Exercise For A Smaller Waist? Use A Hula Hoop!

Businessman twirling plastic hoop in office

A new twist on an old toy is now the Hollywood fitness and weight-loss craze that is a favorite of many, many celebrities, including Beyonce and First Lady Michelle Obama. It tones just about every part of your body, including the core, arms, legs and butt.

Oh…and it also let’s you have the kind of fun you haven’t had since you were a kid.

People who use a hula hoop (yes, a hula hoop) regularly have seen impressive pounds lost and waistline inches reduced.

The creators of a popular hula hoop exercise, Hoopnotica, say, “It is cardio and strength training because you’re using all of your core muscles. You tighten up the sides of your body and you tighten up your center or your hips or your legs.”

Hooping burns about 420 calories per hour, which is about the same as a 45-minute run. But this also strengthens your core muscles at the same time. Anyone want a flat tummy? YES!

READ: Secrets To A Strong Core

The abdominals are the most difficult muscle groups to train, but they are also very important. The stronger the abdominals the more stable the back and overall physique.

Strong abdominals contribute to “core strength”; this is the ability of the abs and back to correctly support your spine. The only way to achieve this is with that dirty word: exercise.

The best core exercises may surprise you. It’s not enough to just do ab crunches and sit ups. To build a strong core you need to exercise a variety of muscles from your hips to your shoulders. Most people think of the core as a nice six-pack, or strong, toned abs, but the truth is that the abdominal muscles are a very small part of the core.

1. The Forward Stance:
Stand inside the hoop with your right foot forward, holding the hoop against your lower back. Keeping your pelvis tucked, shoulders squared, and chest lifted, bend your knees slightly and give the hoop a good counterclockwise spin around your waist, making sure it’s level and try to keep it spinning for a full TWO minutes (If this feels awkward, try putting your left foot forward and spinning the hoop clockwise.)

2. The Orbit
Stand with your feet together and hold the hoop straight out in front of your body. Get the hoop in motion so that it’s rotating around your hand (move your arm up and down slightly to maintain the momentum). Slowly raise your arm above your head, keeping the hoop moving—it should roll over your thumb and into your palm. Do this for one minute, then return to start. Repeat with the other arm.