The adage ‘No pain, no gain’ is so last century. People want to work out to lose weight, yet they want to have fun at it too. Going through 5 sets of 20 crunches that leave the core in pain, running 10 km or lifting weights at the gym sounds so daunting and makes people give up the idea of exercising totally.
Introducing the hula hoop — it is a not a newly discovered way to stay fit. In fact, the origins of hula hoop can be traced all the way back to since ancient Egypt.
Benefits of the Hula Hoop
It is just a circular toy, yet it brings an endless amount of fun and laughter for everyone. Not forgetting the health benefits the hula hoop brings, it is well known for building core strength and burning calories.
Keeps You Fit and In Shape
Hula hooping is a full body workout, working as many as 30 of the body muscles, even when you are just hooping on your waist. The hula hoop can also be used around the chest, shoulders, hips, knees, arms, hands and feet.
Improves Your Flexibility
To successfully keep the hula hoop going around your waist, you perform rhythmic rocking movements forwards and backwards, shifting your weight along the way. The movements require a significant range of motion for your spine, and increased practice can train your spine to a greater range of motion than you are used to, improving your flexibility and even preventing back injuries.
Blasts away Belly Fat That No Amount of Crunches Can Resolve
It helps to whittle down your waist and strengthen the stomach muscles as you are using the muscles in your upper and lower abdominal muscles, as well as muscles in your back for the hooping. Bid visceral fat farewell when you hoop on a regular basis.
Burns 150 to 200 Calories in Just 30 Minutes
The calorie burn can go up to 600 calories per hour, when other parts of your body are also engaged during the hooping. That is equivalent to an hour of tennis, hiking or stationary rowing at the gym. Spin your calories off!
Improves Your Concentrations
Hooping requires hand-eye coordination, motor skills and a good sense of balance. Hooping challenges your brain and muscles as to maintain a steady directional movement in order to keep the hoop spinning around your waist.
Good for the Heart
Hooping can be intense. As you hula hoop more vigorously, you can push your heart rate up. To increase the intensity of hula hooping, consider variations, like double hooping, which is hooping with two hoops or other hula hoop tricks.
H Stands for Hula Hoop and ‘Happiness’
When you exercise, you release endorphins, that magical bullet that is causing the post-workout high you feel. As you exercise more, you start getting in shape, and you feel happier!
Types of Hooping
Even if you are new to hooping, there is always a move that you can do, regardless of your age, gender or competency level. With just a simple hoop, you can do these targeted moves that help increase muscle activation in different areas of your core.
1. Side Bends
Hold the hoop behind you with the bottom of the hoop at your lower back, and the top of the hoop above your head. Bend over to one side, move back to centre position and bend to the other side. Repeat for 5 sets.
2. Ninja Passes
Hold the hoop in front of you with both hands, keeping it parallel to the ground. Bend your knees slightly. Turn your torso to the right, transferring the hoop into your right hand and bringing it back behind your body. Then turn your torso to the left, transferring the hoop to the left hand. Keep the hoop close to your body at all times. Also keep your feet firmly on the ground, rotating mainly your torso and not the hips. Repeat for 5 sets.
This is a variation of the classic sit-up. Place an exercise mat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Position your hoop beneath you, keeping the bottom of the hoop under your mid-back and the top of the hoop above your head. Hold the sides of the hoop. Contract your abs and lift your shoulders off the floor. Hold the position for two seconds and place your shoulders back on the ground. Repeat for 5 sets.
Now grab your hula hoop and have some fun spinning!