How to choose the right hula hoop to slim your waist

ab muscles

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I’m really surprised to discover that the two most popular posts on my blog are the ones where I talk about hula hooping to reduce my waist size.

If you missed those articles, you can find them at this link and by clicking through this link.

My daughter and I have had tons of fun hula hooping together – outside when weather permits, but we have a large rec room so we have plenty of room to hoop inside, too. That means we have no excuses for not getting our hula hooping exercise in.

hula hoopsWe put on some music and get down to business. Our time together is great for catching up. We get to socialize, exercise, relax, laugh and have fun all at the same time. Who could ask for anything more!

My daughter and I use two very different kinds of hula hoops. So do they both work equally? Do they have the same benefits for burning calories and fat? Are they both able to strengthen and tone abdominal muscles?

A brief history of the original hula hoop

My daughter uses the traditional toy hula hoop. She’s very thin and petite and found weighted sport hula hoops to be too uncomfortable. But the original hula hoop is a great workout too. Especially since her hoop is a water hula hoop and she uses it to do all kinds of tricks and stunts she’s not able to so with a weighted hoop.

Some have estimated that vigorous hooping can burn as much as 100 calories in ten minutes!

In 1957, the first hula hoop was manufactured by Wham-O and created by Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin who were the founders of the company. It was made from high-density polyethylene which had been invented just six years earlier.

Over 100 million hoops were sold in the first two years alone and hardly do you ever find a toy department that doesn’t carry some variety of hula hoop. Whenever my daughter wears hers out, we just run to a toy store and get her a new one.

But how does the hula hoop work?

Let’s face it; hula hooping does take some skill. But it also increases attention span and focus, because if you don’t keep you mind on keeping your hoop going, it will fall to the floor.

Gravity is constantly trying to pull the hoop to the floor. It takes constant hip movement and friction between your clothes and the hoop to keep it up and spinning.

As you can see, in terms of energy, you’re expending a lot to keep the hoop spinning and to keep it from falling to the floor.

Which muscles benefit from the workout?

ab musclesHula hooping works the abdominal muscles including the external and internal obliques, and the transversus and rectus abdominis. Weighted hoops will build these muscles faster and even stronger than toy hoops, but benefits will be noticed no matter which type of hoop you choose.

In addition to strengthening your abs, you give your lower back muscles a workout, too. Stay with hooping long enough and your entire core will strengthen, which is especially important as you age.

Get those hips a-swinging and not only will your waist slim down, so will your back, pelvis, hips and thighs.

Which size and weight hoop is right for you?

When it comes to using weighted sport hoops, you need to choose the right size for you to prevent injury.

This is where I made an error in judgment when I bought my first weighted hoop. I went with the maximum weight I could find figuring I would eventually build up to needing a heavier hoop.

That meant it took longer for me to get used to my weighted hoop.

With these weighted hoops, you might have to start out hooping no more than 2 minutes per day and build up over time. Even then, the manufacturer of my hoop recommends hooping for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

But that’s okay, because you can see a huge difference and gain a lot of benefit by hooping at least 10 minutes per day for at least three days per week.

I will warn that there’s a possibility of developing some minor bruising from weighted hoops when you first start out. Especially if you chose one too heavy for your weight.

My bruises showed up near my hip bones. I compensated by wearing a heavy sweat jacket to give myself a little extra padding between my body and the hoop.

A weighted hoop is a LOT easier to keep going than a toy hoop so the jacket did not get in the way at all.

To find out which weight hoop is right for you, check out the chart below. This is based on the exact hoop I bought through Amazon.

Product ImageProduct DescriptionProduct DimensionsFor adults weighing:
Weighted Sports Hula Hoop for Weight Loss - Power Hoop 5 Lb. Box Package41 x 1.8 x 41 inches120-300 lbs.
Weighted Sports Hula Hoop for Weight Loss - Acu Hoop 5L - 5 lb. large41.5 x 1.8 x 41.5 inches120-300 lbs.
Weighted Sports Hula Hoop for weight loss - Acu Hoop 4L - 4 lb. large41.5 x 2 x 41.5 inches100-200 lbs.
Weighted Sports Hula Hoop for weight loss - Acu Hoop 4M - 4 lb. medium40 x 1.5 x 40 inches100-200 lbs.
Weighted Sports Hula Hoop for Weight Loss - Acu Hoop 3L - 3 lb. large41 x 1.8 x 41 inches100-160 lbs.
Weighted Sports Hula Hoop for Weight Loss - Acu Hoop 3M - 3 lb. medium38.2 x 1.3 x 38.2 inches100-160 lbs.
Sports Hula Hoop for Exercise - Acu Hoop 2S -1.5 lb. small35.5 x 1.2 x 35.5Intended for children

Lori hoopingI’m an Amazon affiliate so if you click through any of the links on the table and make a purchase, I will earn a no cost to you commission on your purchase. Thank you!

Your turn

Are you ready to give hooping a try? Please share your comments and any questions you have in the comments below!

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