Hooping With Boobs

served [Hooping.org columnist Lara Eastburn  gives us a fresh look at how our bodies and yes, boobs, affect our hooping]

by Lara Eastburn

Each of us has encountered at least one obstacle inside our hoops. For me, leg hooping was like coming up against a brick wall. I thought I’d never get it. But it certainly never occurred to me to blame my thick quadriceps or lack of visible knee-caps for it. So when challenged by torso hooping, why are so many of our well-endowed lady hoopers lightning quick to blame their bosoms? For years, online threads have asked, I’m having trouble hooping above the waist. Are my boobs too big for this? Relax, my ample friends. Your boobs aren’t holding you back in the hoop. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a factor in what’s going on.

Are you hiding your boob light under a bushel? When my generous bosom first made its glorious appearance in grade school, the teasing began just as quickly. Within a week, I had learned to cross my arms in front of my chest and fold my shoulders in an attempt to minimize the attention. In turn, my posture was dramatically changed for the next 15 years.

Until I met the hoop, that is. It quickly became apparent that I was not going to meet with a lot of success in my hoop all slumped over like that. So for the first time since I was 12, I stood up straight and held my head high. After all, I was becoming a dancer! It wasn’t easy to retrain my body in the ways of good posture. But all the work I was doing in my hoop was simultaneously strengthening my core and lower back muscles, lending the physical support I needed to correct years of slumping, childish embarrassment about my breasts.

Adapting your hooping style to your body type. When we hoopers say everybody can hoop, we mean every word of it. But each of us adapts the way we dance to accommodate our attributes. My boobs aren’t in the way, but they are a part of my body that I am constantly aware of. For me, hooping with boobs has meant 1) getting adequate support for ‘the girls’ and 2) using my arms to protect them when chest hooping.

There is no underestimating a good sports bra. But many of us with larger breasts don’t take the time to get fitted properly. Knowing your size will change everything, so start there. Sure, it’s a few minutes topless in a changing room with a stranger. It’s a little weird, granted, but it’s more than worth it. A proper fitting will help your posture, improve your overall silhouette, and ensure you never fall out of your shirt again. Most large department stores can help you out in this department and recommend the best styles for you. Try every single one of them on and jump up and down while you’re in the changing room to get a feel for how your new gear will react to motion.

When hooping on the torso, I use the flesh of my upper arms to guide the hoop. As if my arms were wings, I open and close them with the hoop’s rotation. This was a lesson learned through a rite of passage in chest hooping I call the “black boob,” the most heinous hooping bruise I ever had. Letting a big heavy hoop pummel my chest into submission clearly wasn’t working. So I had to adapt. Just as I had to adjust my stance to accommodate a smooth, successful chest roll.

Lastly, a tip from our belly dancing sisters.
I find belly dancers to be an inspiration in the boob department. The shoulder shimmy – arms outstretched, with a front-to-back shaking motion – celebrates and frees the bosom. The breasts are treated not as alien, bothersome appendages, but as beautiful and voluptuous assets of the body, and invites them to join in the dance.

So, my lovely lady friends blessed with bosoms of ALL sizes, let’s chill with the boob-blame and get into the love-game. Stand up straight, tall, and proud. Adapt your moves to your body. And once you’ve bitten the bullet to get sized, go ahead and splurge on that glittered bra. ‘Cause the spotlight’s on you in all your glory!

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Lara Eastburn Lara Eastburn has been dancing in meadows and singing with the moon while spinning in circles for eons at Superhooper.org. Beyond commenting here, you can also discuss this and other topics related to the Hooposophy for living in Hooping.org’s Hooposophy Group and Forum. Lara is also the driving force behind Circumference: Online and Live business & marketing classes for hoop makers, instructors, and performers.

Comments

comments

9 Responses

  1. Rima says:

    Could you possibly make a short video of the wing flappy thing, because I can’t picture it and I would probably benefit from trying it! Thanks!

  2. Shea says:

    TI used the “chicken dance” arms myself. Using my upper arms to push/pull and as I got better lowering my arms till they were at my sides

  3. ohmywhatfun says:

    Lara Eastburn, I love you! I’ve found that when trying to get the hoop up for chest hooping, really straightening the back is key to getting the hoop from the valley to the top o’the hills. And it is never too late to improve your attitude about the girls, and therefore your posture, and then your willingness to buy them the best support you can. The good news is, later in life, because you’ve been supporting them well, they may actually sag less than the ones that get to go braless. I could never even consider going braless. But since starting hooping 2 years ago, incredible, improved muscle strength undeneath them and throughout the upper torso has made friends (good, old friends) ask if I got a boob job!!! I’m still laughing about that!

  4. Chloe says:

    Hooping with nipple rings? Anyone?! Ouchies.

  5. hoopy says:

    Lara, this article is a treat!
    It took me until my fourth year as a hooper to chest hoop. Because during my second year I got pregnant and my boobs went nuclear. They hurt if somebody even looked at them. Then, after Finch was born, the breastfeeding began. So, I was reluctant to try chest hooping, even after I got my practice re-going harder than ever. Hadn’t the girls been through enough?
    But even with giant, milky, alien boobs I was able to learn chest hooping. The secret was not the boobs, but the back. It was absolutely about the open-hearted posture I had seen in Hoopalicious, Ann, and Shakti’s videos.

    There was a cool bonus- after trying (and failing) to chest hoop for a solid hour, my lungs began to finally expand to their pre-pregnancy space. I’m really short and had a big ol’ baby, so he crammed my lungs up into my chest cavity while he was growing in my belly. My diaphram could not properly expand during my final trimester and I was so short of breath! Chest hooping finally brought my lungs back to life. And yes, I did it all with boobies.

  6. Tilly Whirls says:

    Absolutely great advice. I always have ladies who are hesitant to chest hoop because of their chest size but it’s something everyone can do if they want to! :) And I think it’s fantastic for posture. Whenever I’m traveling and I sleep somewhere my back doesn’t like I get up and chest hoop. It always helps.

  7. Dorne says:

    Totally awesome advice. I think I’ll get some boobs and try it!

  8. JessLeopard says:

    i have large boob too…. And the belly dancing forward and back thrust movement really helped me figure it out now… i can do it now, no problem ! I did have to practice a lot without the hoop to get it but I have only been hooping since last july and I got the groove after about a month of practice!!! As far as getting it up to my chest from my waist I still have to dip down a little to the hoop up there…

  9. AmandaW says:

    A chest hooping tip someone gave me recently that really clicked was that most people don’t put enough power into the back pushes. So when I pay attention to that, it stays up longer!

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