & Founder of Hipnotic Hoopla

Kailey Mitchell is the one-woman operation behind Hipnotic Hoopla. She discovered the art of hoop dance in 2011. Shortly after she realized, it's more than a workout. Hooping has become a healthy creative outlet and form of self-expression. It has helped her build confidence and overcome anxiety. You can do anything if you try! Kailey lives in Connecticut and travels throughout the state offering classes, workshops, and parties. Some of her favorite things (besides hooping) are the beach, coffee, reading, creating, live music, and cat, Larry.

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