How to “Actually” Get Fit With a Hula-Hoop!

Hula-hoop workouts are trending all over TikTok, with people everywhere filming their sweat sessions for the popular #hulahoop, #hulahoopfitness, and #weightedhulahoop hashtags. These dance-style workouts are a perfect option for bringing fun and fitness together. According to the Mayo Clinic, hula-hooping can burn up to 165-200 calories in just 30 minutes! Want to know more about how you can get and stay in shape while doing this childhood pastime? Read on.

How It Works

Since hula-hooping requires constant movement (swing those hips ’round or it’s hitting the ground), it bumps your heart rate up. In fact, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) study concluded that the fitness value of hula-hooping for 30 minutes is nearly equal to more intensive aerobic activities like kickboxing.

You’re working your heart with a hoop, but your abs will thank you, too. Your obliques and the rest of your core are heavily engaged as you wiggle to keep the hoop up. You’ll also be happy to hear that glutes, hips, quads, hamstrings, and calves are engaged as well. Involve your arms, and it’s a full-body workout in no time.

“Hooping delivers a total-body workout that can improve flexibility and balance while strengthening the back, abdominal, arm, and leg muscles,” says ACE Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D.

Safe for All

Hula-hooping is a great low-impact exercise. There’s no jumping or running required, meaning hips, knees, and other joints will have no problem with this fitness routine.

Get Started

Have we convinced you yet? It’s tempting to jump right in, but any activity can cause injury if you overdo it too fast. So keep your initial routines relatively short. Hula-hoop fitness instructor Getti Keyahova told Shape that she recommends starting with a 38- to 42-inch hoop that weighs between 1 and 3 pounds. Or, try investing in a “travel hoop,” which breaks down into multiple pieces to allow for easy transport – so you can work out in the park or wherever else you please.

When you’re ready to take it up a notch, there are plenty of ways to make your hoop session even more beneficial. Try incorporating walking, squatting, dancing, and jumping into your routine. Bump it up some more with a weighted hoop or by combining multiple hoops at once.

Track Your Progress

As with any fitness routine, it’s important to remember where you started and keep a good grip on your progress. You can even take the lead from TikTok and record your workouts to watch back once you’re a hula-hooping pro.

Working out can and should be fun! If you’re looking to make a positive lifestyle change, try hula-hooping now!


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