Make Exercising Fun: 3 Ways to Get Fit with Hula Hooping
Believe it or not, the hula hoop has been around since 1958 and still manages to be culturally relevant. Growing up with the hula hoop, you may have only considered it a child’s toy. Something you tossed aside once you got older. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the immense comeback of the hula hoop.
This simple piece of plastic has become a fitness phenomenon, inspiring classes, instructional videos, and studies. Let’s take a look at the top 3 ways you can get fit with the hula hoop.
- Boosts Mobility
Using the hula hoop requires the use of your hip flexors, glutes, abdominals, obliques, lower back, and quadriceps. That circular motion you’ll be putting your muscles through will be ideal for creating a higher level of mobility.
If you are like most people, you’re sitting in a static position at your desk for 8 to 10 hours per day, every day. You probably don’t need to be told how terrible this can be for muscle length tension relationships. Muscles get tight while other muscles get weak. You lose mobility and flexibility. Luckily, the hula hoop can help to alleviate this.
- Cardio Day Substitute
Who actually enjoys churning out 45 to 60 minutes on the treadmill?
You know that you need to perform cardiovascular exercises but most of them can be downright boring. The hula hoop can be a great alternative to the treadmill. Even if you have no prior experience, the hula hoop is a skill you can quickly pick up and improve.
Once you get the basics down, you begin moving through more advanced positions and tricks, all of which support weight loss. Trade in the treadmill for the hula hoop and you may actually enjoy when the calendar reads, “Cardio Day.”
- Sculpt Your Core
Hands down, the best reason to get into hula hooping has everything to do with sculpting your core musculature. As you move the hula hoop, you are using all of your core muscles. Over time, this will help to strengthen these muscles. Studies have shown that hula hoop workouts also help to reduce waist size and girth. If sit-ups and crunches aren’t your thing then jump into the middle of a hula hoop.
Things to Consider
Are you a beginner?
- If so, the best thing you could do is visit a local fitness studio to learn how to hula hoop. Instructional videos are good but nothing beats the instruction from a live person.
Do you want the most bang for your buck?
- Invest in a weighted hula hoop. If you really want to see results in your core muscles, a weighted hula hoop provides you with the resistance and challenge you need.
Have prior issues with your hips or back?
- Hula hooping is very safe but it’s still a smart idea to check with your doctor before beginning any hula hooping program. Play it safe and get the go ahead from the guy or girl with the white coat.
Tell Us What You Think?
Have you embraced the hula hoop as a piece of exercise equipment?
What kind of results have you achieved?
Tell us about it in the comments section below!
McGill SM, Cambridge ED, Andersen JT. A six-week trial of hula hooping using a weighted hoop: effects on skinfold, girths, weight, and torso muscle endurance. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 May;29(5):1279-84. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000653.