You might have played with a hula hoop when you were a kid. Hooping as an adult is an effective workout, because not only is it fun and energizing, it increases your heart rate, burns calories and improves your core strength. No longer reserved for elementary school playgrounds, hooping has grown up.
The plastic child-size hoops are not recommended for your hooping workout. Adult-sized hoops that measure between 37 and 45 inches in diameter spin slower, which makes the workout more challenging. You can also find weighted hoops that help to shape your core. The weighted hoops are available at sporting goods stores, while many of the larger-sized hoops are custom made.
You rotate a hoop around your waist for your core hooping exercise. As you shift your hips forward and backward to move the hoop, your abdominal muscles are strengthened and toned. The hooping movement elevates your heart rate within cardiovascular training zones, according to the American Council on Exercise. ACE studied the heart-rate response and found hooping participants exercised near 84 percent of their maximum heart rate and burned approximately seven calories per minute.
The basic hoop spin, sometimes known as the pump, is the beginning move for your cardio core workout. Stand in the middle of the hoop with both feet, one in front of the other. Hold the hoop in both hands with your palms facing you. Rotate the hoop to one side, but keep the hoop pressed against your lower back. With enthusiasm, move the hoop forward and around your waist. Shift your hips forward and backward so the hoop continues its rotation. Avoid moving your hips in a circle, as the hoop will fall to the ground. If you have difficulty keeping the hoop spinning, try tossing the hoop in the other direction or switching the position of your feet.
As your hooping ability improves, increase the speed of the spin by moving your hips forward and backward at a faster pace. Pick a set amount of time, such as 15 seconds, to increase the speed. After that time, slow down to a comfortable pace. Continue to alternate the speed for the duration of your hooping workout. Use this method of interval training to increase the challenge and benefits of your cardio core hoop workout.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images