Hula hoop: How to lose weight and build abs

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Hula hooping with weights can help with weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and strength training.

According to research, a 30-minute hula hoop workout burns up to 210 calories.

Hula hooping can also help improve posture, balance, and heart health.

Many of you probably know hula hoop as a fun activity to do as a kid. But hula-hooping isn’t just for kids; it’s also a good low-impact workout that burns calories and helps you lose weight.

“Hula hooping can help with weight loss and is a great cardiovascular workout,” says fitness trainer Jennifer Jens. A weight on your hula hoop can also intensify your training. In addition, hula hoop offers a fun change from conventional cardio training and ensures that you remain motivated. Here’s everything you need to know to get started hula-hooping, from buying the right hoop to the right technique.

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Hula-hooping is more effective than walking

Research shows that regular hula hooping can be good for your health. In a small 2019 study involving overweight people, a research team compared a six-week workout with a weighted hula hoop to a daily walk. The participants who hula-hooped lost belly fat and built their abs more than those who just walked. The researchers also found that hula hooping lowered the participants’ cholesterol levels.

“Anyone who wants to benefit should do at least 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise per week. Benefits include increased endurance, more energy, weight loss, improved mood, and improved overall health,” says Jens.

Not only is hula hooping fun, but it can also strengthen your abs and pelvic muscles, thereby helping you improve your posture. Balancing the hoop around your waist and constantly rotating your torso will engage your core and build strength in those muscles.

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Hula hooping can also help improve your balance, says Jens. Balance training is often underestimated. However, it is crucial for stability and can help prevent injury, especially as you age.

Hula hoop for weight loss

According to Jens, hula hoop can also help you lose weight if you combine it with a healthy nutritional strategy and regular strength training. You can lose about a pound a week if you manage to achieve a 500 calorie daily deficit through a combination of diet and exercise.

The calories you burn while hula-hooping can contribute to this deficit.

In fact, in a small 2011 study, researchers found that a 30-minute hula-hoop workout could burn up to 210 calories. This is comparable to cardio kickboxing, step aerobics or boot camp training in terms of heart rate and calorie consumption.

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How do I get started with hula hooping?

Hula hoops come in different sizes, so finding one that works for you is important. According to the Mayo Clinic, when the hoop is placed on the ground, it should ideally be as high as the bottom of your chest.

“It’s best if you buy the tire personally in the store to try out the size and weight. If you do buy it online, use a size chart to find a tire that meets your needs,” says Jens.

Choose an appropriate weight

Hula hoops can also vary in weight. Up to two kilograms are possible. Weighted tires are larger and usually have padding around them to reduce bruising.

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