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FITNESS FRIDAY: Hula Hoop into Hotness


by Danielle Renee Lee

Mostly recognized as a fun toy, the hula hoop, now 50 years old, can also be thought of as exercise equipment. “The hoop can teach you to move more freely and creatively—most of us don’t have a lot of opportunities to throw our hips around like that in everyday life,” says San Francisco hoop instructor Christabel Zamor, author of the new book Hooping! A Revolutionary Fitness Program.

The initial appeal of hooping is that it’s fun! The lasting value is that it works. Great for a core-tightening workout and it doesn’t feel like exercise.

Here are the basics you need to start:

  • A weighted hula hoop which can be between 1lb to 5lbs. Note: The smaller and lighter the hoop, the more energy it takes to keep the hoop going. But the bigger and heavier the hoop, the easier it is to keep going
  • Some good music to keep you moving for at least 15 – 30 mins
  • A good attitude ;)

The key to working your waist is to put one foot in front of the other instead of standing with your feet side-by-side. Perform the basic waist twist by doing the following:

  1. Start with the hoop against your back at your waist.
  2. Give it a gentle push to start the rotation around your waist and shift your weight back and forth between your front and back foot to keep the hula hoop moving. Don’t move your hips in a circle to keep it rotating.
  3. Speed up the rotation by shifting your weight more quickly.
  4. After a minute, switch your feet so your opposite foot is forward and try rotating the hoop in the opposite direction.
  5. Continue switching back and forth every few minutes.
  6. Very important –remember to have fun!


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