If you’ve been reading the last couple of weeks you will know that I have a new obsession – hula hooping!

Photo of Marawa's Majorettessource

I started hula hooping a couple of weeks ago after having a chat with my work colleagues and discovering that we all fancied having a go! We decided to bring in a tutor for a session with us, and ever since we’ve been hooked. I just love everything about it!

Hula hooping has some great benefits:

  • It is a really fun form of gentle exercise
  • It can help shape your waist
  • It can help to strengthen the core muscles
  • It can support an increase in body confidence – once you have the hang of it, hooping is sexy!

Apparently it can also burn 100 calories every 10 minutes, although I don’t think I worked up enough of a sweat for that to be the case!

Hula hooping at the Big Chill festivalsource – this great article all about the reassurgance of hooping

I’ve only been doing it for a couple of weeks, but already I’ve picked up some tips…

Make sure you get the right size hoop. We started off trying to hoop with a small, plastic, children’s hoop and it was a disaster. Beginners find it easier with a larger hoop as it gives you more time to move your body, as the hoop circles you. I also personally found that I do better with a slightly weighted hoop.

In terms of size, we were advised that the hoop, when standing, should reach to between your belly button and under your chest. On me (I’m 5’6) that is about 40 inches in diameter.

We ended up buying this hoop from Tesco, which does a great job, but I want something a bit more colourful!

To start off with, I found that standing with my feet hip distance apart with one slightly further forward and then ‘rocking’ foot to foot (front to back, rather than side to side) as the hoop goes round, worked to get going. Then once I mastered just keeping the hoop up, I practiced ‘rescuing’ it as it falls (great workout for the thighs!) From there I tried using two hoops at once, squatting while hooping, walking while hooping, spinning the hoop around my head and then chucking it on and hooping…whew, I’m tried just reading that!

IMG_4206

I’m still in shock that I have been able to pick it up fairly easily. I am not a great dancer, workouts like Zumba are a nightmare for me, so if I can manage this you can!

You do need space to be able to hoop safely. I can just about do it in my living room, and we use the training room in our office at work. I’ve been taking regular breaks and hooping for about 10 – 15 minutes at a time. We have even had meetings while hooping!

You can find lots of videos online that show you how to get started and some more tips and tricks. All I would say is give it a try, it only took me about 10 minutes to get the hang of it, and within 2 weeks I’m able to do more complex tricks.

We have all said that we can feel the benefits, my colleagues feel like their waists are more toned and they have improved core strength. I definitely feel like my waist is a little trimmer!

Marawa the Amazing is cool and her free app shows you how to get started with hooping. I also got loads of tips from my fab girls on Twitter @SugarKinesis and @inmywindow who recommended Peachy Steve for hoops – I’m definitely after a sparkly fun one!

Have you ever tried hula hooping?