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Why I Hoop (Hula, That Is)

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Normally, I’m not athletically-inclined. I took marching band to get out of gym. For me, to like something that resembles a sport is nothing short of a Christmas Miracle. Hooping is my sport and I'm not joking when I say I love it. Maybe it’s more an art form than a sport. Not that I'm graceful at it, but it's expressive and joyful. As hippy or cheesy as that sounds, it's true. I chug along on my elliptical, do strength training and lots of other things. And that’s all good. But hooping brings me joy; it makes me laugh. Belly laugh. While exercising. That’s new territory for me.

YouTube sucked me in. I saw a hooper doing things we never dreamed of doing with our hula hoops in the 70's. All I could think was, "That looks like fun and is there any way in the world I can do it?" I did enough research to learn that I had to have an adult-sized hoop. The little kiddie ones from the toy store wouldn't cut it. So, I ordered a moderately heavy hoop and started waist hooping. For TWO years. Try as I might, I could never do any tricks. I didn't know that my hoop was too heavy for that stuff. I didn't know anybody who hooped, and had no idea who to ask.

Finally, I broke down and ordered a lighter, dance hoop. I didn't think I'd actually be able to use it, but decided to try anyway. Then, I found the Hula Hoop All Stars SparkTeam with links to websites, tutorials and hoopers--lots of hoopers. Turns out, there's a whole subculture of "flow artists"-- hoopers, poi spinners, jugglers, fire artists. Who knew? I found a tutorial that explained a basic lift and promised my SparkBuddies I'd post a vlog when I learned how to do it. I learned. I posted. And everything went hoop crazy.

I couldn’t get enough of it; still can’t. I’d find myself hooping in the backyard for over an hour, sweat dripping off my hair, stopping only because I had to do laundry or cook dinner. It’s crazy. And the workout is no joke. When you’re really doing this stuff, it’s a full-body, cardio/toning workout. And your core—oh, how you work your core! When you first start, it feels like you’ve been doing crunches for days.
Now I’m in a hoop class, so I actually have someone to teach me cool stuff! There’s always another trick to learn, a new hoop to try. Better yet, hooping is something I share with my daughter. And boy, how I love to spread the hoop love. When friends come to the house, they try the hoops. Cookout in the backyard? Break out the hoops. And you know what? It always leads to smiles and laughter. And that, my friends, is why I hoop.

Check out MOSTMOM1's SparkPage for more hooping inspiration (and awesome video blogs!)

Have you tried hula hoooping?

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CECELW 12/6/2019
holy moly! I have never seen anyway that can hoola hoop like that. That is really amazing Report
KOALA_BEAR 12/3/2019
My niece made a hoop for me & altho I was okay w/ it as a kid, I now have trouble keeping it up. Maybe cuz I have less waist for it to spin on? LOL anyway in hood weather I go out in the back yard & try. It's getting better plus I get exercise just bending over to pick it up from the ground! Fun & I think I might just need some music to go with it. A follow up article would be great, this one is older. Report
LEANJEAN6 9/28/2019
My neighbour does this! I must try it. Report
DLREYNOLDS2000 6/29/2019
I tried hula hooping after reading this blog. It took me a month and 2 different hoops, but now I am up to 30 minutes a day. I have lost 4" in my waist over 6 weeks of hooping. Love it! Report
CHERYLHURT 3/25/2019
Thanks Report
I love it! Report
I'd give anything to simply get the hang of BASIC hula-hooping! As a child, I'd receive one periodically as a gift but never learned how to do it. I know that hula-hooping uses the same torso muscles as sitting my horse's very rough canter, so learning it would benefit my riding as well as toning my torso. Report
Good job,MOSTMOM1!!! You stuck with it and are doing a fantastic job as I can see~three at once ~WOW!!! I had a hula hoop as a child and tried to hula hoop,but was unsuccessful! I am glad you are able to take it to the workout level! THAT is AWESOME!!! Kudos to you!!! Keep it up!!!! {Hula hoop pun intended!!:) Report
And you look so happy hooping it - keep it up!!
I used to hoop as a child. Now with arthritis in my hips I can't even do the hoop on my Wii. Grrrr... But it sure looks like you have found your niche! Keep up the great work. Report
Too much fun. I loved to hoop as a kid. Thanks for sharing. Report
Thanks to Shelli's blogs I AM now also hooping!!

At first it'd go about 1/2 around me,,,,drop to the ground so fast it sounded like a sonic boom!!! It'd be laughing I swear!!

Fast forward a few months I had after trying to SELL it,,,tried it again before taking to Goodwill. It went around me a few times before dropping!!

Now? Its about 6 weeks later and I spin that thing around for at 3 minutes!! Its no longer falling to the ground and I can do 10+ minutes!!

