Top 10 Hula Hoop Exercises And Their Benefits

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Sudhansu Singh, BPT
Written by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

Hula Hoop exercises are fun. They are the best way to burn calories, build strength, get rid of the belly fat, and also fight mental illnesses like depression. All you need are a hula hoop, comfortable clothes, and 30 minutes of your time. Start with the basic exercise to get the hang of it, and then use it to tone your entire body. Whether you are 5 or 50, this exercise is going to make you smile and brighten up your day in a jiffy. In this article, we will discuss 10 hula hoop fitness exercises. But first, here’s a brief about what hula hooping is all about. “Hoop” in!

What Is Hula Hooping All About?


Hula hooping is not a newly discovered way to stay fit. There is evidence that the ancient Greeks and Egyptians twirled hoops around their belly to have fun and maintain their fitness. 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.

Let’s get started with the hula hoop exercises and see what their benefits are.

The Hula Hoop Exercises

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


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


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


The rolling reach is an effective exercise for your back and legs. 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


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


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

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

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.

[ Read: How To Do Squats Properly ]

7. Hula Hoop Russian Twist

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.

[ Read: Benefits Of Russian Twist ]

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. 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.

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.

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

Hula Hoop Exercises Compared To Other Exercises

Experts have found that hula hoop exercises are good fat burners. 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 new fitness 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.

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Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. This prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.