Health & Fitness | July 8, 2021 1:34 pm

Is a Weighted Hula Hoop the One Fitness Tool You’re Missing?

"Hooping" has found serious popularity on TikTok this year

A weighted hula hoop, used for a trendy workout called hooping, sitting in the grass next to earbuds
Weighted hula hoops can inject some serious fun into your workout routine.
Hazel Grace Esconde/EyeEm

According to a recent piece by The Washington Post, TikTok videos tagged “weighted hula hoop” have accrued over 176 million views in recent months, as people looking for new ways to trim their waistlines have latched onto the workout trend.

“Hooping” — as the content creators pioneering the movement call it — follows a pretty simple formula. Find yourself a weighted hula hoop somewhere between one and four pounds (start on the lighter side), and devote between 10 and 30 minutes a day to spinning the hoop around your waist. Is it a silver bullet fitness solution? Not necessarily, especially if you’re relying on it to lose weight. Any dedicated weight-loss plan starts in the kitchen and relies on a balanced cardio attack. But as a low-impact option, which courts the all-important “fun factor” (that’s to say, it’s a workout you’ll actually want to do each day), hooping could be a dynamite addition to a larger wellness routine.

A couple things to keep in mind: for starters, there is a correct way to hoop. In grade school, kids learn to spin their hips around and around. But the correct method is to rock your hips back and forth. The hoop will spin naturally on its own. It’s also important to spin the hoop in both directions; angle it clockwise for half a session, and counter-clockwise for the other half. Otherwise, you could overdevelop one side of your core.

Expect bruises on your abdomen, and expect it to be way more difficult to spin (particularly at first) than the plastic hula hoops of your childhood. But you should also expect it to tighten up your core and offer a different, borderline-meditative brand of workout. While certain gyms are already planning to capitalize on the trend, now offering hooping classes, it’s understandable if you’d rather hoop in the privacy of your own backyard or basement. Admittedly, it’s a somewhat goofy movement to perform in public.

You can pick one up online for a far better price than most gym equipment (under $30). If you have a history of back or hip problems, make sure to talk to your doctor before diving in.