You’re probably wondering how this fun childhood toy could actually help you lose weight and tone your waist. Hooping, as I call it, is a great cardiovascular exercise that has been said to have effects comparable to those received from doing treadmill work, kickboxing and power yoga, but with less impact, which is ideal for those with joint pain. A study done by the University of Wisconsin’s Exercise and Health Program, showed that a hoola hoop workout burns 210 calories in just 30 minutes. This is similar to a calorie burn you would get from running on the treadmill, but it’s nearly zero impact and much more fun! After 4 weeks of hooping for 30 minutes, 3 times per week, you can lose 3-6 inches off of your waist!

How a hoola hoop workout works

The key to hooping for a slender waist and to lose weight is to constantly engage your core, so the hoop stays above your hips. This constant muscle engagement not only helps tone them, but increases your flexibility and improves coordination and balance. To keep that hoop moving around your waist, there is a push-pull rhythm that must be maintained – your hips and midsection are steadily rocking side to side or front to back, thus burning fat and slimming your waist. Speeding up your movement will burn more calories, but don’t go too slow or the hoop will end up around your ankles!


hula hoop workout

Choosing a hoop

Most people think of hooping and think of the lightweight plastic hoops that we all used as kids. Well, exercise equipment has come a long way since then.  Adults now have larger, weighted hoops that are actually easier to use and more effective when it comes to trying to slim a waist and lose weight. When choosing your hoop, look for one that is around 40” in diameter and 1-2 pounds. The extra weight will make it easier to keep the hoop above your hips. It also increases the resistance on the push-pull contractions to make the exercise more effective in reshaping and sculpting those problem areas.

Hooping tones more than just your waist

We all want a slimmer, more toned core, and that’s the focus of this blog. But hooping helps tone and sculpt your legs, arms and hips as well. How? By using the hula hoop on different parts of your body. Want to tone your legs? While standing, place the hoop around your knees, give it a good spin, and bend one knee to keep the hoop circling around them.

Want to tone your arms and melt off the jiggles? With one arm extended and the hoop hanging on it near your elbow, begin making large circular motions with your arm – the hoop will start spinning (you may need to give it a little push with you other hand if you’re a beginner). Keep it going by continuing to make circular motions with your arm. Trying to tone your hips? Just as you would spin the hoop around your waist, spin it around your hips instead. The slight change in position of the hoop works different body parts, thus giving you an entirely new, sculpted and leaner you.

Using a hula hoop

Begin by standing, back straight (the better your posture, the easier it is to hoop), right foot slightly in front of the left, and holding the hoop around your waist, give the hoop a counterclockwise spin…and quickly shift your hips from front to back, using your hips and abs to keep the hoop moving.

If the hoop begins to fall, speed up the rocking motion and push your hip into the hoop as it circles around your body. You want to rock side to side or front and back, not in a circular motion. Think of yourself as the axis on a plane, not the orbit. If you are a beginner, it may take you several tries to get the rhythm. But don’t give up!  You only get better with practice. As you get more comfortable, you can try walking forwards or backwards, turning in a circle, taking side steps, and adding lunges and squats, all while spinning the hoop.

Incorporating hooping into your workouts

Instead of spending 30 minutes on a treadmill one night, grab your hula hoop and spin it for 30 minutes. Changing up your cardio routine will give you better results and it will be less monotonous. Remember, hooping for just 30 minutes, 3 times per week for 4 weeks, along with balanced and healthy nutrition, will help you lose 3-6 inches off your waist alone. So grab your hoops and have some fun! Let me know your results!



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