Want to learn how to hula hoop? Here is our simple guide.
Step 1- Assess your ability.
So you’re intrigued and you want to learn hula hoop dance but you have no idea where to start. It’s likely that you haven’t picked up or played with a hula hoop in 20 some odd years.
That’s okay! If you are unsure if you can hoop around your waist, or if you are SURE that you CAN’T hoop around your waist, then all you need is the right size hula hoop.
Let me just put this out there right now: it’s incredibly difficult for an adult to learn hula hoop dance using a child’s hoop that you get from the toy aisle at Walmart. Children’s hoops are too light, too small, and simply put, not made for fully grown human beings.
Big heavy hoops are slower and easier to hoop with. They give you more time to learn the rhythm and movement for hooping.
Even after 6 years of hooping, I go back to my big ol’ cadillac of a hoop when I need a slow, cruisey, hooping session. When I just can’t get a trick or movement down, its slow, steady movement is there to give me the time and space I need to learn.
Big beginner hoops are a beautiful thing. They are forgiving and welcoming; don’t be surprised when you discover a new best friend in one.
Step 2- Why do you want to hoop?
Do you want to hoop for fitness? Are you working on incorporating dance into your hooping? Do you just want to rock it on your waist? Are you already a dancer or prop spinner that is looking into trying something new?
Just as there are different tools for different jobs, there are different hoops for different styles of hooping.
Beginner hoops weigh around 1 pound depending on size, and are best if you are just starting out, but want to work towards the smooth flow of hoop dance. These hoops are typically large in diameter, but a little lighter than our weighted fitness hoops. They allow some freedom in trying out different styles of hoop dance.
Weighted exercise hoops are large and relatively heavy. We make them with a heavier tubing that results in a hoop that weighs just around 2 pounds, enough to get your body working and heart rate up, but light enough that it won’t hurt or cause internal injury.
If your main goal is to lose weight and tone muscle, go for the weighted exercise hoop.
However, hooping with any of our hoops is going to give you a great workout, so if you’re even slightly interested in the dance aspect of hooping, I would definitely recommend the beginner hoop for its versatility.
Once you have your basic and foundational moves down, you can try out some lighter hoops, such as HDPE and Polypro. Lighter hoops are great for exploring off body movements and dance, as they are less taxing on your arms, wrists, and hands.
The lightness allows more freedom for hoop tricks like isolations, palm spins, on body breaks, as well as faster movements and transitions. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what any of those things are just yet.)
If you’re already comfortable with waist and core hooping with heavier hoops, and aren’t interested in off-body hooping, try a big, lightweight hoop, such as a 38″ 3/4″ HDPE. The change in weight will challenge you, and you may find that you are able to explore some more dance and footwork.
Step 3- Measure!
While the typical measurement for beginning hoop diameter has been to measure from just above the navel to the floor; in recent years, people are starting to realize it makes a lot more sense to base it off of waist size more than anything.
This is because we all have different body types and shapes. You and your friend may both be 5’4”, if one of you has a 35” waist and the other has a 42” waist, it doesn’t make sense for both of you to learn on the same size hoop.
The amount of space between your body and the hoop is what matters most. The less space there is, the faster the hoop will go, making it way harder to learn how to hula hoop.
I personally, LOVE larger hoops, while my waist size may have gotten smaller, my hoops have stayed about the same size. Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that there is absolutely NO SHAME in having a big hoop. As I said before, big hoops provide a therapeutic experience like no other.
Let’s Get to Measuring!
If you have no clue how to measure your waist, don’t worry, the internet has you covered with this little how to.
If you do not have a cloth or flexible measuring tape, you can take a piece of string, wrap it around your waist, and then measure that on a regular measuring tape, or yardstick, or ruler.
Alright! Time to get that hoop diameter!
Basically, we start our beginner hoops at 36″ which is a great diameter for people up to about a size 6 in women’s clothing. We make hoops all the way up to 55″ to accommodate people of all body types. Here’s a little guide just to give you an idea.
This is not an exact science. Many factors go into this, such as what kind of hooping you’re interested in, what your current fitness level is, and whether you can already hoop around your waist.
When in doubt, go bigger. There is literally no such thing as a hoop that is too big. And to ease your mind, hoops can always be modified to be made smaller, but it’s a lot more trouble to make one bigger. So if you’re debating between two sizes, go for the larger one.
To read more in depth on this subject, read our article here.
Step 4- Get yourself a hoop!
If you are anything like me, you will probably wind up with an addiction to plastic circles, and will find yourself “needing” more and more hoops. So let’s go ahead and start this new addiction now, shall we?
Hey, it will be the healthiest addiction you ever had. I can promise you that.
If you want to get started hooping, but don’t want to break the bank, or you’re not sure you’ll like it; we offer budget hoops that are great for starting out, or for loaning to friends!
If you’re a DIY kind of person, we even have an article that explains exactly how to make your own hoop.
Step 5- Learn all the things!
Starting out and learning a new skill can be intimidating and downright frightening. Luckily, the hoop and flow community is one of the most welcoming I have ever come across.
If you’re looking for online classes, we’re gushing over Deanne Love over at Hooplovers. Not only is she truly the best and most well known hoop dance teacher out there, and not only does she have a TON of classes ready for you to get started today, but she is a genuinely kind and caring person, who values you as a person and wants you to have a rewarding and life changing experience through hoop dance.
>>>We highly recommend her 28 Day Hooper Starter Pack!
Also, join our free online Facebook community, Ruby Hoopers where you can meet thousands of hoopers seasoned and new. You will find tons of other hoopers sharing videos, pictures, triumphs and frustrations daily.
You can also try meetup.com, to find classes and hoop support groups in your area.
Step 6- Go on with your bad self!
Now you have a hoop, some learning tools and resources, your amazing journey has begun! You have endless possibilities now, so dive in deep and find that juicy space for authentic self expression.
Even if you are merely hooping for fitness, you can find bliss and flow in the circle. We are so happy that you are here, and that you have chosen us to be apart your hooping life! Now go hoop!