Hula Hooping Basics

Hula Hoop Basics from
My hula hoop is an adult size hoop – not your drugstore variety.

I am a big time hula hooper. Hula hooping is my favorite way to keep my mid-section in check. While I usually hoop in the privacy of my backyard or living room – depending on the weather – I have been known to hoop it up at a bar with my blogger friend or at a friend’s 50th birthday party – last Saturday night!

The truth is, if there’s a hoop around, I simply must try it.

My sister tried my hula hoop while visiting us recently. She wants to start hula hooping and she knows I’m a hoopin’ fool! Hula hooping is a great way to exercise those core and abdomen muscles.

Adult size hoop for exercise
Hoops come in different sizes and mine is 38 inches across.

Hula Hooping Basics

  • Warm-up :: Warm up, first, before hooping. I hula hoop after I run or walk and not before. After stretching before my outside run or walk routine (depending on the day), my body is not starting cold.
  • Wear a vest :: The hoop itself can rub in odd spots and I wear a polar-fleece vest while hooping. Yes, it is sweaty in the summer but I hoop outside during those months and no one seems to mind (including the backyard chickens).
  • Engage :: Engage the core. Yes, that mid-section! Work it, girl! Before I start, I think about engaging and using all of those abdominal muscles that wish to be ignored and lazy.
  • Arms up :: While I’m hooping, I lift my arms up and pump them horizontally. This keeps my elbows from being knocked by the hula hoop. It looks like you’re doing the “funky chicken” but your elbows will thank you. Sometimes I use 1-lb arm weights while doing this but you can also use cans of tuna (or whatever is in your pantry) to add weight.
  • Change directions :: Hula hoop going each direction to avoid injury. My back started bothering me from hooping and after I checked with one of my neighbors (who is a chiropractor), he suggested hooping in the other direction. This rocked my world! I’ve only ever hooped counter-clockwise and going clockwise put me off kilter. Now, back trouble gone and I go both ways.
  • Super-size it :: Get an adult sized hoop and don’t use a child’s hoop. When I pick up a child-size hula hoop and give it a spin, I look like Elaine from “Seinfeld” dancing. (It ain’t pretty!!) The adult size hoops are larger and heavier than the flimsy drugstore varieties and you’ll be able to keep it up much easier.
  • Watch the weight :: While I can add water to the inside of my hula hoop to make it heavier, the hoop on its own is heavy enough. For me, if I hoop regularly, then the weight of the hoop is enough.
  • Set a timer :: I use my sports watch and set the timer for 10-minutes. After 10-minutes going counter-clockwise, I switch sides and go 10-minutes clockwise.
  • Routine :: I hoop 3-times a week for 20-minutes. Yep, 1-hour a week. The only time I skip is when I’m travelling and can’t bring it along. Music or some other distraction is helpful but not skipping is key. Do I always feel like doing it? No. Do I still do it? Yes.
  • Where :: Hula hooping outside is my favorite but in the winter, I do it in the living room. You don’t need much space once you get the hang of it. With a coffee table on wheels, I roll it out of the way and hoop in a small amount of space.
  • Borrow :: Not sure you’ll use a hoop? Borrow one from a friend and check it out, first. Or buy one second-hand. Exercise equipment purchased second-hand is a good route.

Hula hooping is fun and keeps me moving my mid-section. You can workout inside your home or in the backyard – or on the front porch like me – just be ready for all sorts of comments from your neighbors!

Go Gingham related links:

The biggest stay the same – the reality show I’m pitching!
How to make walking poles – they’re re-purposed ski poles
My workout routine involves laundry, too – hanging laundry to dry
I love to hula hoop – hooping fool love!
How to cover a hula hoop in fabric – it’s easy and uses scraps
Exercise at home – and skip the gym

More related links:

My hula hoop is from Canyon Hoops.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post and have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

6 thoughts on “Hula Hooping Basics

    1. Mary, so glad you’re hooping it up! Well done – it will be excellent for your winters up there in Alaska. I haven’t hooped in the snow so when you do, please share the experience!! 🙂


  1. Great idea, Sara! I haven’t hula-hooped in years, but am always on the look-out for ways to exercise that feel more playing than like a chore! Thanks!


    1. Annie, this definitely qualifies! I really don’t like sit-ups (but I have had to start doing them!) but the hula hooping is fun and a workout. Get an adult size hoop, too. I’m sorry I didn’t leave mine out for you. 🙂


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