Hula Hoop Fitness Video: How to Get a Flat Stomach

Hula Hoop Fitness Video

When I first heard about fitness hula-hooping I thought it was a total joke. It sounded like something straight from an infomercial. I also thought it would be impossible to do! However, hula hooping is a surprisingly easy to learn and also highly effective method for staying physically fit (not to mention it’s way more fun than most other exercises!) I especially like it because it provides a fabulous no-impact “feel good” cardio workout.

Break Through a Fitness Plateau

Hooping is definitely a skill you have to learn, but the learning process actually burns a lot of calories. Anytime you switch to a new activity, especially one that causes an inefficiency of movement (such as learning to hula hoop!) you’ll burn a lot more calories than you will by doing your same old exercise routine. For example, if you currently power walk for fitness and you suddenly take up hula-hooping (or ballroom dancing, swimming, etc) you’ll be able to break through a fitness plateau and take your current state of fitness to a whole new level.

Learning to Hoop is Something EVERYONE Can Do

Like me, you probably still recall the hula hooping contests from your childhood. Not sure if you were any good or not? I for one was downright terrible at hooping. I vividly remember being ultra competitive and very athletic yet still barely able to keep the hoop up! My not-so-impressive childhood hooping talents made me very suspicious as to how my now 34-year old body would ever be able to pick up a skill I couldn’t even do 20 years ago. But, after having major hip surgery (for a genetic problem called femoral acetabular impingement and also an acetabular labral tear) my regular fitness program was put on hold a few years ago. I had to totally revamp my workout; even power walking stresses my hip if I do it for more than about 30 minutes. After hip surgery the main cardio exercise my orthopedic surgeon wanted me to do to rehab my hip was stationary biking. I can sum my experience with that activity up in one word: BORING. I am not particularly a fan of biking to nowhere on a tiny uncomfortable little seat that hurts my butt.

Hooping for exercise was suggested to me by a real estate agent friend after she heard me complaining about how much I loathed stationary biking. She said hooping was tons of fun and a fabulous workout. I’ll be honest, the only reason I decided to give it a whirl was because she looked like she was in fabulous shape and she insisted all she did was hoop for fitness. Fine, hand me over the hoop. (I’ve since learned super fit celebrities including Marisa Tomei and Liv Tyler also love hooping!)

Any Old Hoop Won’t Work: You Need a Special “Sports” Hoop

I was told I needed a special “sports” hoop that was much larger than the typical kiddy hoop I had tried in the past. The “sports” hoop also had to be slightly weighted (using this type of “sports” hoop actually makes hooping a lot easier from a mechanical standpoint.) I went online and bought my very first “sports” hoop from Hoopnotica .

The hoop arrived and sure enough I was a terrible hooper. My ultra fit real estate friend came dashing over to give me some lessons. My competitive side started to emerge as I stood there trying over and over and over again just to keep the hoop up. I was becoming increasingly frustrated as the real estate agent hooped circles around me. After multiple attempts I FINALLY learned the secret was to pump my hips forward and backward in a controlled fashion (you can watch this motion in the video) as opposed to flailing my hips around in a huge out of control circle. Once I “got it” I was hooked. My heart rate started to increase, I felt zero pain in my hip, I was having lots of fun, my abdominal muscles were engaged and I was clearly getting a fabulous workout…which blew rehab stationary biking out of the water.

For a few weeks all I wanted to do was hoop. My son learned along with me and we were hooping it up everywhere, at the beach, at the park, in our living room, etc. I then got the idea to use the hoop as a tool for a variety of other exercises.