Mine is a bigger one and now it has a friend!! A sparkly one which is weighted with WATER!!!

Great advice Report
I love hooping, but doesn't know if my gym has one. Report
Just reading your story made me grin! Report
I keep trying. Get more exercise from picking them up
You have so much fun with your hoops, and you motivate me. I wish that there was a hoop club near me! Maybe I'll find people to help me start one! Report
This looks like so much fun. I need a better back though. Report
Lots of fun...I love to hula! Report
Looks like soo much fun!!! Report
I purchased myself a hoop, but I am having an awful time keeping the hoop spinning. I was unable to watch your blog, as it did not come up on my screen. Perhaps I am doing it wrong, as it has been many years since I did it as a child, and I am not sure I was much good at it Report
Now this looks like something I would definitely enjoy! Will find out if the right kind of hoop is available in my country! :) Report
I'm a regular hooper myself and like Shelli here, I take a class in addition to attending more unstructured hoop jams, mostly so that I can push myself and learn new things. I'm still trying to get the hang of chest hooping, and leg hooping has still been eluding me, but I can hoop on my waist or hips for an hour and do all sorts of neat looking off-body hoop moves. This last year I also have an LED Hoop which looks way cool when hooping at night. :) Report
This is something I really do want to try! Report
I can't hula hoop to save my life but I love watching your vlogs about it! Report
I so want to try this! I used to love to hula hoop when I was a kid...I was so excited when learned how to move the hoop from my neck to my waist to my knees then skip it on my ankles. *SIGH* Memories!

I've been thinking about buying a weighted hoop for a while now. Maybe I'll get a few different ones and act like a kid again! Report
Some of us have been 'hooping' since we were kids in the 1950's. It IS fun - and funny! Thanks for posting this. Report
I think that everything Shelli does is fun and I want to try this! I am about to move closer to my sister and will suggest we do both do it - I think she'd like it, too! Report
I could never even get a kids' hoop going when I WAS a kid. Kuods to you! Looks like a blast :) Report
Thanks for this, I will get an adult hoop ordered and get hoopin with the kiddos! Report
I was really good at it when I was younger in my teens and loved it.I tried it back a few years ago,Must try it again since I have lost 53lbs since then.I may be more successful this time around!! Report
I loved hoops in the 60's and "by jiminy", I think I'll try it again in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the joyful reminder! xo Have fun, you little hipster hoopster! Report
I've never even considered hooping - but you make me want to try! I think I'll look into buying a hoop. I do strength exercises, but I HATE doing the core exercises - this could be a fun way to exercise my core! Thanks for sharing! Report
I have owned my share of Hula Hoops over the a teen in the 50's, my mom SWORE I whittled my waist hula hooping! As an adult, have owned a couple more, but really don't like the noisey ones! The most recent I bought was a WEIGHTED one, at an exercise equipment store. It really makes hooping harder! Burns calories! WAHOO!! Report
Great Post. I so want to try this. Report
I gotta try this! Report
I have the weighted hula hoop, I'm certainly not as good at it, as I once was. It is a great form of exercise. Report
I have tried it - but just can't make it work! When I was a kid I was good at it....but alas, I am a kid no more! Report
I only have a 5 pound hoop but I love working with it. As I get better I will start looking for others Report
sounds like a lot of fun! Report
I hooped no later than early 60s & possibly earlier - I know I wasn't 14 yet. It's fun and the exercise was strenuous enough even then to make me pant. And it doesn't make me hurt! Report
And this right here, Shel, is why I adore you! Hoop on, buddy! Report
I want a hula hoop!! I did as a kid and it would be worth a few calories!! Report
Wow - you've got me all excited!! I haven't hooped since the late 60s/early 70s and I used to love it so. Where do I get one in Australia that's what I want to know!! Report
I love her vlogs! When I saw her vlog for the first time with hula hooping, I started thinking about giving it a whirl. I finally went and just purchased a hoop online! Hopefully I'll have it when I get back from my vacation! Report
Who said "too old because they did it back in the 50's!" So did I and it's still fun, makes you move your hips! Catch her video blogs; she does it with kids--they're awesome. Report
It's so cool that you're having FUN! There's way too little of that in our lives; reading your blog and seeing your delight has put a huge smile on my face. I haven't hooped in decades but might just try it again.... :) Report
I'm a Life Enrichment Coordinator at an Assisted Living/Retirement Community. We had a Hawaiian Party Day in January and had hula hoop contests. Wow what a work out. I was sore for days but it was worth it. I have been thinking about getting some hoops and you just made up my mind for me tonight. I didn't realize it was such a big thing. Report
To old now, but did it back in the '50s. Report
Awesome!! I'll have to check out that Spark Team! Report