Alexandria Truex of Dutruex Hula Hoops and Hooping Idol 4 has lost an astounding 75 pounds (34kg) since she started hooping. In this video she shows us some simple and fun hooping workouts moves that she utilizes that have helped her shed the weight and get in shape. Alexandria lives in Portland, Oregon, USA, and we’re not sure what song she’s hooping to here, but it is very relaxing.
Have you ever seen a magnetic fitness hula hoop? Y’know, they come in a box that weighs about five pounds? It’s the one with the picture of a smiling woman rocking her six-pack abs with a giant, bumpy plastic hoop on the front. I’ve seen products like it ever since picking up my first hoop in 2011. I’ve peered curiously at the ads and marveled at their promises to burn “100 calories in 10 minutes”. Whenever I imagined trying one, however, I’d think about how much it would hurt when I inevitably dropped it on my toe, or whacked myself in the nose. I must admit that I’ve continued to feel the pull of magnetic fitness hoops though. I’ve ended up returning to that box on the shelf repeatedly. And questions have continued to loom in the back of my mind – “Do those magnets really make that much of a difference?” “What’s up with the supposed massage effect?” “Do they even work?” With a degree in Exercise Science and a need to leave no question unanswered, I decided it was time to finally solve this mystery for all of us.
I want to begin with what really sets these apart from standard adult-sized dance hoops and other types of fitness hoops: the magnets. These special hoops operate on the idea of biomagnetism, which claims that exposure to a static magnetic field can increase the rate of cellular respiration. So magnets make you break down more fuel, use more calories, and speed up weight loss, right? Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case. Unable to find any conclusive proof that magnets actually assist in weight loss online, I decided to venture deep into the world of academic research.
The idea of biomagnetism and weight loss has not been widely researched. In fact, I found just one recent experiment that directly addressed this issue. The researchers found that long-term exposure to a static magnetic field could lead to a decrease in body weight in mice, which was attributed to a suppressed food intake. So perhaps these magnetic hoops can increase weight loss through a mechanism of simply eating less. This is where an important distinction must be made though. In the research, the mice were exposed to a magnetic field all day long. Due to the weight of these hoops, using them for an extended amount of time, like more than ten minutes a day, is not recommended. Taking that into consideration, I do not think we can say that using these hoops provides enough adequate exposure to magnets to warrant the effects of appetite suppression.
Even if the magnets are ineffective, however, burning “100 calories in 10 minutes” sounds pretty tempting. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), however, a choreographed hoop fitness class with a standard adult-sized dance hoop can burn about 7 calories a minute. This is obviously below the advertised 10 calories per minute claimed by using the magnetic hoop. For said claim to be true, using these magnetic hoops would have to qualify as vigorous physical activity. That would mean most people should only be able to speak in short bursts while using the hoop, with heart rates somewhere between 70 and 85 percent of their maximal. While this may be true for some, for most of us they would be working at a lower level of intensity, meaning the calorie-torching benefits would be lessened, so it doesn’t really add up.
Not only do the benefits not seem to be there, there may be some drawbacks to using a magnetic fitness hula hoop as well. While they call attention to the massaging effect, many people report discomfort and bruising from the weight and design of these hoops, beyond what occurs from standard hoop bruising. For novice hoopers or people trying it out for the first time, this can potentially be very discouraging, maybe even reducing their likelihood to continue. Believe it or not, being repeatedly covered in painful bruises might chase some people away rather than bring them into the community. Our community of hoopers is a very encouraging one, and we think hooping should be a positive experience for everyone who takes the first steps to try it out.
Another drawback would be the amount of time that you can actually use these hoops. Most fitness hoops that weigh a few pounds or more come with a warning not to use them for more than ten minutes a day. While they might seem great for whittling the waist, the amount of time spent in actual exercise is rather minimal, not to mention laborious. Using an adult-sized dance hoop that weighs less than 2 pounds, however, allows you not only to exercise longer, but to be able to do much more than waist hooping. It’s also a hell of a lot more fun, too.
So, the promises of magnetic hoops and the realities seem to be at opposite poles. The magnets do not seem to rev up the body’s metabolism as promised, and the claims of calories burned are higher than what currently available research shows. However, moving your body a little is better than not moving your body at all. I respect magnetic hula hoops because they are an avenue to bring people into our happy hooping family, even if they are covered in bruises. And, ultimately, we’re delighted to see you in arrive in our circle, no matter what your hoop looks like.
What do you think? Have you ever used a magnetic hoop? If so, let us know about your experience in the comments below!
You can tell Caitlin Freeman is a hooper just by looking at her car. There are rolls of duct tape in the trunk, a satchel full of her favorite hoops in the back seat, and some stray connectors rolling around on the floor somewhere. She picked up the hoop in 2011, and she has yet to put it down. Hooping provided her with an outlet to explore her personality and to fall in love with movement. A full-time fitness instructor, Caitlin lives in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She’s on Facebook.
