Hooping Fitness, Hoop Dancing & How to Hula Hoop

Jessica Matthews, ACE Continuing Education Coordinator: Today we’re going to introduce you to an activity that’s fun, playful, and can add great variety to your current workout routine. Hooping has been around for years, but as it’s gained in popularity, it’s been taken to a new level. Hooping can strengthen the core, improve balance, and, if done for an extended period of time, can serve as a great aerobic workout. So, to learn more about hooping, today we have with us Unity, who’s going to tell us a little bit about the basics of how to get started if you’re new to hooping, and also tell us about hooping classes, because there are classes out there, right, that you can go to? Valentine “Unity” Martin, www.unityhoops.com: Yeah, definitely. I teach classes here in San Diego, and there’s actually classes all over the country and all over the world. Jessica: And what is; what exactly happens in a hooping class. Is it usually an hour long? Unity: Yeah, mine are an hour every week, and we pretty much start, like any normal dance or fitness class, with stretching and warming up, and then we go over some basic movements that you can do with the hula hoop. You know: basic hooping around the waist, or using your arms, your hands, or even your legs to hula hoop. Jessica: Awesome! And so you mentioned, you teach here in San Diego. And, now, if you’re in another part of the country is there a way to find classes in your area? Unity: Hooping.org is a really good resource, and there’s a section where you can click on your own city and find instructors and ways to buy hoops in that city. Jessica: And that’s exactly what I was going to ask, too, about choosing a hoop. So, if I’m someone who’s new to hooping and I want to start hooping at home, how do I know what kind of hoop to choose? Is there different types of hoop, the sizes. Can you tell us a little bit about how to pick one? Unity: Yeah, definitely. As an adult and a beginner to hoop dance, you definitely want to start out with a handmade, weighted hoop that’s a large size: anywhere from 38 to 42 inches in diameter. And you want to make sure that it has this grip tape on it right here, because it’s gonna really help you. It’s gonna grip to your skin and your clothes. Jessica: OK. And now, in terms of a height, too, is there a way to determine if this is the right size for me, like can I hold it up against me and do it? Unity: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Around the belly button is good, but it can go anywhere; up to here around this area is good. Jessica: OK. And you mentioned the weighted hoop, too, because I’ve heard about that. So, is a weighted hoop actually easier or harder for someone who’s new to hooping? Unity: It’s actually easier, contrary to what you might believe, because it moves slowly around you, since it’s weighted. It’s gonna move really slow. The light, small hoops for kids; those move really fast. Jessica: And so if I want to get started, I’m hooping at home and I’ve bought my hoop, I’ve followed your instructions, what are, kind of, some basic how-to’s of how to just get the hoop to start moving around my body? Unity: Definitely. You want to try it out? Jessica: Yeah! Unity: OK, cool. Let’s try it. So, when you hold it on your waist, you want it to touch your lower back. Good. And you want to activate your stomach muscles, so really concentrate on your stomach. You’re gonna put one foot in front of the other one and you’re going to wind up and give it a good push as you rock back and forth. Jessica: And anything with the arms in particular, or just kind of maintain that balance? Unity: Yeah, definitely just; I like to keep some really good posture. Stay lifted, and just hold my arms out and keep it nice and graceful. You’re doing great. Jessica: And, so, really I’m kind of finding it’s more of a forward and back motion as opposed to what I’d think is more of a circular-type motion. Unity: Yeah, definitely. Most people want to try making little circles with their hips, but actually you really just have to rock back and forth from your front to your back foot. Jessica: Awesome! And so this is some great, basic information on how-to, but I know, of course, you’re the expert, so there’s some other things we can do besides just keeping the hoop around our waist. Unity: Yeah, definitely. You can move it all over. Jessica: And if you could, we’d love to see some, you know; some variations of, you know, if I start practicing hooping, what are some progressions that I can go through to master some of those different moves which you mentioned earlier? Unity: So, we have Arabella here who’s gonna help me demonstrate some basic hoop movements. We’re gonna start with the hoop on our waist, touching your lower back. Good. You’re gonna activate your stomach muscles. Wind up. Give it a good push and a rock forward and back. Nice. OK. One thing that I really like to do while I hoop is turn in a circle in the same direction my hoop is going in. So let’s give that a shot. Turning with your hoop helps with momentum, so it’s gonna help the hoop stay up. Good. Now we’re gonna do the introduction to the vortex, which is picking the hoop up from the waist and having it above our head here on our hand. So, we’re gonna turn while we do that. Here we go. Nice. Hand hooping is a really good way to work out all your arm muscles. We’re gonna give it a couple of switches here above our head. Awesome. OK. Now we’re gonna put the hoop back onto our waist. Turning while we do this is also another key to making it happen. So here we go. Oh! Don’t worry if you drop it. It’s gonna happen a lot in the beginning. Good job, OK. Let’s try some different ways to hoop on our hands here. We’re gonna do it in the vertical plane in front of our body. And you definitely want to make sure that you’re putting the hoop in between your thumb and your finger when you’re hooping on your hand. Then you can use your other hand to push it around. Good. There we go. Thank you. Jessica: So, Arabella, you’re a certified fitness professional. What do you like about hooping? Arabella: I love it. It’s a great, easy workout that I can do in the comfort of my own living room while watching my favorite TV show. Or I could throw in my favorite music and just dance-hoop around the room. Jessica: And so hooping is something that you do as part of your regular workout routine? Arabella: Definitely. It’s a great core workout; full-body workout. I burn up to 350 calories per hour, and it’s so much fun. Jessica: And how did you get started with hooping? Arabella: I just saw some girls performing and fell in love with it, thought I’d give it a try, started attending class. At first it was a little difficult, but every week it gets more fun and more challenging and it becomes an even better workout. Jessica: Hooping is a great example of how to have fun while getting your body moving, which is what exercise is all about. For information about instructors and classes in your area, visit Hooping.org, and for more health and fitness information, be sure to visit acefitness.org.

