Many people can remember hula hooping in their childhood, hips moving around in circles, finding that strength and balance to prevent the hoop from hitting the floor. While hula hooping was a fun activity in our youth, fitness experts are bringing the toy back and incorporating it into workouts.

Traditionally used as a circus prop and made popular in the 1950s, hula hoops require core strengthen and balance. This makes it a great accessory to add to your normal cardio sweat session.

Marawa Ibrahim, a circus hooper known as Marawa the Amazing spoke to Reuters about the effectiveness and meditative aspects of hula hooping. The 32-year-old who can spin 133 hoops at the same time, who has appeared on “Britain’s Got Talent” said she began incorporating the hoop into her workouts in circus school to develop core muscles.

Hula hooping requires both technique and balance, and you in order to feel the burn in your workouts, you must make sure you have the appropriately sized hoop.

“You can’t hoop with a kid’s hoop. When you were a kid you were half as tall,” she said, adding that a hoop should reach to the hips, at least. “I used to teach a gym class of overweight women. I made hoops that were almost up to their armpits and they could do it.”

Hoop dancing classes have begun to sprung up, such as Chicago Hoop Dance that involves movement similar to Yoga, which promote toned muscles and weight loss.

Experts from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) have found in a 2011 study that hula hooping could burn up to 600 calories an hour.

Taking a spin on the child’s play and adding it into your cardio will not only make workout of more fun, but can also help keep things fresh while still focusing on toning and getting your heart rate up.

Check out TROO HOOPS for classes in NYC that teaches basic hoopdance and intermediate classes, or other studios that provide the class on this Yelp search.

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