Deanne Love of HoopLovers is here to take your workout to the next level with this tutorial on 5 different ways to burn calories with a hula hoop. Hoopers of every skill level can take a little something from this too though, since it’s more about fitness than learning new tricks. Deanne uses basic on-body hoop dance moves that combine arm and leg movements to help melt the calories away and help you feel the burn. Deanne lives in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Are you ready to burn some calories and break a sweat looking fabulous while you do it? Deanne Love of Hooplovers is here with a Hoop Boot Camp Workout that’s great for any hooping skill level, so give it a spin. Our 2014 Hoopie Award winning Instructor of the Year focuses on Core Muscle Training here and says this was created, “So we can have a super hooper workout in between our dance and trick play.” Deanne lives in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
by Philo Hagen
When we first start hooping and we’re focusing on just keeping the hoop moving around our core, and we tend to only hoop for short periods of time, we don’t really need to warm up for hooping all that much. We can generally do some simple stretches and give it a spin. But the more we hoop, and the longer we do it and better we get at it, the more we begin to bring our whole body to the experience. Once we begin to bring more of our body to hooping, and spin it up for longer periods of time, it becomes increasingly important to warm up some first, especially this time of year when the world around us might be getting colder. Hooping may put a smile on our face, but it’s pretty hard to maintain that smile once you pull a muscle.
Picture all of the muscles in our bodies being like rubber bands. If you spend your day sitting in front of a computer in a desk chair that may or may not be ergonomically right for you, most of our rubber bands are spend the day being relatively, if not completely, unused. That lack of overall body movement combined with stress tends to make our bodies feel tight and constricted. So when we head home after a long day of physical inactivity and crank the tunes and grab our hoop, the cold Autumn air meets our cooler unstretched rubber band bodies and if we do too much too soon something may just snap. Ouch!
For those who already have a yoga or stretching practice that they’re into, you can certainly bring that to your hooping experience. When it comes to hoop dance, however, dynamic warm-ups are really the smart way to go. When you jump around and loosen up your muscles and wake your body up first and get it active before you hoop, you’re letting it know to get ready for action. Doing so gets your body on game plan and will help you avoid injury. A dynamic warm up can also help us activate our central nervous system, priming those muscle bands for a session they’re really going to enjoy. Throw in improved blood circulation to really help you perform well, and by the time you pick up your hoop you’re really good to go.
Warming up before we hoop can also help us become better hoopers. How? When your muscles and joints are ready for maximum flexibility, you’ll be able to stretch them farther and with greater extension. You can transform those quick short vortexes into taller and higher moves than you would ordinarily be able to do. When we warm up first, we are creating a body with more agility and movement and in doing so we’re really adding some additional colors and textures and techniques to our art.
How much time will it take? Doing a proper warm up need only take five to ten minutes. So, are you ready for a dynamic warm up? Always keep in mind to only do what you can, what feels good for your own body, and adjust the exercises in the warm up so that you feel physically good about doing them and go from there.
1: 30 Seconds of jumping rope. Jumping rope for 30 seconds will really wake up our whole body. Don’t have a rope? Pretend you do and practice your invisible jump rope anyway.
2: 20 jumping jacks. Pull your shoulder blades back, extend your arms and really focus on the movement. You’re getting all of your limbs ready to hoop.
3: 5 body weight squats. This really gets your legs ready for action.
4: 5 lunges for each leg. Not familiar with how to do a lunge properly? Liz will tell you all about it.
5: 5 hip extensions. Tamera can teach you how to do a very low impact hip extension below. If you’re already very fit, you can try doing the same thing, but approaching it being from the ground on all fours on your hands and knees. Lift a leg back behind you and extend your hip. The principle is the same and the stretch will be in greater.
6: 5 hip rotations for each leg. If you’re doing hip extensions on the ground, roll over on to your side and rotate your hip as well. Bryan can tell you more about it above.
7: Leg Swings. Go for 5 standing forward leg swings and 5 standing side leg swings using each leg.
8: 5 arm swings. Hold your arms straight out to the side, and then swing and cross them in front of your chest. Repeat.
9: Shoulder rotations. Holding your arms straight out to the side again, this time move your arms in a circular motion, making bigger circles each time. This is great for your shoulders.
As you can see, even though we are warming up our whole body for hooping, we are putting extra emphasis on warming up our hips, butt, legs and core. Why? Because these are the muscles that tend to be the least active during the day – and these are the muscles we often use the most when we are hooping, even if the movements are sometimes subtle.
If this warm up is really easy for you, or as you get better at it over time, feel free to increase the numbers for an even better kick off. While warming up may not be as fun as hooping is itself, ultimately it will help us to enjoy our hooping even more, and help keep our bodies in the best shape for our hoop dance so we can remain injury free and spinning it up for years to come.
Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, Philo has performed internationally and has won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Deanne Love of Hoop Lovers proclaims to be a choco-holic and eats chocolate every single day, sometimes even for breakfast! But, never fear, she goes on to show you how she burns all those brownie calories away, turning them into stong abs thanks to an awesome hula hooping core workout. What perfect timing with the holidays just around the corner and all the yummy foods that will be festively place around our tables and offices, right? Keep this one handy and bookmarked for easy reference and go ahead and enjoy a few holiday treats. Deanne Love lives in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Sarah Greenslade of Hooping Classes in York has spun her way into the news. By day she works in a shop, but when arrives she is teaching the people of York that hooping can be fitness wrapped in fun. At the dance studio at Door 84, the local community center, Maxine Gordon of The Press decided to take a class. She writes, “Giant rings in candy-cane colours lean against a wall decorated in colourful graffiti. It looks more New York than York, but this is Lowther Street in the Groves… The modern hoop is quite different from the ones we played with as children. In fact, says Sarah, most adults would be unable to work the children’s model. Sarah makes the hoops for use in the class – they are larger, thicker and heavier than those used by children. As a rule, she explains, the bigger the hoop, the easier it is use. With the right hoop, it isn’t long before Maxine is hooping.
“I couldn’t hoop as a kid,” Sarah told Maxine, adding, “and I only took this up two years ago. There is a massive underground network in hooping.” Yes the “craze” that started in America is spinning up the UK and though Sarah has attended hoop gatherings and is learning tricks and finding her flow, her main purpose is to get people in shape, especially women. “A lot of people would never go to a gym or a regular fitness class. Hooping has so much scope to get people moving in a more fun way.” Sarah’s students know this to be true too. Hydi Burnham, a student of hers for the past two months told The Press, “I’ve lost two inches off my belly in the past two months. Hooping is great exercise and I am learning skills. And it’s great fun.” Sarah’s hooping classes at Door 84 are held on Wednesdays from 7pm to 8pm. The current six-week block costs £30 and runs until Christmas. She also teaches hooping at Emperors’ Gym in Skeldergate and at the Tang Hall Community Centre.
Hooping.org columnist Shannon Loucks is here to get us working that core! She says, “In this lesson we are going to move the hoop up and down the core and work on getting control of the hoop on different parts of the body!” It’s super essential stuff that can not only allows the whole world of hoop dance to really open up, it’s the fundamentals for working your core for fitness too. It’s all part of the This is Fit Workouts series and Shannon lives in Santa Clara, California, USA.
Jewelz Hanssens of Jewelz A Hoopz is taking hooping for fitness to a new level in Australia with her Fab Ab Attack. Jewelz, who organizes the annual Hoopy Happening down under, believes you can target different muscles in your body from top to toe with hooping too. “For me, it’s a great way to keep in shape, play, have fun, laugh, develop new skills and tap into my creative energies,” she told the St. George & Sutherland Shire Leader, adding, “What I love about the hoop is that it doesn’t have any barriers; it’s all inclusive.”
Jewelz is teaching adult hula hooping classes once a week at Engadine Community Hall, organizes regular workshops on introductory hooping that cover circus hooping and hoop dance, and she teaches in pre-schools, active after-school care and vacation programs. How does one of her adult classes go? “At my Engadine class, we start with a warm-up followed by a corny routine to ‘Let’s Get Physical’,” she said, “Then its ‘fab ab attack hoop fit o’clock’ where we do 12 30-second ab stations, followed by 12 one-minute waist hooping [drills], followed by another 12 one-minute hand or other type of drill. This is then followed by working on a new trick or continuing work on tricks. Every week is slightly different. I have been working on a ‘Fab Ab Attack Manual’ and it will soon be finished. It will be available as an e-book with a 30 day diary challenge, tips for how to hoop to get the most out of your core workout, challenges, other exercises and, sheets to use for your challenges and a 30-day plan to follow.” Find out more and view more photos at the Leader.
It’s a well known fact that hooping has amazing health benefits, but now it’s time to learn some basic moves you can work into your daily fitness routine! Over at Kurriosity.com, the “social network for healthy living”, Kurriosity Korrespondent Brittany Cascone meets with Casandra Tanenbaum of Hoola-Fit to learn some key exercises that will help anyone improve their health, regardless of their history with the hoop. Moves featured include waist hooping, hooping squats, figure-8 hooping, and even an intro to isolations. This video is almost like four tutorials hooped into one! Casandra even includes a few helpful tips such as keeping your arms moving so you burn more calories. Best of all, all you need for this work out is a hoop and anywhere between ten and thirty minutes of free time. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling the burn from your triceps to your hamstrings! Casandra lives in Lake, Worth, Florida, USA.