Are you a beginner hula hooper? Or perhaps you’re about to take the plunge and give hula hooping a go? Well, you’re in good company. Weighted Hula hooping is set to be a top fitness trend in 2022. Of course, we’re not surprised: it’s playful and fun, but you still get a seriously good workout.
We want your first steps in your hula hooping journey to be a positive experience, not a frustrating one. This way you’ll get to enjoy all the wonderful benefits of hula hooping and unlock an amazing new skill. Here are our top tips for beginner hula hoopers.
1 Find the right hoop for your body
Getting the right size hoop for your body is the difference between falling in love with a new hobby and feeling frustrated and giving up. We go into finding the right hoop in a lot more detail here, but the general rule is that larger hula hoops spin slower around your body giving you more time to nail your technique.
A good guide is finding a hoop that measures from the floor to about your belly button. Most new hoopers start with something around 38-40 inch diameter, or if you are taller, curvier or have a larger waist you can go even larger (Naked Ambition is our favourite store for plus-sized hoopers).
Avoid the temptation to think heavier is always better. There are a lot of seriously heavy hoops on the market that we wouldn’t recommend. And starting out too heavy, before you’ve learnt good technique and built up your core strength can result in injuries. Give anything that weighs over 1.25kg a miss – you could be doing your internal organs some damage – not ideal!
Some bruising around the hips and torso is common when you first start hooping – so if this happens back off for a few days until you feel less tender.
If you’re not sure what size would be best, buy from a smaller business and have a chat with the owner. They’ll know exactly what you need. Our favourite small businesses for hoops are HulaFit (of course!), Naked Ambition, and Hoopspin (use code cahula for 10% off)
2 Wear hoop–friendly clothing
Picking the right clothes to hoop in can be a game-changer for beginner hula hoopers. We’ve dedicated a whole blog to post with our top tips on what to wear while hula hooping, but the general rule of thumb is tight-fitting clothes and a good pair of trainers.
It’s especially important for your clothes to be form-fitting around your waist, as loose baggy clothing can get in the way and cause the hoop to crash in the ground.
3 Stay hydrated
Ok, so this is less hoop-specific advice, but more general life advice. Have some water handy when you’re working out. Also, remember to actually drink some of it! This way, you’ll avoid the headaches and dizziness that comes with dehydration. Plus staying hydrated helps your muscles to work even harder during physical activity. We know you know this, but most of us need a nudge to drink more water from time to time. Consider this your nudge.
4 Nail your technique
Lots of non-hoopers assume you keep a hoop up by swirling your hips in a circle. But they’re wrong! You actually want to pulse forward and back with the belly, engaging your core muscles, standing tall and physically pushing into the hoop. Your core is key here – think about keeping your tummy nice and tight, the feeling should be like zipping up a very tight pair of jeans.
There’s actually quite a lot of technique to think about when you start hooping, so we’d recommend booking either an online or face-to-face HulaFit class with one of our fab instructors equipped with expert knowledge and buckets of top tips so you get off to the best start. With practice and little patience, it will become muscle memory – once it clicks you’ll always have that skill. Our director, Carla, shared some great tips for hula hooping in this Women’s Health article.
Top tip: Learn to spin the hoop both ways so your muscles develop evenly and you avoid any spinal problems- it’s great for your coordination too! It’s challenging at first but is great for you in the long run.
5 Learn to save a falling hoop
You might cringe if the hoop comes crashing to the ground… again! But it’s nothing to worry about. It’s all part of the learning process.
Learning to save a falling hoop is a really handy skill. There are a few ways to go about it, but our favourite is the squat and scoop:
If the hoop is spinning around your waist, slow down your movement and the hoop should move down below your hip bone.
Quickly bend the knees, while keeping your torso tall and upright, and scoop the hoop up with your hip – then move your stomach back and forth, pushing into the hoop with LOADS of energy to maintain that spin. If you’re a visual learner, watch this video.
If the hoop is falling down a lot, generally it’s because you’re:
- not moving fast enough
- bouncing your knees and not pushing from your tummy
- circling your hips
- looking down or leaning forwards; or
- not engaging your core
Top tip: Try filming yourself to see how you can improve your technique.
6 Practise loads
In the almighty words of Take That – just have a little patience.
Learning to hula hoop is learning a new skill, and like all other worthwhile skills, it takes a bit of time, practise and patience to really get things right. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not working for you straight away. Pick up the hoop and have another go.
We hope these top tips for beginner hula hoopers will help you spin your way to hooping success this year! In our opinion, a world with more hula hoopers is a much happier one so we want to help you succeed.
If you haven’t already, check out our classes. This way, you can learn to hoop and get valuable feedback from our instructors to help you on your way.
Remember, taking up a new form of exercise comes with some risks. If you have certain health problems, you may want to talk to your doctor before taking up a new form of exercise.