The hula hoop may have had its heyday in the 1950s, but thanks to renewed interest from fitness-focused families, hooping is hip again. Fans note that the low-impact sport strengthens core muscles, fosters coordination, and best of all, is fun. To get you started, here are some tips.
- Choose the right hoop. Bigger and heavier are
better for beginners. A good rule of thumb: when held perpendicular to the
ground, the hoop should come up to at least the user’s belly button. Also look
for a heavier hoop made from 3/4-inch tubing.
Find the rhythm. Contrary to popular belief, you
don’t move your hips in a circle to keep a hoop spinning. It’s actually a
rocking motion. (A)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and one foot slightly in front of the
other. Hold the hoop and practice rocking your hips from front to back.
Alternatively, stand with your feet parallel and rock your hips from side to
Stand with the hoop resting against your lower back and pulled slightly toward
the back foot. (C) Rock out: quickly whip the hoop in the direction of your
front foot while rocking your hips.
- Listen to music. Hooping is rhythmic in nature,
so playing music with a moderately fast beat can help new hoopers master the
- Take a break. If your hoop is spending more
time around your ankles than your hips, try hand-hooping instead: spin the hoop
around your hand horizontally overhead or in a vertical position at your side.
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