Women across the country have revealed how hula hooping has helped them stay fit at home.
Five converts told FEMAIL they credit the classic playground activity with toning their tummies and shaping their waists – and admit they’re ‘addicted’ to the effective exercise, which can burn seven calories a minute.
Hoop instructor Ros Norford, 26, of Manchester, works with London-based fitness company Hulafit, explained the workout can produce results in a matter of weeks.
‘Hula-hooping can burn up to around 420 calories an hour it is really good for cardio and it combines lots of multiple muscle groups,’ she said. ‘It tones your core and you can see a great difference in yourself within a few weeks – it is a really brilliant and diverse exercise.’
It is also cheap – with hoops available at a range of prices – and can be practised at home, in the garden or in the park.
‘It helps maintain my weight after losing 7st’
Emma Jennings, 25, from Ashford, Surrey, said hula-hooping enables her to relax and helps her to maintain her target weight
Emma, who was previously 18 stone 1lbs (pictured) and is now 11 stone 1lbs, said: ‘I got into hula-hooping to help maintain my weight’
Emma Jennings, 25, from Ashford, Surrey, said hula-hooping enables her to relax and helps her to maintain her target weight after losing seven stone through Slimming World.
She told FEMAIL: ‘I have found hula-hooping great during lockdown for many reasons. It’s something I can easily do at any time of day and it helps me relax.
Emma, who was previously 18 stone 1lbs and is now 11 stone 1lbs, said: ‘I got into hula-hooping to help maintain my weight after reaching target with Slimming World
‘I was using the outdoor gym but then winter happened and I looked for an easy way to maintain my target weight indoors so I picked up a hula hoop.
‘Now we are in lockdown, I still can’t go to the outdoor gym so it’s been helpful to help me keep exercising.
‘I have noticed that my tummy area feels tighter since doing it and it has helped with excess loose skin following my weight loss.
‘I enjoy it because you can do it anywhere in the house and I can listen to music or watch something on Netflix while I am doing it.’
She added: ‘It’s definitely hard to do for a long time. The longest I’ve hula-hooped for is 20 minutes straight however some days I can only do between five to 10 minutes in one bust.’
How to hula hoop: Fitness instructor shares her tips
Hoop instructor Ros Norford, 26, of Manchester, shared her tips. She posts about hula hoops on her Instagram account.
PICKING THE RIGHT HOOP
Speaking about the type of equipment needed, she said: ‘The best hoops tend to be 1.3kg in weight which doesn’t sound like a lot but when you are pushing it around your body it builds up quite a sweat. For the measurement, you want to make sure that the hoop comes up to your hip when standing up.’
TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE EXERCISE
1. Make sure you start with your hoop touching the lower part of your back
2. Stand with feet shoulder distance apart
3. Place knee foot in front of the other for extra stability and pushing power
4. Remember arms stay around your chest area
5. Push hard from your core in a forwards and backwards motion
Ros Norford, 26, from Manchester, has been a hoop instructor for London-based Hulafit for a year
‘I’m definitely seeing a change and feel more toned’
Sarah Carter, 35, from Bath, Somerset, revealed how she has hula-hooped for 41 days during lockdown for 40 minutes every morning
Sarah Carter, 35, from Bath, Somerset, revealed how she has hula-hooped for 41 days during lockdown for 40 minutes every morning.
She told FEMAIL: ‘I’m definitely seeing a change and feel more toned on day 41. I used to hoop all the time but then stopped for about a year.
‘However I’ve been doing it since the lockdown because I am used to be on the go all the time so needed to find something to up my activity levels again.
Sarah, who lost nearly three stone with Slimming World after joining in 2015, said: ‘I like it because it’s a really good work out but fun at the same time and you don’t need a lot of space to do it either.
She added: ‘I suppose it brings you back to your childhood and being able to keep it up for long periods of time feels like an achievement.
