8 Fun-Filled Hula Hoop Exercises for Better Fitness

8 Fun-Filled Hula Hoop Exercises for Better Fitness

By: Nancy Howard : 5/10/2011 6:00 PM    50 comments : 14,231 Views

In 1958 WHAM-O introduced the world to a new toy after Arthur Melin and Richard Knerr  observed children in Australia playing with bamboo hoops in their exercise class. Upon their return to the States they took what they had seen and invented  the plastic hoop, what we now know as the Hula Hoop. What started out as a fad in the late 1950’s for kids has now turned into a fitness frenzy 53 years later.  And if you don’t believe swirling your hips can burn calories and tone your body, think again.

Researchers at the Exercise and Health Program at  University of Wisconsin, La Crosse led  by Jordan Holthusen, M.S. and John Porcari, Ph.D conducted a  study of 16 advanced to intermediate female hoopers.  And to their amazement, hula hooping expended similar calorie rates and raised heart rates similar to cardio kickboxing, step aerobics and boot camp classes.  Although the researchers state that more studies need to be done to determine what the long-term fitness benefits to hooping will bring, one thing is for certain, when we have fun doing an activity we are more likely to participate in it. I always say something always trumps nothing, especially when it comes to exercise.

And some fitness experts have taken Hula Hooping one step further by combining hooping and Pilates forming a new type of workout called Hoopilates.


Below are a few tips on choosing the right hoop for you.

  • Choose the right size for you–Make sure that when you place the hoop on the ground standing up that the hoop falls between your waist and your chest. Purchasing a smaller hoop will make hooping a little more challenging.
  • Weighted Hoops–Just as a larger circumference hoop will be easier to use, same is true for a weighted hoop. Researchers state that adding some weight makes hooping easier, therefore you can continue the activity for a longer time period, however, you want to use a weight that offers a challenge.
  • If you have a history of back problems, Hula Hooping is not for you. And as with any other exercise activity, if you have any concerns, please check with your physician.


Abs, Back, Shoulders

Standing Twist

Back, Legs

Rolling Reach

Arms, Shoulder

Arm Circles

Butt, Core, Legs, Triceps

Tree Press



Abs, Butt, Legs

Wide Squats

Hula Hoop Routines

Health Magazines Hula Hoop Exercise Routine

Hula Hoop Cardio Workout Routine

Would you consider doing any of these exercises? Have you ever worked out with a Hula Hoop?

Published by Cara Zara

Professional entertainer and educator Cara Zara has performed at festivals, events, libraries, charity functions, and summer camps throughout the Southeast and has interacted with over 250,000 children. She has been teaching her popular programs since 2011 and has taught at over 200 private and public schools throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. She loves inspiring children to learn and be physically active through fun movement and laughter.

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