Hoop Dance / Hula hooping has rapidly become one of my favourite things to do. A passion even. I have been (tribal) belly dancing for a few years now and hooping seemed like a natural addition, as it utilizes many of the same muscles and movements. I began hooping in April 2011 and now do it almost every single day. I’ve recently begun incorporating my belly dance into my hooping – If I’m feeling sluggish or a little bummed out, or cold or happy, I’ll grab my hoop and start dancing. It instantly elevates and revives my spirits. If you haven’t hooped before, I really recommend giving it a try! Anyone can hoop!
Now, I will say that some people were shocked to find out how much I spent on my hoop. Some people assume you just use child hoops that are made out of cheap plastic, but what you should get is a weighted adult-size hoop. It is going to be more expensive, but well worth it. And you don’t have to spend a fortune either – Some adult weighted hooped are only $35, and can go up to $90+. I’ve provided some links below to some places that sell these kinds of hoops. Don’t try to jump to the flashy LED or Fire hoops – Get a standard, well made adult hoop and it you find you love hooping, get yourself more comfortable with it and then think about getting your 2nd (3rd, 4th…!) hoop.
The way I initially learned was through watching youtube videos. I then started following along with Christabel Zamor’s HoopDance workout dvd, which I’ve probably done 150 times. I also watched a couple of the Hoopnotica DVDs. Don’t underestimate your ability to teach yourself new things too! Now that I’ve been hooping for a few months, I usually just practice on my own – I still watch other people’s youtube videos for inspiration and when I’m trying to figure out a new move.
- “Tinseltown beauties like Beyonce Knowles may owe their taught tummies to hula hooping with weighted hoops. This exercise burns 420 percent more calories than sitting and works the abdominals to create a sexy curve to the waist…” (First Magazine August, 2007)
- “It works your rear, burns fat and speeds up your metabolism. The rock ring has come back in a new form and has become the hottest fitness trend in the USA…Hula aerobics is training for the whole body, and is great for increasing ones metabolism. You burn more than 100 calories in just ten minutes.” (Topp Halsa Magazine July 2007)
- “Now, some yogis are complimenting their yoga practice with hooping, which burns nearly as many calories as running—and is a hell of a lot more fun. “ (Conscious Choice January 2007)
Hula Hoop – Where to Buy Fitness Hula Hoops
Many places that offer hooping classes may very well sell hoops as well. To save on shipping costs, try to find hoop classes near you and see if they sell hoops that you can pick up. If you want to order hoops, here are a few sites to consider:
Hoop Girl - Founder Christabel Zamor. I have her Hoop Dance workout DVD and I love to do it!
Hoop Toronto - This is where I got my first hula hoop – if you’re in Toronto or live in Canada, I recommend Sadie’s hoops at Hooptoronto.com!
Hoopnotica - I haven’t tried their hoops, but I have some of their DVDs and they are quite thorough.
PSI Hoops - They sell LED hoops
Here’s a video clip of Christabel Zamor (HoopGirl) that inspired me when I was first starting to hoop. She talks about how she was unhappy with her path to a career as a professor and with her body. She found hooping and it changed her life and thousands of others.
Hoop Dance / Fitness DVDS
It doesn’t seem like there are too many Hoop Dance / Fitness DVDS on the market today. Here are some of the most prominent ones. I’ve tried Hoopgirl’s Hoop Dance Work out and Hoopnotica’s Beginning Level 1 out of the DVDs mentioned below. I was happy with both of them.
DVDs by Christabel Zamor (Hoop Girl)
HoopDance For Beginners
“Learn the mesmerizing art of hoopdance! This DVD will teach you to do 35 mesmerizing hula hoop moves and 4 dance combinations with confidence and poise. Learn each hula hoop move with Christabel in the studio as she provides detailed instruction, close-ups and slow motion replays to accelerate your learning. You will learn how to hoop on your waist, torso, legs, arms and how to do off body moves like jumps and tosses. Included are costumed HoopGirl dance performances filmed on the beautiful island of Maui. Dances in lagoons, forests, rivers and on beaches inspire you to develop your own unique style. Give your attitude a workout too! Demonstrations invite you to be playful, joyous and powerful.”
