You may have tried to learn how to hula hoop as a child and, if you were anything like me, you failed miserably. But if you think you can never be a hooper, think again! I have taught people of all ages and sizes how to hula hoop. If you are interested in hooping for the many health benefits it offers, read on for some of my best tips for beginners. If you still need a hoop, pick one up here!
The Six Basic Hula Hoop Tips For Beginners
In my experience I have found that there are about six basic things you want to consider when you are trying to learn how to hula hoop. If you pay attention to these guidelines, you’ll be hoopin’ it up with the best of ‘em in no time at all!
Hula Hoop Tip #1: Dress for Success
In the corporate world, dress for success probably means suits and strings of pearls. But when it comes to learning how to hula hoop, you need to wear clothes that are going to work for you, not against you! Choose close-fitting garments that are not slick in texture. Stretchy cotton leggings and a tank top are great choices. Since I am a lover of yoga, I have noticed that all the clothes I wear for yoga also work really well for hooping because they are close-fitting, breathable fabrics that allow for lots of movement. Amazon has a great selection of yoga clothing!
If you wear a dress or something with a lot of loose fabric, the hoop will not be able to grip to your body. The same goes for fabrics like satin. It’s just asking for trouble. One garment I love wearing when I hoop in the wintertime are my corduroy leggings. The texture really makes the hoop stay on my body nicely.
Proper clothing is a must when learning how to hula hoop!
Hula Hoop Tip #2: Posture & Movement
One of the things I love about hula hooping is that it teaches you good posture and balance. (If you’re interested in improving these things, I recommend yoga as a practice which can enhance your hooping ability.)
To be a good hooper, you should stand up nice and tall and keep your spine straight. When you’re first learning how to hula hoop, you also need to keep your legs as still as you can. Movement in your knees or anywhere below your waist will draw the hoop downward. So when you send that hoop on its first spin around your waist, remind yourself right then to keep a nice tall back and be conscious about your movements.
Your feet should be positioned side to side or with one foot slightly in front of the other. Your motion will be forward to backward in a rhythmic fashion. Although it may feel natural to try and move your waist in a circular motion, you actually need to just be moving forward and back. When the hoop makes contact with the front of your body, you should lean forward to give it a push. When it touches your back, pulse backward to keep the momentum going. Before you know it, that hoop will be spinning and you’ll be grinning!
One last tip regarding movement is to walk in a circle in the same direction the hoop is going. This will help to slow down the hoop, giving your body more time to pulse back and forth.
Hula Hoop Tip #3: Choose a Big Hoop
This is actually the absolute most important thing to remember when first learning how to hula hoop. Make sure you choose a big enough hoop! Check out my blog post here about how to choose the right size hoop for you. If you aren’t sure what size to get, go a little bit bigger, especially if you currently have no experience with hula hooping.
My first hoop was actually about 42″ in diameter. The bigger your hoop is, the slower it will rotate around your waist. This is absolutely crucial when you’re just starting out, before your body has had time to adapt to the constant movement. As you advance at hooping, you may graduate to a smaller, lighter hoop. If you would like to order a beginner hula hoop made by me, check out my Beginner Hoops and my Exercise Hoops. Both of these are ideal for anyone just learning how to hula hoop and they come in tons of gorgeous colors in any size you want. Send me a message on Facebook if you want to discuss what size is best for you.
Hula Hoop Tip #4: Play Music
I have had many a hooper tell me that playing the right music made the difference for them when they were just learning how to hula hoop. Sometimes all it takes is hearing one of your favorite songs that has a beat which feels familiar and natural to your body. Music with a nice beat makes it much easier to keep the proper rhythm going to keep the hoop up. I personally love hooping to Tom Petty. It just feels very natural to me. And I just recently heard this amazing song called Maps by Emancipator. I learned of the song by watching a hoop video on Youtube! (By the way, if you haven’t subscribed to my channel on there, click here to do so. I don’t have much on there yet, but you will want to definitely follow me for lots of stuff I have in the works.)
Hula Hoop Tip #5: Practice Awareness
Hula hooping is often described as a form of meditation because to really be a good hooper means you need to be in tune with your body and your hoop as well as the space around you. This in a way means letting go–letting go of all the stress of the day, of everything you’re worried about–including learning how to hula hoop!
When I am trying to learn a new hula hoop trick, I usually struggle until I remember to just let go and let the hoop gently guide me. But when we are focused on the goal we tend to get aggressive and lose that delicate balance with our hoop. So practice awareness when hooping the same way you would when practicing yoga. (Is it starting to become apparent that I love yoga?) Just be there in the present moment as much as you can, pay attention to how your body feels, to where the hoop touches your body, to the straightness of your spine.
I also recommend videotaping yourself hula hooping, so you can observe the way your body moves and correct your form if necessary. Also hooping in front of a large mirror (such as one at a dance studio) is very helpful. All successful athletes observe themselves this way because it is a powerful tool for improving!
Hula Hoop Tip #6: Be Patient!
Hula hooping is not something everyone learns in a few tries. It takes some many hours, and some many weeks! I know some extremely talented hoop dancers that took weeks to learn how to hula hoop on their waist. Everyone learns at their own pace. Just remember that it takes a lot of consistency and dedication but you are doing wonderful things for your body from the first time you pick up that hoop and try. You are burning calories, improving your cardiovascular health, toning your core muscles and loads more. It is worth sticking it out until that magical moment when it begins to click!
Hula hooping involves a lot of muscle memory, so once your muscles start to get used to the movement needed to hula hoop, it will become much easier and you will wonder how it ever took you so long to learn! Enjoy your journey and don’t rush it. Someday you will look back and feel a little bit nostalgic about how exciting it was when it was brand new to you!
You Just Learned How To Hula Hoop!
Check out this awesome picture my customer recently sent me! She looks like she is ready to learn how to get her hoop on! If you’d like to get a dazzling hoop of your own, you can place your order for either a standard Beginner Hoop and I also do Custom Hoops, such as the one you see Suzy with here!
I wish each of you a wonderful hoop journey and hope you’ll share your experiences with me here! I love getting your comments so please leave some below. Also, for those visual learners out there, I have created a video that summarizes my points on how to hula hoop. Check me out!