Last week we had a visitor who brought hula hoops to class. We had so much fun that I did a little research and was amazed to find that using hoops for resistance and for hooping offers many physical benefits. I decided we would integrate hooping into our exercise program.
In researching the hoops I discovered that hooping has been used for exercise and play from as early as the 5th century in Greece. Before, it was known and recognized as a common, colorful plastic toy. Even though the toy has existed for thousands of years, it is often misunderstood as being invented in the 1950’s. actually,that is when the hoop became popular after a plastic version was marketed.
So, what does hopping do for you? It may seem like child’s play, but the effects on your body are pretty amazing. Because of the motion, it takes quite a bit of effort to keep the hoop moving. You have to use some of the biggest muscles in your body and takes quite a bit of energy to keep up the momentum. When you use energy, you burn fat.
You are moving many core muscles hooping, so you are toning your glutes, thighs, hips, legs and abdomen. If you use a heavier hoop, more resistance is provided meaning you will tone your muscles faster.
Now, you know I am all for having fun while you are exercising, that is why I use the balls. I love incorporating new equipment into my routines. When I started adding the hoop while bouncing, I was amazed at what my body was experiencing. I had to focus more, I felt my abdominal muscles (even though I wasn’t standing) and my arms were really getting a work out. Wow, even after just a few minutes I felt I was getting a great workout.
This past Saturday, after class, we had a hula hoop making session. We made and decorated our own hoops. It was great, but I realized that the hoops were not heavy enough. So, I am going back to the drawing board. I am going to try using a ¾” diameter piece of PVC tubing and add some weights. We put rice in our hoops, the sound was great, but just not heavy enough. So, off I go to Lowes to see what I can find!
We had an adorable 6 year old visiting us with her mother at class on Saturday who was like the Energizer Bunny® with the hoop and she put us all to shame. Plus, she can hoop and bounce! I am up to the challenge – are you? Come bounce with us on Saturdays at 12:30 PM. It will make you smile!
And as a last ‘endorsement’ for hooping, after our support group last night we did a bit of stretching and bouncing and we used the hoops for resistance. It offered a different dimension to our usual exercises. Boy we felt it!