Top 10 Hula Hoop Exercises And Their Benefits

Twist your body the right way to tone your body and shed some pounds!

Reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu Singh, BPT Dr. Sudhansu Singh Dr. Sudhansu SinghBPT facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Sindhu Koganti BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 6 years
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Nothing can beat hula hoop exercises if you want to make your workout session a fun-filled experience. They are ideal for building strength, burning calories, and even helping in dealing with mental health conditions like depression. You may find it difficult to get the flow initially, so starting with basic exercises can help. Irrespective of your age, be it 6 or 60, these exercises are sure to put a smile on your face and make your day brighter. This article has listed the 10 best exercises with a hula hoop, how to do them, and their health benefits. So, let’s get started!

protip_icon Workout Blueprint: Hula Hoop Exercises
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Benefits: Aid in weight loss, strengthen the muscles, and improve focus.
  • Equipment Needed: Hula hoop
  • Space Required: Large area
  • Assistance Required: No
  • Who Should Avoid: Pregnant women and anyone with lower back pain or spine injury.

What Is Hula Hooping All About?

What is hula hoop exercise
Image: Shutterstock

Hula hooping is not a newly discovered cardio workout or weight loss regime to stay fit. There is evidence that the ancient Greeks and Egyptians twirled hoops around their belly as a fun fitness workout. And the only fitness equipment you need is the hula hoop! It is a physical activity where you need to twirl the hoop around your waist, belly, arms, and legs. The average hula hoop for adults is about 45 inches in diameter and weighs around 2 pounds. The most amazing part is that it burns as many calories as you burn by doing kickboxing or aerobics. Depending on your weight, exercise duration, and intensity, you can burn up to 420 calories.

protip_icon Did You Know?
The hula hoop is an ancient invention dating back to ancient Egypt and Greece, where they used to perform hooping as an exercise.

Let’s get started with the hula hoop exercises and see what the benefits of hula hoops are!

The Hula Hoop Exercises

Before starting any exercise regimen, you must warm up. Here’s a fun warm-up routine.

Warm-up

Back Stretch

  • Stand straight with your hands on your waist.
  • Roll your shoulders back and bend your upper body backward.
  • Feel the stretch in your abs. Hold it for 3 seconds.
  • Release and bend forward. Feel the stretch in your back.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Side Stretch

  • Stand straight with your palms on your waist and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend on your left and then right.
  • Repeat 10 times.

1. Standing Twist

Standing twist hula hoop exercise
Image: Shutterstock

The standing twist is a really good workout for the abs. Here’s how to do it.

Steps To Do Standing Twist

  1. Hold your hula hoop with both hands and place your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Twist towards your left, keeping your lower body straight. Do it for 5 seconds.
  3. Twist to your right. Do it for 5 seconds.

2. Rolling Reach

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The rolling reach is an effective exercise for your back and legs. It improves body awareness and flexibility. It resembles driving, just that the steering here is pretty big. Here’s how to do it.

Steps To Do Rolling Reach

  1. Hold the hula hoop in front of you and bend forward. It should touch the floor. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keeping your back straight, roll the hula hoop to the right.
  3. Do it till you reach one end of the room.
  4. Roll the hula hoop to the left and return to your initial position.

3. Hula Hoop Arm Circles

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This exercise works on the arms and shoulders. Here’s what you need to do.

Steps To Do Hula Hoop Arm Circles

  1. Hold the hula hoop up in the air and circle it between your palms and forearms.
  2. Keep your elbows slightly bent to feel the burn in your shoulders and arms.

4. Tree Press

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In this exercise, you use the hula hoop like a dumbbell. You will basically do tricep extensions with a little variation. Here are the steps.

Steps To Do Tree Press

  1. Hold the hula hoop behind your head.
  2.  Lift your right leg and place the sole of your right foot on the inner side of the left leg, right below the knee.
  3. Keep your back straight and look ahead.
  4. Lower your hula hoop behind you by flexing your elbows and then bring it back to the starting position.
  5. Do this 10 times before switching legs.