‘I know it’s not the easiest activity to get going with but lots of my members are also hooping after seeing me doing it.’
Sarah, who uses a 1.2kg hoop, has posted hula-hooping tutorials during lockdown on her Facebook Slimming World account and Instagram where she provides her members with tips.
The Slimming World leader said loose-fitting clothes make hooping harder and advised people to start with five to ten minutes every day before working up to 30 minutes.
‘It’s giving me a full body workout’
Emma Fennell, 48, from Chester, spoke of how hula-hooping is the perfect way for her to keep fit in lockdown
Finance worker Emma Fennell, 48, from Chester, spoke of how hula-hooping is the perfect way for her to keep fit in lockdown after several operations on her feet prevented her from doing high intensity exercise.
Speaking to FEMAIL, she said: ‘I have only recently started but I am loving the feeling of satisfaction knowing I have exercised.
‘I’ve had several operations on my feet so hooping is perfect for me as I can’t do anything high impact on my feet.
‘I can feel that hooping is giving me a full body workout and is highly enjoyable too.’
Emma, who works in finance, said she bought her 1.2kg hoop as soon as she started working from on April 6.
‘At first I just did it two to three times a day when a good song came on the radio just to get me away from my computer,’ she said.
‘Last week I upped it to two songs in the morning and two songs in the afternoon (so roughly just 10 mins) and this week I have challenged myself to do 15 minutes.
She added: ‘I’ve made a playlist of 32 minutes and over the next few weeks aim to increase the time. It is my version of a hooping Couch to 5k!’
‘My waist and stomach definitely feel firmer’
Beth, 25, from Poole, started her hula-hooping journey two weeks into lockdown on April 3 and set up an Instagram account to track her progress
Beth, 25, from Poole, started her hula-hooping journey two weeks into lockdown on April 3 and set up an Instagram account to track her progress.
She told FEMAIL: ‘In terms of my body I have noticed a slight change in my waist and stomach – it definitely feels firmer.
The teacher, who is also a fan of aerial arts and pole fitness, posts regular updates of her hoop tricks and practice to her 161 followers.
‘It’s really helped me through lockdown as each day I look forward to getting outside with my hoop to practice.
‘I’ve noticed that my stomach is slightly more toned but honestly the main changes benefit my mental health – it just makes me feel great.
And Beth also documents how hooping has ups and downs with it taking ‘repetition and commitment’ to master certain moves.
In an honest post she wrote: ‘This is real hooping, this is real practice. I’m not far into my journey but already I’m realising there will be some moves that you just get and others that seem impossible.
‘Also good days and bad days are totally a thing, getting a move is hard, keeping the ability to do a move is even harder, it takes repetition and commitment.
‘This is an amazing journey and I want this page to reflect the true journey I’m having and not just be all of the best clips put together.’
‘I hoop for two hours a day – it’s quite addictive’
Chloe said: ‘I am currently mastering how to bring the hoop from my waist to my neck’
Chloe Rowland, 22, from Cornwall, started a dedicated Instagram page two weeks ago after trying her friend’s hoop
Chloe Rowland, 22, from Cornwall, started a dedicated Instagram page two weeks ago after trying her friend’s hoop where she caught the hula bug and decided to buy her own.
Speaking to FEMAIL, she said: ‘I started about 2 weeks ago and probably hoop about 2 hours a day or more depending – it’s quite addictive!
‘I honestly just picked up my friends hula hoop one day and loved it so much I bought my own and just want to get good at it!
Chloe, who runs an Instagram account to track her progress, said she uses different sized polypro hoops in 70cm, 82cm and 96cm enabling her to do different tricks.
She added: ‘I haven’t seen any changes yet – just loads of bruises! I am quite petite but it doesn’t bother me and still makes me want to do it!
‘I am currently mastering how to bring the hoop from my waist to my neck and finally got it yesterday so just need to try and keep it on my shoulders now which is proving difficult.’