100 thoughts on “Hooping Fitness, Hoop Dancing & How to Hula Hoop

  1. How odd, as a kid I was never any good but as an adult I'm so much better. It's great and really gets your heart going if you do it for 40mins+.

  2. It looks gross to have your belly button hanging out, even if you have a pretty flat stomach. Other than that, good moves.

  3. It looks gross to have your belly button hanging out, even if you have a pretty flat stomach. Other than that, good moves.

  4. I want to know what is the name of the cd in this video,, I love the beat , relaxing and perfect for hooping or yoga,, please respond asap..thanks

  5. @Diduforget15 A trick I've found helps is to go into lasso and turn once in the opposite direction, helps you straighten out! 🙂

  6. @linette321 have you tried a weighted hoop? They are a lot easier than the childrens ones. Don't tense up when you're hooping, just relax and let your knees limp up.

  7. I have this awesome trick that see's the hoop go from the arm to the leg. So you start off with it round your hand, slowly lay on the floor, then switch from arm to leg. It's difficult to reverse it, but it feels great for your leg muscles.

  8. haha that pink hula hoop the host has i used during my first (and only because it was a visit to the area) class! cool 😀

  9. @aglacanilao hey have you seen taletadong pinoy – the one with astroboy? He's here in the philippines and he teaches hooping in quezon city and the fort.

  10. I have to ask you a question.. I am about to start gymnastics class.. I'm 13 years old.. And one of my friends told me that gymnasts usually have small breasts, and they can't have kids.. :'/ is that true????? Please, responde, i'm realy scared.. ♥

  11. @Agent007998 I am 21 years old and I have seen A LOT of gymnasts in my lifetime. I can tell you that it is NOT true that gymnasts have small breasts and can't have kids. Those things about your body have nothing to do with whether or not you are into gymnastics. Gymnastics are actually very good for you! I hate to tell you this but truthfully, your friend is probably jealous that you get to take a gymnastics class and she doesn't. Everything will be fine! Hope this helps. ~Lauren

  12. @Agent007998 Well, breasts are made of fatty tissue, so if you're very thin then you probably wont have very big breasts (there are rare exeptions) But you will still be in fantastic shape, and thats better than being in poor shape, just so your breasts can be a bit larger. It was dumb of your friends to say that to you, like the other girl said, it sounds like they are jealous & a bit catty. Real friends should be proud of you & supportive. (PS. some men like small breasts)

  13. @Agent007998 Also, my Aunt who was stick thin at the time, had 3 kids, and her daughter who is also stick thin had a baby too. (They are naturally thin, and not unhealthy)

  14. @Warriorcat07 She is a belly dancer. 🙂 She does belly dancing with her hula hooping and it looks really really beautiful! ^-^

  15. @itscat92 Eh, she's thirteen. I know you're trying to help but I think most of what you're talking about is not yet relevant for her. 'sides from that, you are totally right.