The Hoop Dance Workout
Editorial Review (From Amazon.com):
“The workout begins with a warmup and continues non-stop! Christabel teaches the basics of hooping, including hoop recovery techniques and ways to control hoop speed. Each chapter which follows is based on a different movement pattern, mood, and visualizations. Drills alternate with the Dance Party sections, where you can play with creative expression. The workout also offers combinations where you can get in the groove and practice what you have learned. Throughout the workout Christabel uses inspiring imagery and the motivational power of positive thoughts to make your experience uplifting and emotionally healing. As an added bonus, a costumed performance is included to inspire you to take your dance to the next level!”
Hooping: A Revolutionary Fitness Program (Book & DVD)
“Hooping brings the best of HoopGirl into a full-color, fully illustrated book plus a 40-minute instructional DVD. Here’s how to get started—where to find and how to use the larger, heavier “sticky” hoops; stretches and warm-ups; and what to wear. And then more than 50 step-by-step exercises that focus on the core (abs, back, butt), upper body, lower body, and overall well-being. The exercises are as fun as they sound—Limbo, Booty Blitz, Float Up, Wildwest—and each group comes with a recommended playlist of music, plus “challenges” for going further.”
DVDs by Hoopnotica
Hoopnotica Hoopdance Beginning Level 1
Beginning Level 2
Hoopdance Workout Beginner Level 2
Intermediate Level 3
Hoopdance Workout Level 4
The American Council of Exercise states that the average person will burn approximately 200 calories for every 30 minutes of exercise. When using a weighted hoop the energy expenditure can be increased to 400 calories per half hour. The number of calories burned during exercise will vary depending on metabolic rate and the intensity of exercise. – Robert Daniels (Read More at Livestrong)
My Experience with Hula Hooping: How I began hooping…
As i’ve mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’ve been hooping since April 2011. At that point in time I was just finishing my 4th and final year of university, and in that last semester, I had thrown my fitness and diet by the waist-side quite a bit. I hadn’t been doing regular exercise because of my insane schedule, and I was ordering a lot of takeout and it was just…unpleasant. I was going against everything that I usually did – and it was making me miserable. Once my hoop arrived in the mail (it’s a collapsible one, so it arrived smaller than a rolled yoga mat) I was so excited to try it out. I hadn’t ever really hooped when I was younger, so I was basically starting as a complete beginner. I dropped it quite a few times and didn’t look very elegant at all. My downstairs neighbour was getting…well, pissed off, but I couldn’t help it… I kept hooping even when my hips started to hurt. I got the “classic” humongous hip bruise that I later found out was common – but that didn’t stop me from hooping. Hooping became a friendly, exciting and non-threatening way for me to get back into movement, dance, exercise, and for reviving my passions that had been driven deep into the ground throughout the semester and the school year.
The funny thing is that I was never really into the idea of hooping (that’s what I said about my tongue ring.. cough cough). I suppose it was a number of different things that got me to get into the idea of hooping. I was happy with my tribal belly dance, but then I started seeing videos of people hooping to the same music that I belly dance to, and then I saw belly dancers hooping – and I remembered when I was working at a festival in California a few years ago (High Sierra Music Festival), one of the performances was live music and hoop dancers. I loved their energy and the way their hoops magically flowed around their bodies. I started to see how the movements of hooping and belly dance could flow perfectly together – I discovered Christabel Zamor and hearing her talking about how hooping changed her life, emotionally and physically, really got me excited about the idea of getting back into shape through hooping. A friend of mine started hooping about 4 months before I got my hoop and watching and hearing him talk about his growing love for hooping…well, it was really starting to get me into the idea of giving the hoop a try. The final straw on the vegan camel’s back was when I went to a belly dance “karaoke” party and one of the performances was by Toronto hooper “Sadie Spins” from hooptoronto.com… she was amazing. I found out that she sells hoops and I bit the bullet and got a beautiful black & sparkly purple collapsible hoop from her. I am so happy I decided to start hooping. It hasn’t overtaken my immense love of belly dance…they can’t be compared in that way – hooping has helped with my belly dance, and my spirits. And it just gets better – when you first start hooping, it’s an exciting feeling, of course, but once you get to the point where you can just pop on some music and dance without really thinking about it and not worrying about dropping the hoop… well, it’s a lovely feeling.
Guess I can keep talking about this for ages, but I’ll leave it at that for now! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me!