From child’s toy to rhythmic gymnastics, hula hoops have been around for a long time. They are now making a comeback as a simple and fun way to work those neglected core muscles.
The idea of spinning a hoop around the body has been known since the ancient Greeks thought it up. Hoop spinning came to Britain in the 1300s, but it wasn’t until five hundred years later that British sailors saw the Hawaiian dance known as the ‘hula’. They thought that the movements looked the same as those used for the hoop, and the name was born.
First, find a clear space! The hoop is at least a metre across and so more than that round you is needed to avoid damage to any frangibles.
Wear tight fitting clothes so they don’t catch in the hoop, and a pair of trainers. Start with the hoop against the small of your back, throw it round to start it rotating. Each time it passes your belly button, give it a push with your core muscles to keep it going. Keep your head up and your knees straight. Keep your core engaged to avoid back strain.
Here’s a few video top tips for basic hula hooping. Don’t expect to get it right first time, it is a knack!
Exercise hoops need to be weighted to give you a workout. Surprisingly, the heavier the hoop the easier it is to control because it will retain momentum. Hoops should weigh between 1 and 2kg, although beginners may want the lighter end. The hoop should reach roughly to your waist.
Look for a hoop that comes apart for storage. Some have ridges on the inside which makes the hoop easier to keep up, but too many ridges may give you some bruises.
Low impact, simple to use and cheap to buy – what’s not to like about hooping?
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I find the heavier the hula hoop is the easier it is to control and possibly give my body a better work out. I might often give ago while watching the TV. If you want to make your hula hoop session more challenging reverse the rotation. If you are used to doing it clockwise do it anti- clockwise.
they have them at my gym. I am going to brave the sniggers and give it a go, I see no reason why a man can't have a try at this.
A hula-mad friend gave us one to have and it was very large and heavy, but as this article says, that actually makes it easier to control. It's quite tricky to keep up but very addictive and definitely good for your stomach muscles.
it had never occurred to me that this was anything more than a kid's toy! I'll give it a try, looks fun.