  16. Yeah I know ideally kids that age shouldnt be worried about that stuff, but alot of them do anyway. I was going to mention the whole "wait untill your older thing", but I just figured she's probably heard it from so many people already. Plus there is limited space in these boxes, so its sometimes hard to word things properly and make them fit. When I mentioned that some guys like small breasts & the thing about giving birth, I did mean for when she's older.

  17. Yeah, I was wondering about that. Because, well, I have quite the belly (urgh, can one say it like that?) and my muscles in that area are not very powerful or anything. I've always been at least chubby, so I was wondering if that was why I wasn't able to hoop in elementary school. Never tried it since, but maybe I'll give it another go. It doesn't seem as much fun as skipping rope though. 😀

  18. Well these people use bigger hoops than the ones you would have had in elementary school. They say that the bigger the hoop, the easier it is to use & only advanced people use the light tiny ones. Its because the bigger the hoop, the slower it spins around you, and is easy to control. They also say to do a rocking back and forth motion, instead of spinning your waist in a circle. Hope that helps.

  19. I'm chubby (5'6 and 166 pounds) and I'm a hoop dancer 🙂 Also, I have a girl friend who is over 200 pounds and she hula hoops quite well and can do a couple tricks. It took her a while to get the motion down, though. It's an AMAZING exercise, and I would definitely recommend it! 🙂

  20. I LOVE what she is wearing! I got my 1st hoop, made by my best friend, a couple of weeks ago and I can't get enough hooping!! SOOO much fun and a great workout.

  21. This is a great video, if you want to learn a fun workout with the hoop i've got one on my channel, it's just 10 minutes long and great for beginners 🙂

  22. great! it took me about an hour of constant trying to get one to stay around my waist, and about.. 3-ish weeks to get it to stay around my shoulders. I had a 38" PEX hoop I made with electrical tape for grip. Just keep trying, and what can help is to just keep trying with either small breaks, or even a day between attempts. Turning with it helps so very much as well. Some people it takes months to get it.

  23. Good grief I am so excited to learn how much calories you can do hula hooping. I have been doing it so much and wasn't sure if I was getting any benefits. So excited to know it is actually good for me. Thanks ladies! You are all beautiful!

  24. This is an amazing good video. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us. I am new to hula hooping and I have not make it yet. I usually do not give up. But it has been a week and I was only able to do two circular motions around my waist without it falling down. How much I need to keep it fix and still ? Thak You.

  25. Hi 🙂
    I just started 🙂
    Do you hoop only in one direction? I am trying in both but I am not very good from left to right.

  26. One more thing – I wached many videos but never saw anyone moving like Valentina. She moves like water! Very elegant 🙂

  27. Start with the basic moves until you feel comfortable, then step up to more advanced ones, mixing and matching for your own personal head-to-toe tone-up. Do any combination of moves for 30 minutes (you’ll burn 150 to 250 calories per workout) three times a week for four weeks and you’ll lose 3 to 6 inches all over your body. Yep, belly included!

  28. I keep thinking they are saying pooping…
    Like she said I'm going to do hooping at home
    Me: wait did she say Im pooping at home

  29. it keeps falling!! it only ever stys up for about 5-10 seconds. i tried rocking back and forth but it falls even faster now! 🙁 what am i doing wrong?

  30. uirements and TIPS for HULA HOOPING :
    1) Be Hot or leave
    2) Be Hot or forget hooping
    3) Be skinny
    4) Skills are not necessary as long as you can hoop, only skill needed is being able to hoop.
    5) Don't imagine much
    6) More hula hoops at one time make you better.
    7) Wear as less clothes as possible
    8) Be Hot or follow number (6) diligently
    9) Keep turning around and smiling at people, they cannot ignore you then.
    10) Did I say more hula hoops at one time?!
    11) Please be hot.
    12) The only new hoop trick you need is none.
    13) Be sensual and sexual.

    There you go. 13 Tips on being the best HULA HOOPER.

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