Hooping is the fitness craze that’s sweeping the country and taking hold of celebrities. Everyone seems to be grabbing a hoop after discovering that the fun twirling toy also doubles as a fantastic fitness tool.
Celebrities have discovered that twirling the hips to rotate the hoop also helps in weight loss and toning the core. Kelly Osbourne openly professed her happiness with the hoop and its role in helping her keep off her 70-pound weight loss.
What’s the hoop mania all about? And how can one simple plastic toy have so much fitness potential?
The hooping secret is actually weights—or weighted hoops. When twirling hoops for fitness, most avid hoopers use weighted hoops. The weights not only help make it easier to control the hoop, but they also provide resistance during workouts.
While twirling a simple plastic light hoop from the dollar store might be fun, it likely won’t help tone or burn serious calories. The studies that investigated hooping fitness potential all studied hoopers who utilized weighted hoops. And the results were crazy!
According to a study conducted by researchers for the American Council on Exercise (ACE), hooping with a weighted hoop burns seven calories a minute or 210 calories per half hour. Researchers also discovered that hooping also provided a great cardio workout and were pleasantly shocked by the effect hooping had on the heart rate.
John Porcari, Ph.D., one of the lead researchers for the study, stated in an ACE article announcing the results that hooping was as beneficial to the body as other forms of exercise.
“Hooping compares pretty favorably with most other group classes, in terms of heart rate and calorie burn,” he said in an ACE article about the study.
For new hoopers, there are numerous ways to introduce the hoop into a fitness routine. The simplest way, of course, is to purchase a lightly weighted hoop and learn the basics. Rotating the hoop around the waist is easy to learn, but it takes some practice. With the weighted hoop, however, the hoop will be easier to control.
Moving the hoop is all about the hips. Everyone might hoop a bit differently, so the key is to just figure out how to keep the hoop moving. Once the body has mastered the art of the hoop twirl, more difficult moves can be attempted and mastered.
Hoop aficionado Deanne Love provides great tutorials on YouTube for those who want to learn different hoop moves and even more basic hoop skills. She also provides workout tutorials for hoop fitness instruction.
For those who have perfected the art of the hoop, opt for challenging movements. Avid hoopers have mastered the rotation skills and can begin to move hoops in groups around the waist and hips. Twirling two or more hoops at once gives the body an insane workout. Hoop dance also is a popular way to add fun to hoop fitness, and it’s a skill that can impress at music festivals like Ultra and Coachella.
With the winter weather hitting hard in so many areas of the country, hooping also is a great way to stay in shape when going outside just isn’t an option. And learning the basics—and beyond—of hooping shines a bit of lighthearted joy and upbeat attitude to days that might be just a tad boring and blah.
Hooping is fun fitness that’s become the latest and greatest way to move and stay in shape. Celebrities swear by the hoop, and even Queen Bey uses the hula hoop to move the hips. So grab a hoop and enjoy the body benefits of a hooping!