Can you get a workout with a hula hoop? We find out

Physiotherapist at Bupa UK
26 January 2017

It’s hard to believe that January is already coming to a close. Hopefully by now you’re feeling the benefits of your New Year’s resolutions. But just in case you need any more motivation, we’ve tried out five unusual fitness classes that you might want to try your hand at. Sit back and have a read of our fourth alternative fitness class review of the year. This week, we went back to our childhood and dusted off our hula hoops for some hip twisting action.

Picture of running shoes.

What is hula hooping?

Hula hooping classes are a fun, energetic workout to music using a hula hoop.

Twisting, swinging, squatting and shaking for a full body workout that’s beneficial for your cardiovascular health. Some hoops are light, while others are weighted. By using your tummy and hips to balance and spin the hoop, it’s thought that hula hooping classes can tackle your mid section, strengthen your core muscles and improve co-ordination.

Physiotherapist Hannah Hula hooping.

The class: here’s how it went

The class took place in a large, bright hall with a really fun and friendly atmosphere. Our instructor was bright and bubbly, and gave all beginners a run-down of what to expect from the class.

Forget the small plastic hoops of your playground days, we each took hold of a large, weighted hoop and begun twisting to the music. Starting with some basic skills, we were taught how to get the hoop in motion, and more importantly – how to keep it there (cue lots of squatting reflexes we didn’t know we had to keep our hoops away from the floor!).

Once we’d all got into the swing of things, we were taken through a cardio session using the hoops. From squats, to lunges, burpees and push-ups, all-the-while balancing our hoop. By this point, our core was working hard, our hearts pumping and our faces red from sweat and laughter.

Once we were all spun out, we finished the class with a skills session. Using the more familiar, small plastic hoops of our childhood, we learned some more impressive moves, including how to spin the hoop up in the air and catch it on the way back down.

A hula hooping class is challenging from all aspects. Combining coordination, strength, cardiovascular fitness and skill to master the techniques.

The verdict

This class was a lot of fun and definitely a great workout. Prepare to laugh, sweat and get a great whole body workout. It’s suitable for all ages and abilities, from beginners to regular exercisers, or if you’re just looking for something fun to do to get out of a workout rut. You might be a little bruised afterwards, but you’ll have a lot of fun in the process.

Review chart of hula hooping class.

Stay tuned for our fifth and final class review next week - trampolining. Have we saved the best for last? Have you been too busy catching up after the Christmas period to read our first three reviews? Catch up on what we thought of barre, aerial slings and aqua cycling now.

Hannah Zreik
Physiotherapist at Bupa UK

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