Using a hula hoop to exercise can burn the same number of calories as an hour-long run and engage the core. Hula hooping engages all the abdominal core muscles, even those that are used fairly often. Always perform a warm up before engaging in any physical activity, no matter how effortless it may seem, to prevent injury. Learn how you can use a hula hoop to burn calories and trim inches from your waist.
Traditional Hula Hoop
Stand with one foot a few steps in front of the other and hold the hula hoop around your waist. Rest the hoop against your back and place your hands along the side of the hoop. Thrust the hoop to the right and sway your right hip to catch the hoop. Keep rotating the hoop around your waist by contracting your abs to start the movement, and let it continue down to your hips in a rocking motion.
Hula Hoop Abs Curl
Sit on the floor and hold the hula hoop above your head with both hands. Imagine the hoop as a clock and position your head at 12 o'clock. Place your right hand at 10 o'clock and the left at 2 o'clock with your palms facing away from you. Sit tall and slowly lean back while you lift your legs 45 degrees to form a v-sit with your body. Curl your toes around the edge of the opposite end of the hoop, hold for 30 seconds and repeat once.
Hula Hoop Squat
Perform squats while hula hooping to work out your butt and legs while engaging your abs. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and turn your toes out. Place the hoop around your waist and perform a traditional hula hoop. After you get the hoop spinning, raise your arms out to the sides and bend down slowly into a squat. Avoid bending your knees over your toes and keep the hoop spinning for the duration of the squat. Hold the squat for a few seconds and return to the starting position. Continue squatting as you hula hoop for one to two minutes.
Weighted Hula Hoop
Use a weighted hula hoop to add resistance to your workout and increase your abs' contraction. According to hula hoop expert Ron Klint, the added resistance of weighted hoops makes them easier to turn and helps maintain the hooping rotation for longer periods of time. You can perform a traditional hula hoop or any of the other hula hoop abs exercises with a weighted hula hoop.