The Benefits of Hula Hooping and Hoop Tape for Beginners

The Benefits of Hula Hooping and Hoop Tape for Beginners
Table Of Content

The Benefits of Hula Hooping

Hula hooping has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years as a fun way to exercise and improve coordination. Using a hula hoop helps work the core muscles in the abdominals, back and hips through the spiraling, circular motions. It can be a great cardio workout, too. Some key benefits of hula hooping include:

  • Improves coordination and rhythmic movements
  • Engages abdominal and core muscles
  • Burns calories and fat
  • Tones the hips, thighs and buttocks
  • Boosts heart health
  • Relieves stress and improves mood

Hula hooping is a low impact exercise that people of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy. It's fun, portable and doesn't require any special skills or equipment to get started.

Choosing a Hula Hoop

When starting out with hula hooping, it's important to choose the right size and type of hula hoop:

  • For beginners, a larger and heavier hoop is easier to keep up. Look for hoops around 38-40 inches in diameter and a couple pounds in weight.
  • As you improve, you can size down to a 30-36 inch hoop for faster spinning. Polypropylene hoops are lighter and great for tricks.
  • Adjustable hoops allow you to change the size as needed. Collapsible travel hoops are great for taking your workout on the go.
  • Hoop tape or coverings add grip and texture to make hooping easier. Some have massaging or vibration features.
  • Smart hula hoops have counters to track rotations and time hooping. LED and glow hoops add visual effects.

Consider your height, fitness level, and hooping goals when selecting a hoop size and style. Having the right hoop makes learning and improving much easier.

Hoop Tape Improves Grip and Performance

One easy way to upgrade a basic hula hoop is by adding hoop tape. Hoop tape (also called yoga tape) is a fabric tape that is wrapped around the exterior of the hoop. It provides extra texture and friction to improve grip. Other benefits of hoop tape include:

  • Prevents slippage of the hoop for better control
  • Cushions and protects skin from abrasions
  • Absorbs sweat for a better grip, even during intense workouts
  • Durable and long-lasting through repeated use
  • Comes in fun patterns and colors for personalization
  • Can be easily removed and reapplied as needed
  • Low cost upgrade to improve any basic hula hoop

Hoop tape transforms the surface and feel of a hula hoop to make tricks like escalators, isolations and breaks much easier. The added tactile grip gives you better control and response. It also makes hooping accessible for beginners and children by making it easier to keep the hoop up.

How to Apply Hoop Tape

Applying hoop tape is a quick and easy process. Here are some tips for adding it to your hula hoop:

  1. Start with a clean, dry hula hoop free of dirt and residue.
  2. Cut a length of hoop tape about 3-4 inches longer than the circumference of the hoop.
  3. Peel the backing off the hoop tape as you wrap it tightly around the hoop.
  4. Make sure the tape lays flat without any bumps or wrinkles.
  5. Overlap the ends of the tape and press firmly to seal seam.
  6. Use a razor or scissors to trim off any excess tape hanging over the ends.
  7. Give the taped hoop a test spin to ensure proper application and adhesion.

Reposition or add additional tape anywhere grip seems lacking. Most hoop tape will last for months with regular use. Reapply when tape becomes worn or slick. Choose colorful patterns or metallic tapes to customize your hoop's look.

Hooping Techniques and Tricks

Once you have a properly fitted hula hoop with grip tape applied, you can start learning some basic hooping moves and tricks:

Basic Hooping

  • Waist Hooping - spin the hoop around your waist and hips in a continuous rotation
  • Chest Hooping - use shorter strokes to keep the hoop spinning on your chest and shoulders
  • Foot Hooping - balance the hoop on one or both feet to improve coordination
  • Escalator - move hoop up and down your body in a flowing pattern

Intermediate Tricks

  • Isolation - move just a section of the hoop while keeping the rest still
  • Breaking - pause the hoop's motion, then quickly restart spinning
  • Walking - walk forward or backward while maintaining waist hooping
  • Jumping - jump through the hoop and sustain rotations

Advanced Skills

  • Collapsing - pop the hoop in and out quickly while hooping
  • Orbiting - circle the hoop around an arm, leg or neck
  • Rolling - let the hoop roll across your shoulders and catch at the waist
  • Hooping Off-Body - toss, swing, and catch the hoop to keep it spinning

Start slow and increase the speed and complexity over time. Combining moves together into hooping routines adds an artistic element. Patience and practice are key to improving your hula hooping skills.

Hoop Exercise Routines

To maximize the benefits, integrate hula hooping into a balanced fitness routine. Try these hooping exercises for a full body workout:

Cardio Hooping

Sustain fast waist hooping for 30-60 second intervals to elevate heart rate. Combine with jogging in place for an intense cardio workout.

Core Hooping

Engage your core by isolating the hoop's motion to your midsection. Prepare for ab toning with controlled waist and stomach hooping.

Arm and Shoulder Hooping

Improve arm endurance by hooping around your biceps, triceps and shoulders. Try passing the hoop from arm to arm.

Leg and Glute Hooping

Tone your lower body by hooping around each leg in standing or seated positions. Squat to work the glutes and inner thighs.

