Moaning about having to book into your next cardio class? There's a much easier way to get your heart-rate racing for a fraction of the price and the good news is: it's available to everyone.
Despite the initial scoffs, hula hooping burst back onto the scene a few years ago as a fitness trend with some real credit. Rebecca explains that hula hooping actually is "an excellent all over body workout which targets your legs, core and even your arms."
In order to keep the hoop up you are contracting your core muscles which gives them a thorough work out. So doing this for 5, 10, 15 minutes at a time is an excellent way to work, build and tone these vital muscles.
The Benefits Of Hula Hooping:
1. It improves balance
Think hula hooping is a total breeze? We hate to break it to you but you're not 7 years old anymore so despite what you might assume, your body isn't that easy to manoeuvre. So Rebecca says that practising "the hula hooping swing also helps improve your motor skills, balance and endurance."
2. It improves blood flow
We know that exercise gets the heart-pumping but hula hooping is extra effective. Rebecca says that "this kind of repetitious body movement has also been found to improve blood flow and consequently cleanse your system of toxins."
Detoxing while you work out? We like the sound of that.
3. It's a great calorie torcher
The one we all care about - fat burning.
Rebecca explains: "Hula hooping will also burn calories – so, if you’re looking to lose some weight, this could be the perfect piece of equipment for you. In fact, studies (American Council on Exercise, 2010) show that the standard hula hooping can burn as many as 210 calories in half an hour."
4. It's versatile
One of the best things about hula hooping is that you can constantly develop your exercises so you will never get trapped in that workout rut. Rebecca outlines some of the most effective below!
5. It's an intense core workout.
If you have problems sculpting your waist (seriously, who doesn't?) then hula hooping is the perfect exercise for you. Rebecca says its popularity lies in "its ability to help shape and tone the abdomen, in particular the rectus abdominus, the obliques and the transverse abdominus." So that tummy will be looking trim in no-time.
6. It's FUN
So how do you get the most out of your hula hooping workout? For starters try these exercises for all over toning.
Exercise 1: The Standard Hula Hoop Swing
- Stand with your feet hip width apart inside the hoop.
- Bend down into a squat and bring the hoop up to your waist.
- Begin to rotate your torso and then release the hoop from your hands and, using the swing of your body, keep the hoop in place for as long as you can.
Exercise 2: The Hula Hoop Squat
- To get an even better glute and leg workout – perform the hula hoop swing in the squat position.
- To keep the hoop up you need to keep your back as upright as possible and keep the swing going for as long as you can.
Exercise 3: The Hula Twerk
This is an excellent bottom workout!
- Start standing in the middle of the hoop and lift it up to waist height.
- Begin the hula swing but, this time, let the hula hoop lower until it is just over your buttocks.
- Keep the hoop here for as long as you can.
- To up the intensity further try marching or doing little hops as you go.
Exercise 4: The Hula Shoulder Roll
- This one is a bit different – forget pelvic swinging and focus on those arms.
- For this exercise you need to lift one arm out straight to shoulder height, take the hula hoop in an underhand grip and move it down onto your wrist.
- From here you need strongly circle your arm, from your shoulder, in little circles to get the hoop moving and circling.
- Do this for as long as you can and then repeat on the other arm. Ouch!
Exercise 5: The Hula Press
- Position the hula hoop on the floor and get into the press up position with your hands inside the hoop.
- Do 1 press up in this position and then move your left arm outside of the hoop and do another press up.
- Having done this move your left hand back to starting position and move your right hand outside of the hoop before doing another press up.
- Continue this until you can’t perform another repetition.
- If you can’t do full press ups yet, try this exercise in the ¾ or ½ press up position on your knees.
Rebecca says that once you've got these moves down, you cam up the intensity and opt for a weighted hoop.
So what do you think? Going to give it a try? Tweet us at @sofeminineUK and let us know how you get on!
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