I hate boring fitness routines, but hula hoop exercises are incredibly fun and make me feel years younger. Unlike many workouts, all you need is a hoop and you're ready to go. I always put on a little music and if possible, head outside for some fresh air while I exercise. I also love that these hula hoop exercises are easy (once you get the basics of hula hooping down) and fun. Believe me when I say, you'll get far more benefits out of a fun workout than one that's difficult and boring.
I know some people are intimidated by hula hooping, but you don't have to know any tricks to benefit from this exercise. All you need to do with this one is place the hoop around your waist and swivel your hips to keep the hoop spinning around your waist. The longer and faster you do it, the more calories you'll burn. I usually move the rest of my a little with the music and alternate between fast and slow spinning. Hula hoop exercises don't have to be complicated and you'll quickly see that this one uses quite a few muscles and improves balance.
I had a hard time switching from waist to hips, but once I got it, I loved it. You'll really feel the burn in your glutes and abs by hula hooping around your hips instead of your waist. I do recommend wearing pants or shorts without a thick waistband to prevent the hoop from hanging or jumping back up to your waist. You may need to keep your feet further apart to maintain your balance as you do this exercise.
I have both a standard hoop and a smaller, arm sized hoop. The smaller hoop requires you to work a little harder, which burns more calories, but the larger hoop is great for toning. For your arms, you can do either one or both arms (if you have two hoops). Extend your arm straight out to your side, place the hoop around your forearm and spin your arm to keep the hoop spinning. The longer you can keep up the pace, the more benefits you'll get. For a better workout, switch the direction of the rotation at regular intervals.
As you can already see, a hula hoop isn't just for your waist. If you have the balance, stand on one leg with the raised leg bent at a 90 degree angle. Place the hoop around your thigh and spin for as long as you can. Repeat on the other leg. If you're not quite ready for a balancing act, lay on your back with one leg in the air. Spin the hoop around your leg as long as possible or a set amount of time before switching legs.
I admit, the name doesn't sound too fun, but you'll find yourself laughing while trying to squat and hula hoop at the same time. Start by widening your stance as if you were doing normal squats. Next, start hula hooping around your waist. Slowly lower yourself into a squat position while still hooping. Repeat at least 10 times or as long as you can. Be prepared, it'll take a few tries before you can keep from dropping the hoop as you squat or raise back up.
It might sound too simple to be of any real use, but walking while hooping works your entire body. I suggest spending a few minutes getting into a steady rhythm before attempting to walk. When you feel ready, take a small step forward. The more comfortable you get, the faster you can walk. For more of a challenge, I walk 10 steps forward and then 10 steps back.
First of all, do this one slowly at first because you really don't want to whack yourself with the hula hoop. The easiest way to do this exercise is to use your hoop as a jump rope. Grasp the hoop with both hands and flip it like you would a jump rope. Larger hoops work best for this so you don't have to duck as much going under. You can also swing the hoop from side to side as you jump through.
I love hula hooping and try to get in a hoop workout at least three times a week. I've found you can combine many standard exercises, like squats, with the hula hoop for a much more effective and fun workout. Just have fun with it and before long, you'll start dropping pounds. What are your favorite hula hoop exercises?
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