Cross-Training with Hoop

Add hooping into strength training, yoga flows, dance routines and aerobic exercises for a full body burn. Get creative with your hoop cross-training!

Hula Hooping Safety Tips

When getting started with hula hooping, keep these safety recommendations in mind:

  • Check for adequate space so the hoop does not strike objects or people
  • Start slowly to avoid strained muscles or dizziness
  • Wear form-fitting clothes to prevent entanglement with the hoop
  • Use hoops with smooth edges to prevent skin abrasions
  • Consult a doctor before hooping if pregnant, injured or have medical conditions
  • Secure hoops on children when not actively hooping

Hula hooping should not cause pain. Stop immediately if you experience discomfort. Stay hydrated and don't overexert yourself when beginning. With some practice, you'll be hooping like a pro in no time!

The Popularity of Hula Hooping

Modern hula hooping became popular in the late 1950s as a game and exercise fad. Wham-O introduced their first plastic hoop in 1958, helping launch hooping's widespread appeal. Though initial popularity waned by the 1960s, hula hooping today is enjoying a mainstream resurgence.

Several factors have contributed to hula hooping regaining attention:

  • Nostalgia and retro appeal of old school toys and games
  • Promotion through acrobatic hooping performers and circus arts
  • Focus on hooping as fun fitness suitable for all ages
  • Internet sharing of hooping tutorials and competition videos
  • Innovations in LED, collapsible and smart hula hoops

Hooping communities have sprung up worldwide for enthusiasts to learn tricks, share performances, and find inspiration. Hula hooping provides a creative outlet blending artistry, dance and exercise. The hypnotic flow and meditative quality also appeal to a modern desire for mindfulness and stress relief.

Hula Hooping Culture

A vibrant hula hooping culture has developed with its own terminology, techniques and ethos:

  • "Hooper" - someone who hula hoops as a hobby or sport
  • "Jam" - a gathering where hoopers meet to practice together
  • "Isolation" - moving part of the hoop independently from the rest
  • "Off body" - tricks done without any body contact
  • "Vortex" - when the hoop appears visually stationary while spinning fast

Online hooping communities share inspiration ranging from at-home hobbyists to professional circus performers. Hooping is also popular for music festivals, raves, and other events. Hoop dance competitions showcase dazzling choreography and skills.

Hooping is an activity for all generations to enjoy. The community offers a supportive environment to learn and grow your personal hooping abilities at any level.

Buying a Hula Hoop

Hula hoops are inexpensive and readily available from big box stores, fitness retailers and online marketplaces. When purchasing, consider these factors:

  • Size - larger hoops are easier for beginners; 35" to 42" diameter is ideal
  • Weight - heavier hoops keep momentum longer; aim for 1 to 5 pounds
  • Material - HDPE plastic is affordable; polypropylene is lighter weight
  • Extras - grip tape, foam or massage beads aid usage; LED lights add visual appeal
  • Collapsible - foldable hoops save space and enable travel; absence of connectors can improve handling
  • Smart Features - fitness trackers, performance metrics and rhythm sensors on high-end hoops

Standard hoops cost $10 to $30, while smart hoops with sensors and LEDs run $50 to $200. Read reviews and product details to find the right hula hoop model that matches your needs and budget.

Where to Buy Hula Hoops

Hula hoops can be purchased from the following retailers:

  • Major retail chains like Target, Walmart and Walgreens
  • Sporting goods stores such as Dick's Sporting Goods or Modell's
  • Specialty fitness stores and studios
  • Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy
  • Hooping specialty stores like Hoop Style and Mood Hoops

Shopping online gives the widest selection of hoop sizes, styles and added features. Check product reviews and sizing charts to help choose the right hoop. Retail stores allow you to see and handle hoops in person before buying.


Hula hooping is a fun and beneficial activity for all ages to try. It exercises your core muscles, improves coordination and burns calories in a low impact way. Adding grip tape transforms a basic hoop for better handling of tricks. With practice, you can learn waist, chest and leg hooping moves. Joining the vibrant online hooping community provides inspiration. Hula hooping is a great way to add activity to your daily routine while learning a unique skill.


What size hula hoop should I get as a beginner?

For beginners, a larger, heavier hoop between 35-42 inches wide is easier to keep up. Adult-sized hoops generally range from 30-44 inches in diameter.

How do I stop the hoop from falling?

Keep your torso upright, engage your core muscles and keep your motions smooth. Adding grip tape also helps prevent slippage. As you improve, you'll be able to sustain the hoop's rotation longer.

What tricks can I learn as a hooping beginner?

Great beginner hooping moves include waist hooping, escalators, isolation, walking or jogging with the hoop, and passing the hoop from body part to body part.

How long will it take to get good at hula hooping?

It takes regular practice over weeks and months to improve your hooping skills. Be patient with yourself as you build coordination. Even 10-15 minutes of daily hooping can help you progress faster.

Are smart hula hoops worth the extra cost?

Smart hoops with Bluetooth connectivity and app tracking can be great for gamifying your workouts and quantifying progress. But basic hoops work fine, especially when starting out.

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