Weighted Hula Hoop Workout Benefits & Exercises

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Using weighted hula hoops for exercise is different than playing with hula hoops as a child, but adults looking for a fun way to stay fit will love adding this particular tool to their routines!  

What is a Weighted Hula Hoop?

A weighted hula hoop is a variation on the popular children’s toy. It is made from higher quality, thicker material, which makes it heavier and more durable. A 30-minute weighted hula hoop workout may burn about 165 calories in women and 200 calories in men.

How Does it Work?

Hula hoops are powered by the momentum generated by the human body. According to a research study on the effect of a hula hoop on the strength of core muscle, it was found that when you twirl the hoop around your waist, you are using muscles in your core, while your hips, knees, and ankles contribute to working with the hoop. This creates centripetal force, which keeps the hoop spinning around you. [1]

Weighted hula hoops generate more momentum and are therefore easier to keep up. You will want to hoop for at least 10 minutes, and utilizing a heavier hoop will give you the ability to keep the motion going for longer periods.

A young woman with a hula hoop around her waist

Hula hoop helps you lose weight in just a few weeks followed by a proper diet. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Benefits of Weighted Hula Hoop

Working out with a weighted hula hoop helps strengthen the core along with burning the fat on the waistline:

  • Reduce waistline: A research study published in the Journal of Aging Studies suggests that hula hooping, when used in conjunction with cardio, weight training, and a healthy diet, can provide excellent results for your waistline. [2] [3]
  • Improve core: Hula hooping works all the muscles of your core. According to research by Dr. Stuart M. McGill et al. in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, this workout can improve your abs, glutes, and diaphragm. [4]Further, it helps reduce hip girth and leads to the redistribution of body mass.

You can even twirl the hoop around your arms and legs to tone them.

What Size Hula Hoop is Best?

Standing on end, your weighted hula hoop should reach midway between your waist and breastbone. Larger hula hoops are easier to use and great for beginners to train their bodies until they can naturally achieve the motion. Pregnant people, overweight people, or those with muscle strains should use larger, lighter hoops. [5]

1.5-2 pounds is heavy enough for most people, and no one should exceed a 3-pound hoop.

Weighted Hula Hoop Exercises

Start with 10 minutes one day a week and work up to 30 minutes twice a week.

  • Twirl the hoop around your waist and hips in a side-to-side motion. Alternate this with a front-to-back motion.
  • Add squats while twirling for an extra leg and glute workout
  • Twirl the hoop around your forearms, and add lunges for a full-body workout

You can combine hula hoop with the following exercises:

Where to buy?

Weighted hula hoops are easily available in sports stores and can also be purchased from online retailers. Just make sure you pick up the right weight and size depending on your preference. Working out on lighter ones may involve more energy as compared to the heavier ones.

CautionIf you have lower back problems or any injury you should consult a doctor before adding weighted hula hooping to your health and exercise routine.

Anyone using a hula hoop over 3 pounds risks injuring their spine, muscles or skin.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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