Tag Archive for Workout

Do Magnetic Fitness Hula Hoops Really Work?

magneticmassagehulahoop by Caitlin Freeman

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!

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caitlinfreeman 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.

Our 30/30 Hoopy New Year Challenge

3030advert by Philo Hagen

Don’t you just love that clean slate feeling of a new year rolling around again? Whatever happened in 2014 is now a thing of the past and we’ve got our eyes on 2015 and it’s looking really good! Woot woot! And whatever your new year resolutions might be, Hooping.org is here to help you kick your 2015 off just right with the perfect challenge to take care of practically all of them. If you want to be happier, feel sexier and have more fun in the new year, we’ve got just the challenge for you. If you want to lose the holiday weight that found you at all of those holiday parties, we’ve got the challenge for you too. If you want to be more mindful and centered in 2014, to be more present and radiant in the new year, we’ve got the perfect challenge for you. It’s time for our annual 30/30 Hoopy New Year Hooping Challenge that will help you spin up whatever resolutions and revolution you want to see come your way.

Those who have been with us awhile are familiar with how our 30/30 challenges works, but for those that are new, here’s what you need to know. The basic premise is this: 1) Make a public commitment in the comments below to hoop for at least 30 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days during the month of January. 2) When you are finished with your hoop session each day, post a comment about your daily hooping experience, however brief or detailed, on the “Day 1″ and then “Day 2″ and then “Day 3″ posts for each corresponding day of the challenge on Hooping.org’s Facebook Page. Why? So we can all have accountability to one another. So we can all really support each other along the way.

Each day of the challenge a new challenge photo post will go up on Hooping.org’s Facebook Page and the first one is already up and waiting for your New Years Day hooping so spread the word! The more hoopers we have doing this together, the more fun it’s going to be for all of us. And seeing as January has 31 days in it, you can totally begin on January 2nd as well and still hoop up your 30 minutes of hooping for 30 days in January. BUT for those of us who start on New Years Day itself, we will all have a wild-card free pass day at our disposal, to use at our own discretion, should we need it at some point during the month. Just check in on that daily post and say that you used or are using your Wild Card day.

And to motivate all of us even more we’ve got a little prize incentive for you too. We’ve got a pretty cool little collection of hooping related stickers for our winner and an iTunes gift card. So go for it! Of course everyone who is spinning up this challenge is already a winner in the new year just for participating. To be eligible for the little prize drawing, however, you must:

1) Post your commitment to our New Year 30/30 Hooping Challenge in the comments below.
2) Hoop for a minimum of 30 minutes each day of the challenge. You can break it into several smaller sessions during your day if you need to, just as long as they add up to at least 30 minutes a day.
3) Share about your daily 30/30 hooping experience on Hooping.org’s Facebook Page on the photo post corresponding to that day. At the end of the month all who completed the challenge will be entered into a random drawing.

So let’s spin up the joy and fun and fitness and radiance for 2014. It’s a new year and it’s time to let go and bring an even better you into it, so have fun hooping your way into the new year and reaping all of the benefits along the way. And please help spread the word so that we can spread the joy and fun and fitness of hooping and community even further too. Good luck everyone and here’s to all of us having a super healthy, happy and hoopy new year!

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Philo Hagen 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.

Hula Hoop Core Workout with Deanne Love

DeanneLove 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.

9 Great Warm Up Exercises For Hoopers

hoopwarmup 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.

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Philo Hagen 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.

Tone Your Arms with Hooping: 3 Arm Toning Hula Hoop Moves

3ArmToningMoves You don’t need to pump iron to build up those biceps and triceps. All you need is your hoop and this fantastic instructional video will help you get those arms nice and toned. Donna Sparx of Hoop Sparx, otherwise known as Donna Gross, teaches us three hard working and fun moves, each targeting a certain a certain area of your arm: The Tricep Iso Rock, Bangin’ Biceps and the Z-Spin. Hooping is a great way to get yourself in shape! Donna lives in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Get Your Fitness Hooping Workout with Jane Fondle

Hula Hoop Exercise Jane Fondle of Hoops, Thighs, & Buttocks, along with her sidekicks Punky Hoopster and Donna Comet, bring us a colorful hoopercise video incorporating 80’s fitness video essence with your hoop and arm exercise weight lifting sets. “Working out can be fun,” Jane explains as she and her fellow teachers Werq.It.Out and if you don’t have hand weights, try canned food! These ladies live in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and the retro tunes heard here are “Controversy” by Prince (on iTunes) and “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, also on iTunes.

How I Eat Chocolate Everyday and Stay in Shape

Deanne Love chocolate work out 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.