5. Hula Hoop V-sit

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Image: YouTube @strollermom1

The V-sit is an easy exercise that helps to develop strong abs. Here’s how to do it.

Steps To Do Hula Hoop V-sit

  1. Sit on the floor and hold the hula hoop. Your arms should be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Put your feet on the other end of the hoop. Place your legs hip-width apart.
  3. Lean backward, keep your back straight, and raise both your legs so that they are at 60 degrees with the ground. Keep your hands extended forward.
  4. Raise your hands and legs and lower them until your legs are about to touch the ground.
  5. Again, raise your hands and legs.
  6. Repeat 15 times to complete one set. Do 3 sets to feel the burn in your belly region.

6. Hula Hoop Squat

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Squats are an apt exercise for the hips and thighs, and adding a hula hoop helps you lose the extra fat on the hips. Here’s how to do it.

Steps To Do Hula Hoop Squat

  1. Place the hula hoop in front of you at an arm’s distance. Hold it with both your hands.
  2. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart. Your toes must be pointing out.
  3. Push your hips out, flex your knees, and lower your body as if you are going to sit on a chair. Simultaneously, move the top of the hula hoop away so that you can squat properly.
  4. Make sure your knees don’t overshoot your toes.
  5. Get back up to the starting position.

7. Hula Hoop Russian Twist

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Image: YouTube @strollermom1

The Russian twist is an excellent exercise for the core. You can bring it up by a notch if you do it with a hula hoop. Here are the steps.

How To Do Hula Hoop Russian Twist

  1. Sit on the floor and hold the hula hoop with both your hands.
  2. Flex your knees slightly and lift both the legs.
  3. Lean back a little and twist to your right side with the hula hoop.
  4. Pause for a moment and then twist to your left.
  5. Repeat 25 times to complete one set. Do 3 sets.

8. Hula Hoop Exercise For The Shoulders And Chest

The hula hoop not only gives your hip and booty firmness and shape but is also useful for the torso and chest. Just circle the hoop around your upper body and leave it loose in circles without letting it fall off. Here’s a complete video on how to do it.

9. Knee Hooping

Knee hooping is a good workout for your thighs, hips, and knees. Just try balancing the hoop between your knees and do not allow it to fall off as you hula hoop. Here’s a video demonstration.

10. Hula Hoop Dance

The hula hoop dance workout can be just like an aerobic exercise that is a dance-inspired waistline workout. Using the hoop makes the steps more challenging and helps you sweat more. All you need is good music – let yourself free as you dance to the rhythm and shake your booty. Here’s an example.

According to a survey based on 1483 nationally representative interviews of the US population aged 18 and over, in 2023, it was revealed that 53% of them liked hula hooping while 13% disliked it, and 25% were neutral. It was the most popular among millennials with 55% positive responses.

These are the 10 hula hoop exercises. Let’s take a look at the benefits of doing these exercises.

Benefits Of Hula Hooping

Here are some common fitness and health benefits associated with hula hoops:

  1. You stay fit and in shape.
  2. You will be able to lose weight in just a few weeks as it helps in burning up to 450 calories in an hour.
  3. It tends to strengthen your muscles as they are involved in hooping.
  4. It works on the abs and core too.
  5. Helps you fight depression.
  6. Helps you get the flat tummy you have been yearning for.
  7. Makes your body more flexible.
  8. As it is a fun and spirited activity, it makes you cheerful and maintains positivity.
  9. It fortifies your concentration level.
  10. Gives you a flexible and toned waist.

Hannah Murphy, a podcaster and a blogger, wrote about how hula hooping positively impacted her life in her blog. She said, “I’ve never been into yoga and meditation but the hula hoop has taught me another way to practice meditation and mindfulness. The repetition and flow of the movements allow me to switch my mind off from everything and concentrate on being at one with myself (i).”

Now, if you were to compare hula hooping with other workouts, where would it stand? Find out in the next section.

protip_icon Trivia
Japan once banned hula hoops in the 1950s as the hip movement seemed indecent and inappropriate.

