Do you know how to Hula? Of all the cardio I’ve done over the years, hula hooping is by far the most fun.
I consider myself a Hoop Girl and I’ve been doing it for three years now: learning tricks slowly over time, jamming to tunes in my living room, hanging out with friends in a local park when it’s warm. Hula really is a great, social, and fun form of exercise.
And did you know hooping burns calories? It’s comparable to kickboxing and BootCamp classes! But how do you start?
How to Hula
I’ve had at least a dozen people tell me over the years they can’t do anything with a hoop. And I can usually get them up and running in five minutes with some basic waist spins. It all comes down to working with the hoop, not against it.
A Quick Breakdown
- Make sure you’re using a decent hoop!
Place the hoop on the ground and make sure the diameter hits somewhere between your pubic bone and your belly button. Bigger hoops are easier (a slower spin), smaller is harder, and yes, there are different sizes. The hoop should also have some flexibility to it, but not be too flimsy.
- Foot placement is important.
If you’re a righty, place your right foot forward; lefties, step your left foot forward. Some of you might decide you like a straddle stance better, in which case plant your feet to the sides, slightly wider than your hips.
- Find your anchor point.
Place the hoop at waist height, pressed gently into the small of your back.
- Next comes the twist.
If you are a righty, twist your torso to the right (lefties go left). Keep your dominant hand on the hoop. Push the hoop around you with your dominant hand, pushing towards your belly button. Let go quickly.
- Finally: NO ELVIS HIPS!
Here’s the tricky part: don’t swivel your hips in a circle Elvis-style! Instead, shift your weight back and forth on your feet and let the hoop glide around you.
Voila! You’re hooping!
Hooping Videos to Check Out
Once you’re done giggling and you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll want to try new challenges. That’s when I suggest a little tour of YouTube. There are a ton of great hooping videos out there, and you can learn lots of tricks by watching others who are better than you show you how. This is mostly how I learned to hoop, although I have also taken a couple of classes locally and picked moves up from other hoopers at parks.
First here’s mine!
“Love the Process” which is about learning how to hula
“In her Groove” … I just love this hoop video; it’s a beautiful song and beautiful work by her
- Fatboy Slim
Yes, the producer/DJ has a very fun hooping video for his song, “That Old Pair of Jeans”
- The Hooping Life Trailer
Yes, there’s a documentary film on hula hooping
Yes, we call ourselves hoopers … and we have cool T-shirts too. :-)
Let me know if you’ve tried hooping or if you’d like to try it. You can read all about my early adventures of being a Hoop Girl; it truly is fun. And once you get past the novice level, here are some tips for intermediate hooping fun.