“Hula hooping has definitely picked up during the pandemic,” says Supriya Srivastav, a hula hoop trainer, adding, “After last year’s lockdown, when I too launched hula hooping tutorials, I found many people finding comfort in the workout. It is most popular among parents who like to stay fit while keeping their kids engaged at the same time.”
Hooping also owes its popularity to social media, with videos featuring people hula-hooping raking in millions of views on platforms like Instagram. Even stars like Shruti Hassan and Nargis Fakhri have shared their hooping videos online, and it was Marathi actress Pooja Katurde’s go-to workout during lockdown.
Fitness expert Rahul Vij says that not only is hula hooping a great calorie-burning aerobic form of exercise, it has multiple health benefits as well. “From improving body balance to strengthening your core muscles, there are many positives to hooping. It’s a great activity for people of all ages,” he says.
Supriya says that hooping doesn’t just help you with your physical fitness but it also takes care of your mental health.
“Hula Hooping in itself is a very meditative practice in a way. When you are trying to get the hoop to spin, you cannot think about anything else at all. You are focused on bringing all of your body into alignment. It also takes you out of your comfort zone,” says Supriya.
WHICH HOOP IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Today, there are a variety of hula hoops available in the market – from weighted, to smart and polypro hoops. Supriya suggests picking one based on where you are at in your fitness journey.
“For example, if you are a beginner, you might want to go with a bigger size of HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) hoop, which allows slower rotations. It is also on the heavier and bigger side, which makes it easier to balance than a smaller one. Most of the people don’t know that they have been hooping with the wrong-sized hoop and end up disappointed when they can’t master it. For off-body tricks, one can use a hoop of a lighter material. It allows faster turns, with less abrasion on the skin.”
When it comes to polypro hoops, Supriya says, “There are different sizes/densities that are useful for dance-hooping or rhythmic-gymnastics.”
She warns against weighted hoops for beginners, explaining, “Though they are more popular, for beginners, I feel these might cause more harm than good. They might create stress on your back or bruising around your waist.”
POPULAR HOOPING STYLES:
– STRETCHES: Side, back, front stretches are easy to do and perfect for beginners
– BASIC ISOLATIONS: Isolations involve moving your hoop in such a way that it appears to be floating in the air. It’s usually the first trick one learns, and also a great form of cardio.
– HOOP YOGA: The polypro hoop makes for a great yoga prop and adds a little weight, while helping improve flexibility and coordination
– HOOP FLOW: Dance routines involving the hoop. With more and more practice, one can also add hooping to different dance forms like belly dancing, salsa, etc.
– HOOP MEDITATION: Here, hooping is integrated with meditation for a calming practice