Hula Hoop Exercises Compared To Other Exercises

Experts have found that this full body workout is a good fat burner. As mentioned previously, you can burn up to 420 calories. Hula hoop exercises are the third best calorie burners after kickboxing and boot camp. They not only tone your entire body but also have a positive effect on your mind.

Hula hooping is a great fitness routine and growing trend. Long and exhausting gym sessions can sometimes be difficult to maintain, but hula hooping is a fun and exciting way to stay fit and in shape. So get your hula hoop today and start twirling! Good luck.

Infographic: 5 Top Hula-Hoop Exercises You Should Try

If you want to reach your health goals while having some fun, then you have come to the right place. Hula-hoop exercises are an excellent way of burning calories, improving your posture, and building your core strength. To help you out, we have rounded up the top 5 hula hoop exercises you can easily incorporate into your workout routine. Check out the infographic below to know more!

5 top hulahoop excercises you should try (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Nothing beats staying fit and active while having fun. The hula hoop is one such fun exercise you can indulge in anytime. Once you learn how to do it perfectly, you can try out the many variations mentioned above to add to the fun. These exercises not only help improve your physical health but help you destress and unwind as well. Try these for that fun impromptu workout any time anywhere. These hula hooping exercises are perfect for your active lifestyle. It not only increases blood circulation but also works as a mood booster as it increases endorphins in the brain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hula hooping better than walking?

It depends. Hoola hooping is a more enjoyable form of exercise compared to walking. None is better than the other as the choice of exercise depends on health goals and personal preferences. However, studies found that hula hooping can increase the heart rate and burn calories at a rate similar to other moderate-intensity workouts. Moreover, weighted hula hooping was found to reduce abdominal fat and improve core strength to a great extent (2), (3). Therefore, hula hooping might be a better option if you want to burn calories, strengthen your core, and reduce belly fat. But remember to always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

Can you get a six-pack from hula hooping?

Hula-hooping is a great way to strengthen your core muscles. However, it alone may not give you six-pack abs. Hula hooping is not a muscle-building exercise, but it is more a muscle endurance exercise. When you swirl the hula hoop, it mostly occurs over the spine, back extensor muscle groups, and your hips. The resistance over these muscles contracts the abdominal muscles, thus strengthening them (4). However, building ab muscles requires a more targeted approach, and combining hula hooping with other core exercises may help.

Can hula hooping slim your waist?

Yes. A 6-week study on hula hooping showed that regular hula hooping was associated with reduced waist and hip girth (1).

How long should you hula hoop for exercise?

You should start doing hula hooping for 5 minutes and gradually increase your workout to 20-30 minutes.

Can a hula hoop make your stomach flat?

The hula hoop is an excellent aerobic exercise that may make your stomach flat.

Can hula hooping cause internal damage?

No. The risk of internal damage seems very low with a hoop weight of under 2 pounds.

Key Takeaways

  • Hula-hooping is a fun physical activity, similar to aerobics or kickboxing, that can burn calories.
  • Start your hula hoop routine with side and back stretches.
  • Use a hula hoop to perform exercises like arm press, rolling reach, v-sit, and hula squat that work on the waist, hip, leg, and arm muscles.
  • Circling the hoop around the upper body keeps the torso and chest firm.
  • Exercises where you can hold the hoop between the knees can strengthen the thigh, hip, and knees.
hula hoop exercise

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team


Get ready to break a sweat with this 15-minute full-body hula hoop workout. Watch the video below to get your body moving and burn some calories.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. A six-week trial of hula hooping using a weighted hoop: effects on skinfold girths weight and torso muscle endurance
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25268284/
  2. A Pilot Study of Women’s Affective Responses to Common and Uncommon Forms of Aerobic Exercise
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684981/
  3. Effects of Weighted Hula-Hooping Compared to Walking on Abdominal Fat Trunk Muscularity and Metabolic Parameters in Overweight Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Study
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6758714/
  4. Effect of hula hoop on core muscle strength
    https://www.allresearchjournal.com/archives/2017/vol3issue1/PartH/3-1-99-540.pdf
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