Introduction to Hooping

intropic1 “Hooping” is the modern term for hula hooping with larger customized hoops. There are more and more people hooping all over America and around the world, but what the hell are they doing?

Historical Background: The hoop has a long history, which pre-dates the 1950s hula hooping fad by several thousand years.

Hooping began creeping back into the American collective cultural consciousness a decade ago. Certainly, fans of The String Cheese Incident deserve some credit for kicking off the second revolution of hooping. The band has been known to toss hoops into the audience during shows since the mid-90s, and their fans began spreading the joy of hooping everywhere. Soon hooping began showing up at underground dance community events and raves. If you’d like to read more about this resurgant wave of hula hooping, check out: What Goes Around Comes Around.

intropic2 Hooping vs. Hula Hooping: Hooping is way more fun than the hula hooping you remember as a child, because the bigger and heavier the hoop, the slower it rotates around your body. This means that even if you think you can’t hoop, with one of these hoops, you can! Everybody can hoop, regardless of age, size, or sense of rhythm. When you’re using a customized hoop that’s four feet in diameter, the rotation is slow enough that even clumsy amateurs can keep the hoop going — and it’s not too hard to get into dancing and even doing tricks.

Hooping also just feels good. Another advantage of a bigger heavier hoop is that as it circles your waist, it gives you a solid massage. Your intestines and organs get a firm rythmic rubbing. It feels great! Some claim that hooping has other energetic benefits as well, but I can only speak for myself: I find hooping quite meditative, and perhaps more importantly, hooping makes me smile. Playing with a hoop works up a nice sweat, and like any cardiovascular exercise, it can hit the reset button on a bad mood. It’s simply a lot of fun; and I’m a firm believer that fun is healthy!

Want more inspiration?
How To Start Hula Hooping
Make Your Own Hula Hoop (easy!)

2010 Update: So, What Exactly Is Hooping Again?

17 thoughts on “Introduction to Hooping

  1. A friend sent me this link because he knows I hula hoop daily. I love walking/running/dancing while hooping, but I’ve found that using my hoop during commercial breaks is a fun way to get off the sofa for five minutes and get some exercise. I’ve never heard of the type of hoop discussed on this site, but will check into them. I like the small one I have for dancing purposes, but the added weight would be good for exercise. Thanks for the tips!

    1. You can buy 100 or 160 psi irrigation tubing in 3/4 or 1 inch width at Lowes or Home Depot or your local hardward store – buy coupling connectors in the corresponding size and you’ve got a hoop! (google “how to build a hula hoop”)

  2. Really the easiest thing to do is to make the hoop yourself. If you really wanted a naked hoop though you can try asking any of the hoop makers in our marketplace if they’d sell you one – or simply get the hoop decorated and remove the tape and start fresh. Tape not only adds decoration, it also adds weight and traction so you’re not going to want to be hooping with a naked hoop for a variety of reasons, but I totally get wanting to do your own design.

  3. i just read, “what is hooping” and found out that i am not a hooper. as i use 1950’s antique whamo’s. so i am a hula hooper, but from the above, this distinction is clear. i suggest that hooping is hooping regardless of the size and that this ‘ownership’ of hooping is weak, and unfounded. It is that tendency of sheepish masses to subsume the past and put their name on it.

  4. Anne, may I suggest embracing change today? Try an adult-sized hoop. It’s larger and heavier. Crank the tunes and see how much difference a pound and three times the space inside your hoop makes. Most of us we’re not as blessed in being able to make it work with a kid’s toy store product. We’re making our own or having them made for us and now we are finding ourselves in the hoop too. If those whamo’s still rock your world, great! Embrace your inner hula hooper. The hooping community is inclusive and there are videos and photos and more of the old skool style on here from time to time too. But when the rebirth of hooping began it was indeed different and it required language to convey that, not to mention the Wham-O has a patented trademark and they’ve sent cease and desist orders to many that have used those words. Many of the articles written about hooping today report, “These aren’t your grandma’s hula hoops”, and they’re not. Give it a spin and discover the difference for yourself. – Editor

  5. i swear by hooping for the stomach…i had two weeks before a major party week end at a beach resort and i did the hula hoop for just 5 to seven minutes a day and voila! the results were just fab. i must admit i am not at all fat to begin with though my stomach is a tad bit loose and flabby…. it worked very well for moi!

  6. The massage hoop is good for ten minutes of hooping. Other than that it’s pretty useless. It’s too heavy to do much with other than waist/core hooping and if you hoop with a “regular” adult size hoop you’re much more likely to spend more time exercising because you’re having more fun doing it. Break out of the box that you want to hoop “to exercise” and you’ll wind up having a lot more exercise as a result. – Editor

  7. Hoops! Lucky me, I could hula-hoop a little, way back when. When I purchased a large, defective hula(r)hoop with no shak-shak noise, that changed my life! When a PVC hoop was given to me at BurningMan, I could not stop hooping. Besides the fun, just five minutes a day will give you a trim waist, even if you are chubby. Try it. Hooping is easier than evah. I plan to make my own out of PVC.

  8. Perhaps traditional hoop dances such as Hopi and Navajo hoop dancing deserve a mention here, even if modern hoop dancing did not evolve directly from them? Many of the moves are identical.

  9. i am 62 when i was about 10 this was all the range.if funny how things come around .its a good way of exersise and its great fun.what some of the better than i was can do with those hoops is well mind bloggering

  10. I have tried hooping few times and got a bit depressed as I was not making progress fast enough. My friend is into hooping and she is very good at it. She is always encouraging me to try. After reading this post, I am very interested in trying again. Wish me luck!

  11. I’ve been hooping since the summer and I love it! It’s great to be able to do something that both my daughter and I enjoy (and that helps me keep that mommy-muffin-top off! I’ve really enjoyed this website, thanks for all the information…

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