4 Hula Hoop Moves Your Inner Child Will Love

By , Kristin Benton, founder FXP Fitness
After gaining 80 pounds during her first pregnancy, Kristin Benton, was looking for a solution. Little did she know that the solution would lead her on a new path in life, one that would be as much about fun as it was about fitness.
As someone who had never been into "fitness for fitness sake," staying fit for Benton was more about sports and more social activities. With 80 pounds to drop, she turned to an unconventional solution: the hula hoop. Every night, she'd grab a hoop, spin it around her waist for 30 minutes and before long, she was 40 pounds lighter. Nine years later, Benton left her high profile corporate job to found FXP Hula Hoop Fitness (now FXP Fitness), which invented the world's first weighted, portable fitness hula hoop with a workout program based upon proven principles of Pilates, ballet barre and yoga.
In just 20 minutes with a hula hoop, a 150-pound woman can expect to burn roughly 144 calories, making it a great aerobic burn for anyone who can't stand the thought of running or needs a change of pace from their typical walking route. Reclaim the toy beloved by school children on playgrounds everywhere with these four fun hula hooping moves.

You Spin Me Right Round

Forget everything you know about hooping—these four exercises with challenge, stretch and delight your entire body. If you want to get a proper workout, be sure to use the proper hula hoop—using one from the toy section or your kid's bedroom is just going to set you up for a lot of frustration. Consider investing in a weighted hoop or, if you're the type who travels often, a collapsible hula hoop that you can take on the go.
1. Cardio Waist Hooping

Remember recess? Waist hooping combines the nostalgic fun of playground hooping with your grownup fitness goals. Waist hooping burns up to 800 calories per hour and is the perfect no-impact alternative to running and traditional aerobic workouts, such as dance fitness.
Photo courtesy of Chelsea Slay. 
Step 1: Start with the hula hoop in the small of your back, then give it a nice level push around so the hoop spins around your waist five to six times without you even moving.
Step 2: With your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and a slight bend in your knees, give the hoop that nice level push and start moving your hips side with lots of exaggerated energy. Your goal here is two to three rotations before the hoop hits the ground. From there, build up to more rotations for a great cardio and core strength building workout that is tons of fun.
2. Squats for Two
This fun twist on traditional squats will have your glutes feeling strong in no time. The added fun of a partner fires up your upper-body muscles, too. Making funny faces at your partner is worth bonus points!
Photo courtesy of Chelsea Slay.  

Step 1: Stand across from your partner with both hands on the hoop. Arms should be fully extended, with your hands at shoulder’s distance apart, and feet should be hip-width apart.
Step 2: Have your partner squat as you raise your arms up. Then, take turns squatting as the hula hoop makes a see-saw motion up and down. Be careful to keep your knees in line with your ankles throughout the movement and squeeze your glutes at the top.
3. Barre Burn Those Quads
With its teeny-tiny pulses, barre classes are the ones everyone loves to hate. With a hula hoop as your barre to go, though, you'll find a lot to love as you strengthen your quad muscles.

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Slay.  

Step 1: Position yourself with feet together and parallel, with the hula hoop a soft arm’s distance in front of you. Fingers are open and long, using the hula hoop for light support and balance. Keeping your core strong and torso upright, bend your knees as if you are sitting down in a chair.
Step 2: From this position, lift your heels while pressing your knees and thighs together. Hold this position for a great long and slow burn, or lift and lower your quads while keeping your heels raised for an added challenge. Play with full- and small-range pulses to really target the muscle. Remember: The higher you lift your heels, the more intense the exercise. You can also modify by keeping your heels lower or all the way on the ground, if needed.
4. Be Sure to Stretch
For a more advanced, full-body stretch, this twist on a yoga Dancer pose is one of the best.  

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Slay.   

Step 1: Start with the hoop in front of your body and a slight bend in both knees. Step your left foot through the hoop and shift your weight into your left foot.
Step 2: Lift your right foot and press the hoop into the calf of your standing leg. Draw the hoop up the back of your left leg until you cannot lift your leg any higher.
Step 3: Press the top of your right foot gently into the hoop, pushing your foot away from the body as you bring the hoop above your head until your arms are fully extended. Be careful to avoid too much bending or arching in the lower back. Focus in on the stretch in your quad, torso and strength in your arms. Then switch to the other side.
Will you embrace your inner child and give hooping a go?
About the Author
Kristin Benton is the founder and president of FXP Fitness and a leader in the fitness community. She currently leads a thriving community of more than 10,000 women, including several hundred instructors around the country. She is a regular presenter at conventions and on television, sharing the message of hula hoop fitness and body positivity. 

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KOHINOOR2 2/8/2019
Great exercises! Will give them a try. Report
CATNAP629 11/10/2018
I'll have to try this Report
KHALIA2 4/9/2018
I love this one, even though I have not done it in quite a while. Report
Thanks for the information. I'd like to give it a try. Report
I love hooping even though I haven't done it in a while. Thanks, maybe I'll give it another try real soon. Report
I love my hula hoop! Report
Thanks for sharing this... I love hula hooping and can't wait to try your method :) Report
Luv hula hooping
Picked up my weighted hula hoop this morning to start back in again. It really works and is so fun. Just put on some music and let 'er go! Report
I have try the hula hoop and keep picking it up will try again Report
We keep moving forward, opening new doors,
and doing new things, because we're curious
and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
- Walt Disney Report
My 7 yo granddaughter is taking hula hoop dancing lessons at the YMCA in her hometown of Terre Haute. she loves it and is really good at it. The instructor is really impressive with the hoops! Report
I might try this soon! This would help build up my core strength and make me a better skateboarder! Report
Awesome! I think I'll give it a try! Report
This is awesome!! Report
Woo Hoo! I'm going to buy myself a hula hoop this week-end! Time for some fun... I'm 73 by the way, but the inner child is still there. Report
Now I just have to find my hula hoop in the attic! It brings back happy memories. Hope I can still hula Hoop Report
If only I could spin it on my waist Report
Go hips, go! Report
try to hula but cant Report
I love the Hoola Hoop. It was very popular when I was a child and I have had one every since. Report
It was an absolute blast putting this piece together at the playground with my kiddos. I hope all of you grab the opportunity to live life to the fullest- find new ways to bring joy into your life and find health and long life in the process!! Thanks for reading! Report
I enjoy working out with my weighted fitness hoop! Report
Great. Report
helpful Report
Thank You..............Such great exercise and so much fun!!! Report
Looks like a hoot! Report
Looks like a lot of fun. Report
Sounds like fun. Report
I entered a hula hoop contest this evening pretty pathetic performance but fun anyhow Report
I entered a hula hoop contest this evening pretty pathetic performance but fun anyhow Report
I remember the hoola hoop. I think this would also be a good way to learn to move your hips for belly dancing. Report
Looks like fun. Brings back some memories!! Report
I used to hula-hoop when I was young. Some of that stuff looks dangerous, especially for someone whose doctor says "Do nothing that might let you fall.". Report
Fun ideas Report
Exercise can be fun. Report
I love fun activities that burn extra calories... Thanks! Report
I was never able to hoop when I was a child, but I wonder now if I could do it with a weighted hoop. Might be worth a try! Report
How fun! Report
Hula hooping for exercise sounds like fun, IF I could hula hoop, I'd be all over this!! :) Report
great information Report
I am so glad to see more articles and blogs on hooping. It is such fun and an awesome form of exercise. Getting in the rhythm is total zen, so it must be great for the brain too! Report
Great ideas Report
Great ideas Report
My kind of fun workout! Report
worth a try in my book just to get in different exercises Report