hooping for exercise (part 2)

Im so excited to have Jo back again and this time she’s teaching us how to git our hoops MOVING!

How can you get into the spin?

Last week I told you all about my own hooping journey and went through some of the awesome benefits of hula hooping. Now it’s time to get into the spin yourself!

1) Get a hoop

It’s easy to make your own hoop very cheaply or you can buy one online or at the store. Make sure you get an adult sized hoop (36 inch diameter or bigger) NOT a kid’s hoop – ideally your hoop should come up to your hip bone when it’s standing up. The bigger the hoop, the slower it moves and so the easier it is to keep up.

2) Get it spinning

To get it spinning on your waist, stand up straight with your feet hip distance apart. Squeeze the muscles in your legs, butt and abs. Hold the hoop on your lower back so it’s parallel to the floor and give is a strong push around your stomach. You can start pushing forwards and backwards as the hoop comes around, or try a side to side push.

To save the hoop if it starts falling, you can squat down with your back straight (as if you were sitting on a chair), and stand back up, pushing the hoop the whole time.

Make sure you hoop equally in both clockwise and counter clockwise, to work your muscles evenly (even though one direction will feel much stranger than the other!).

3) Learn some tricks

Hooping ain’t just about the waist any more, there are thousands of tricks and moves you can do with your new hoop, both on the body and off.

Classes are a great way to learn what you can do with your hoop and get personal feedback. But if no one is teaching near you, or if you can’t afford classes right now, Youtube has thousands of free tutorials like these.

4) Be kind to yourself

And remember, hooping can take a bit of time to get the hang of. Be kind to yourself. Know that every bit of practice will make you a better hooper – it’s all going into your muscle memory even if it feels like you’re not getting it.

So smile when your hoop drops to the ground, laugh when your hoop flings off into the neighbours yard and wear your hoop bruises with pride (and with Arnica cream),

Can you help me spread the joy of hooping to kids in refugee camps?

I’m heading to the Thai/Burma border in January to work with children in refugee camps, teaching them circus skills, bringing them toys, performing silly routines to make them laugh and just generally giving them a bit of a childhood.  I would appreciate any donations you could make. For more information, check out www.livelovehoop.com/spark

Your views

I’d love to hear what you have to say about hula hooping! Want to give it a go? Already a spinner? Got any questions or need some trouble shooting advice? Post a comment and I’ll help you out!

Love and hoopiness to you all,



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  1. says

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE hooping. It all started almost a year ago with a skinny little hoop I got at the grocery store “just for kicks”. From there, I was on my way. I did some searching online and learned that I could make my own hoops. I started hooping every day, making hoops for myself, for friends and family. I just couldn’t stop. I even started learning some tricks. I’ve searched around to find classes near me, but so far, no luck.

    I’ve even blogged about my hooping and my one and only video on my blog was me hooping. I had to giggle when I read your post about the hoop flying into the neighbor’s yard. But it’s fun AND good exercise. How can you beat that, right?


  2. says

    Okay- so I love hula hooping! I bought a weighted hoop last summer and was thrilled to add it to my exercise regimen. The only problem was that I had a tummy tuck in 2009 and the hula hoop hits the scars on the sides and hurts. :( Any suggestions on how to get my hula on with the scars?

    • says

      I do! Try going to your local Home Depot or Lowes and get some pipe insulation, enough to go around the hoop. It’s split down the side so you can just insert your hoop into it. That should help. I know that when I was learning how to move the hoop up from my waist to my chest, I ended up with pretty bad bruises on my shoulder blades. So using the foam around the hoop really helped.

  3. says

    After Part I, I got out the old kids’ hoop that’s been sitting around here for over ten years. I can still do it around my waist, but I’ve always been a counter-clockwise hooper; I just can’t get it going in the other direction! I also tried it on my arms and legs, which is way harder than it looks.

  4. says

    What a great thing you are doing spreading this to refugee camps & putting smiles on people’s faces!

    I was a hula hoop champ as a kid so I must try again. A great way to get some exercise the fun way as Miz always wants us to do! :-)

  5. says

    I am so excited that Hooping is catching on. I have been taking Hoop classes for over a year and recently taught my first class : ) A class is so much fun. The fast music, a bunch of laughing women, and just the act of grown women hula hooping is so ridiculous that you don’t even realize how much exercise you are getting.
    I would try to encourage people to hoop through the bruises though. After the initial bruising goes away it doesn’t seem to happen again.
    I have had so much fun with this and want to thank you for spreading the word!

  6. says

    I gave up on the actual hooping part. Now I just call them swivel-swivel-squats. Perhaps not quite as effective, but yes, good for laughs and giggles…and quad/glute action with all those squats. :)

  7. says

    I could never get a hoop to stay up – but it looks like I was always trying to go too fast??

    I’ll have to give these tips a try.

  8. says

    I was a hooping queen as a child. I should get one in the spring. I’ll hoop for the kids while looking like a total azz (in their glorious opinion). It’ll be fun… seriously.