Hula Hoop Fitness:

The Hoopnastics Workout Program

Hula Hoop Fitness Video stretching

Shortly after learning to hoop, I created a workout program called “Hoopnastics” fusing legendary fitness techniques from ballet, rhythmic gymnastics, pilates and yoga into a fun and action-packed workout using nothing more than a “sports” hoop. I started teaching my classes in Palm Beach County and got news coverage from WPTV and WPBF and several local magazines. The Hoopnastics Workout program is an interval training workout that includes hula-hooping for short 3-minute intense cardio-bursts. The first part of the workout looks something like this:

  • 3 minutes hooping “cardio burst”
  • 3 minutes standing ballet inspired toning exercises (using the hoop as a “bar)
  • 3 minutes hooping “cardio burst”
  • 3 minutes standing yoga inspired toning exercises (using the hoop)
  • 3 minutes hooping “cardio burst” plyometric sequence
  • 3 minutes lying down pilates-inspired abdominal exercises (using hoop as a prop)

The Basics of How To Get Fit with a Hula-Hoop Workout

In the weeks to come I will share some more exercises from my Hoopnastics Workout Method. In the meantime, I’ve included a video that will show you the basics of how to keep the hoop up. Once you can keep the hoop up you can do a variety of movement patterns as part of the “cardio burst” intervals. In the video I demonstrate just a few of the patterns you can do, but there are tons more! Stay tuned for more hooping exercises coming soon…Happy Hooping!! =)

PHOTO CREDIT: DEBBY GANS PHOTOGRAPHY

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Comments

  1. Awesome post.Thanks Again. Cool.

  2. Hi,

    I think the 5-pound weighted hoop might be too heavy to start (actually, it’s probably too heavy even for an experienced exerciser). I would suggest getting a lighter hoop. I especially like the ones my http://www.Hoopnotica.com

    Hope this helps?

  3. I love doing it. I bought a 5 pound weighted hoop, the only problem is I can’t do it for long periods of time because it hurts my sides so bad. What can I do to help tha?. It’s not a muscle pain…it’s like the weight is beating me in the sides. Thanks for anyone’s input!

  4. Very good post with many interesting information! I can’t say that I completely agree with all that you have suggested here, but there are several critical suggestions you have emphasized that can be very usable on natural health and related topics. Please keep providing more ideas on this topic and associated topics, as there are quite a few folks who are working to evaluate the ups and downs.

  5. thanks Annette ;)

  6. Very good post! Finally someone who knows how it’s all about and may give exellent content to us visitors.Really getting excited about the following physical fitness write-up.Annette

  7. Will do! Thanks Avery =)

  8. Thanks for posting this awesome article. View my own!

  9. nice post. thanks.

  10. Great post and website! I have bookmarked it and will check back ofter. I also linked you to my site.

  11. Hi guys, im more of a runner, love being fit but would like more muscle,good solid info

  12. great job on the article. Bookmarked for future use. Thanks!

  13. hi Kathryn!

    Right now the class is full as I am the only 1 teaching it. I’m considering doing a video though soon. In meantime, free to contact Marissa Lysaght at http://www.FitnessReDefined.com as she has some other amazing classes (including a barre workout) that can help you break out of a plateau. I’ve done a few videos with Marissa on my blog too…check them out! Hope this helps? Please let me know if you need any additional suggestions…

  14. So how do we take this class??? Is it offered? Sorry…I’m confused….

    Or do you have a workout video? Is that how to take this class?

    It looks fun! And I’ve definitely gotten stuck with the final push to remove baby fat from my belly. Everything else is toning up nicely…the belly is the hardest to get rid of.

    Thanks!

  15. Thanks so much for the feedback Martina!! You are absolutely right, hooping can be an amazing cardio/ core workout—lots of fun too ;)

  16. Great stuff! I am a professional hoop dance teacher and can tell you that if you stick with 1hr hoop workout 3 times a week you will see results. You will definitely feel all over soreness but major area that feels achy is ABS. Not only it’s cardio but also the weight of the hoop provides a constant resistance so you can sculpt any area you wish as long as you can hoop with it (waist,chest, shoulders, arms, thighs…….it can be a very athletic dance, art form)

  17. Thanks so much Terry! yes, we are definitely starting to pick up the pace =)

  18. Looks fun!!! I can’t remember the last time I hula hooped. Im laughing right now tryin to picture me doing it!

  19. Good video. Are you getting lots of hits?

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