Is the Hula Hoop a Good Exercise for Firming & Reducing Your Waist?

You can Hula Hoop your way to a better body.

You can Hula Hoop your way to a better body.

Weight gain in the waist can seem like a cruel injustice in a world where women are expected to have tiny waists. Aging, pregnancy, a sedentary job and diet can all contribute to weight gain in the waist, but you don't have to be permanently condemned to flab. Hula Hoop exercises, in conjunction with a healthy diet, can help you shed the flab.

Fitness Basics

Virtually any body movement -- even typing on a keyboard -- burns some calories, but all exercises are not created equal when it comes to weight loss. Cardiovascular exercises that get your heart pounding burn more calories than targeted exercises such as crunches or lifting weights. Hula Hooping is a form of cardiovascular exercise. While it strengthens your obliques, abs and other muscles around your waist, it also burns calories throughout the body, helping you shed weight all over.

Hula Hooping How-To

To do a basic Hula Hoop spin, first make sure you have the right hoop size. You should be able to easily fit in the hoop and spin it; larger hoops are generally easier to manipulate. Position the hoop just above your navel and give it a spin with your hands. Shift your weight back and forth using your abs, and focus on making small, controlled movements rather than large, exaggerated ones.

Calories Burned

The number of calories you'll burn Hula Hooping is partially dependent upon your weight and muscle mass. Larger people burn more calories during exercise, and muscle requires more energy than fat. Researchers at the American Council on Exercise found that, on average, Hula Hooping burns about 7 calories per minute.

Exercise Variations

If you're dying to rev up your hooping routine, weighted hoops can increase the difficulty. Try spinning two hoops at once, or Hula Hooping while spinning two more hoops on your arms. As you get better at hooping, try walking while hooping, and then try bending -- with your back straight -- to maximize the abdominal benefits of your hooping workout. Once you've mastered hooping, try interval training: hoop at full intensity and speed for about a minute, then slow down; alternate fast and slow speeds every minute.

 

About the Author

Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.

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