Fitness (Video Link): Exercise Hooping for Fitness

Fitness (Video Link):
Exercise Hooping for Fitness

Dick Moss

Hooping is a form of exercise that combines hula-hooping, rhythmic gymnastics, dance and aerobics. It has also been called Hulaerobics, hoopdance, exercise hooping and dance hooping.

When performed by experts, it's a form of dance. But its real potential for physical educators is as a fun aerobic activity that will strengthen the legs, arms, upper body, and especially the abs and lower back.

Even people with no sense of rhythm can hoopdance, because as the hoop spins, it establishes a 1-2 rhythm that must be maintained in order to keep the hoop moving.

Some Basic Hoopdance Moves
To get started, keep the pelvis tucked in, give the hoop a spin with both hands, then move the hips forward and backward. Push the hoop when it touches your stomach and your back to keep the hoop spinning.

      Some basic hoopdance moves include:
  • Using the momentum of the spinning hoop, insert your hand and lift it upwards over your head. Then spin hoops around one upraised hand, or both hands held with palms together
  • Moving the arms while spinning the hoop around the waist or chest. For example, up and down, to the side back and forth, etc.
  • Spinning the hoop around the torso while hopping, lifting one leg then the other, or performing the running-man move.
  • All types of dance and aerobics moves and footwork while spinning the hoop. A basic might be the grapevine cross-step.
  • Spinning the hoop around an arm in a vertical or horizontal hoop direction.
  • Spinning with the arms inside or outside of the hoop.

Like most things, hoops have gone high-tech. Commercial hoopdance hoops now provide better grip, and, because they are heavier (about 1.5 pounds), better momentum when they spin.

A company called Hoopnotica is a supplier of such hoops. Most models range from $40 to $50, and include portable travel versions.

However, you may already have a storage room-full of traditional hula hoops. While the old plastic versions may not be as easy to use, they should still work for occasional aerobics classes. And you may even be able to make hoops on your own. For example, if you watch the "Child Demonstration" video linked below, you'll see an accomplished young girl who practices with homemade hoops.

Video Examples
Here are links to some excellent demonstration videos. You can see some fun hooping moves put to music.

Child Demonstration
To see an example of what a younger child (8-10, I'm, guessing) can accomplish with a hoop, see the following video. Apparently, this young girl normally practices with 31": diameter hoops made from 1/2" irrigation tubing. //;feature=related

Hoopnotica's YouTube Channel
This link will take you to a number of excellent hooping videos, including some demonstrations of both basic and advanced techniques. //

Other Websites
Hoopnotica also has a website, where you can purchase equipment, instructional videos and see a demonstration video: also has a website. 
So does Hula Hooping Headquarters. ;
There's even a hooping blog.

Nope - I'm not making any money by providing links to Hoopnotica. I just thought they were a good resource.

1. Caroline Tell, "Hoops: Working Out Takes Circular Route," New York Times, 2013
2. Rayna McInturf, "What's All the Hoop-la?" American Fitness, January/February 2008.


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