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Get hooked on hooping. It seems we knew the secret to a flat tummy all along -the humble hula hoop. That’s right, the long forgotten childhood pastime has made a comeback with celebrity hoopers Beyonce, Kelly Brook and even Michelle Obama taking nostalgic trips to fitness past. A great tone-up trick that’s spot on trend, you can even customise your hoop with sparkly, glitter tape.
Adult hula hooping isn’t all play, it’s a fast calorie burner which provides a tiring tummy-toning workout. You also can’t just run to your nearest toy store and grab a hoop - workout hula hoops are bigger and weighted, usually weighing around 2 pounds. The extra weight on the hoop allows it to circle your body more slowly, so if your hoop keeps falling to the ground, grab a heavier one and it will become easier.
The key tip for making hooping work for you is to stand with your feet in front of one another, rather than side to side, and to thrust your hips with the hoop rather than circling it with your body. Hula hooping is not just for the waist either; professional hoopers can circle hoops on their hands, necks, and even their knees. Once you learn how to coordinate your body to circle the hoop it becomes very easy to graduate to other parts of your body. You may also learn how to whirl multiple hoops in time to music.
As an adult you’ll find that hooping does a lot more for you than you ever realised. Like pole dancing it involves a lot of sensual circling of your hips, which can help improve your sex life. It’s also said to be a form of meditation with the rhythm of the hoops lulling you into a relaxed state.
What’s more, going to a class is bound to be a giggle which is a workout in itself and good fun too.
Anyone can pick up a hoop and learn the basics very quickly, however if you’re pregnant or have a diagnosed back condition it is advised to consult your doctor before starting classes.
At first hula hooping can be slightly painful as you’re exercising parts of your body that often don’t get used and the hoop can cause slight bruising around your abdomen until your skin gets tougher. It is also an exercise that requires a good sense of humour; hooping is considered a performance art as well as an exercise with origins in the circus, so you could be shimmying hips next to a lot of wild and wacky characters.