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How to Hula Hoop

Published: 19 Jan 2013

A Beginners Guide to Hula Hooping

So what is the big deal about Hula Hooping? Distant memories of spinning the circular piece of plastic around your waist as a child in the playground come to mind, however Hula Hooping is the latest fitness craze promising to firm your abs, help you lose weight and build your confidence. Can this really be true?

Well just take a glimpse into the Hoop world and you will meet an army of friendly faced people all spinning the day-glo plastic Hoop having the time of their lives, leaving the stresses of life behind as they get into their flow.

Hooping is for everyone, no matter your size, shape or age if you are looking for a fun, social way to keep in shape or to build your confidence then Hooping is for you. It also seems to be addictive. A healthy addicton!

Hooping takes practice and patience but once you have mastered it, it's like riding a bike so once your muscle memory has formed you are off!

So where do you start?

First of all you will need a Hoop, not a child sized one you buy in the toy shop or local supermarket. Unless you are a child you are never going to get anywhere, especially if you are a beginner, and you will probably give up!

You need to get an Adult Sized Hoop.

There are many online stores you can buy a Hoop from, your local Hoop Class Instructor will be able to point you in the right direction of the perfect size for your body type, however the general rule of thumb is the larger the Hoop the slower it will rotate and the easier it will be to maintain around your waist.

A larger Hoop is perfect for beginners as it will rotate slower, making it easier to get started.

If you stand with the hoop in front of you it should stand between your hips and your chest depending and how easy you want to make it for yourself.

A smaller hoop will rotate faster, which will be more of a challenge and can be used for tricks once you have mastered basic Hooping.

Start Hooping

Once you have your hoop it's time to get started.

Don't worry it's not as scary as you think and if you have a little patience and perseverance you will soon be Hooping like a pro.

Get in the Hoop, stand up straight shoulders down, Pelvis tucked under, feet slightly apart, or one foot in front of the other, with one hand on each side of the hoop near your waist, hold the Hoop horizontally making sure its flat and touching the small of your back.

Push the hoop evenly around your waist, shifting your weight back and forth in time with the hoop as it spins to keep the momentum going.

Remember to keep your feet on the ground as you push your waist back and forth.

Don't worry it can take some time to master this.

If the hoop drops, bend down, pick it up and start again. Remember every time you drop the hoop it's like doing a squat. Even when you're not getting it quite right you're still exercising. EVERY DROPS A SQUAT!

Some people find it easier to Hoop side to side. Use the same method as above however instead of pushing back and forth every time the hoop rotates; push side to side on your hips as the hoop passes.

Keep your hands and elbows above the hoop, it helps to lengthen your arms out to the side to avoid hitting your elbows and stop you lookinf tike a T-REX!

That's it, you should now be Hooping. With time and practice the Hoop will stay up longer and you will be able to progress onto the more advanced moves.

Having trouble?

Are you moving your hips in a circular motion?

You may be moving your hips in a circular motion with the hoop without realising it. Many people start Hooping this way and find it very difficult to Hoop. So try and take note, if you are moving your hips in a circular motion try pushing forwards and backwards or side to side with your feet on the floor.

Put one foot in front of the other

If you are still finding it hard to Hoop try placing one foot in front of the other and shift your weight back and forth. You are looking for a pumping or rocking motion rather than a circular motion with your hips.

Be patient

Not everyone is going to Hoop like a pro the first time they try, some people get it; some people just need a little bit more time. It can take a little while to get the hang of it so don't give up, just pick the hoop up and try again. You'll be Hooping in no time.

Find a local Hoop Teacher

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