In the interest of trying something new and fun, I have purchased a weighted Hula Hoop. I spent 10 minutes this morning listening to music and hooping. It wasn’t bad although I had to learn to keep my elbows out of the way! You supposed to hula hoop in both directions. Mix it up alternating between clockwise and counter-clockwise direction.
Hooping is a great ab workout to start with before integrating other exercises into your routine. Because a hoop workout requires constant push-pull contractions in your core muscles (abs plus obliques, at the sides of your waist) as well as in the glutes and thighs, the added resistance created by a somewhat heavier hoop should sculpt and reshape all the right places. For what it’s worth there are also many references to unnamed studies stating hooping is an effective way to burn visceral fat which is deep within the abdominal cavity. Visceral fat is also linked to metabolic disturbances and shows an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and many other dangerous health conditions.
Here’s some advice I found on Hula Hooping:
The Mayo Clinic reports that you need to spend at the very least 10 minutes at a time exercising your abs with the Hula-Hoop in order to see concrete results. An average woman can burn about 165 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping, and an average man can burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping.
1. Stabilize your torso and legs, and mobilize your midsection. Only use your abdominal muscles and hips to keep the hoop spinning.
2. Scoop your belly in and lift your rib cage. Extend from the center of your body out. The better your posture, the easier it will be to hoop.
3. Hold the hoop parallel to the floor as you start the spin, and give it some good momentum so it doesn’t start out wobbly.
4. If your hoop starts to fall, lengthen your spine, push forward and back, and move faster. Imagine yourself as the axis of the orbit, not the orbit itself. If you try to move with the hoop (rotating your hips in a circle) the hoop will lose momentum and fall. Move side to side with your waist and hips or back to front with your belly. Feel the centrifugal force, but don’t try to be the circle; let the circle move around you.
5. Stick with it. The longer you hoop, the more your body gets used to the movements