Why I Hoop (Hula, That Is)


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  67 comments   :  17,469 Views

Normally, I’m not athletically-inclined. I took marching band to get out of gym. For me, to like something that resembles a sport is nothing short of a Christmas Miracle. Hooping is my sport and I'm not joking when I say I love it. Maybe it’s more an art form than a sport. Not that I'm graceful at it, but it's expressive and joyful. As hippy or cheesy as that sounds, it's true. I chug along on my elliptical, do strength training and lots of other things. And that’s all good. But hooping brings me joy; it makes me laugh. Belly laugh. While exercising. That’s new territory for me.

YouTube sucked me in. I saw a hooper doing things we never dreamed of doing with our hula hoops in the 70's. All I could think was, "That looks like fun and is there any way in the world I can do it?" I did enough research to learn that I had to have an adult-sized hoop. The little kiddie ones from the toy store wouldn't cut it. So, I ordered a moderately heavy hoop and started waist hooping. For TWO years. Try as I might, I could never do any tricks. I didn't know that my hoop was too heavy for that stuff. I didn't know anybody who hooped, and had no idea who to ask.

Finally, I broke down and ordered a lighter, dance hoop. I didn't think I'd actually be able to use it, but decided to try anyway. Then, I found the Hula Hoop All Stars SparkTeam with links to websites, tutorials and hoopers--lots of hoopers. Turns out, there's a whole subculture of "flow artists"-- hoopers, poi spinners, jugglers, fire artists. Who knew? I found a tutorial that explained a basic lift and promised my SparkBuddies I'd post a vlog when I learned how to do it. I learned. I posted. And everything went hoop crazy.

I couldn’t get enough of it; still can’t. I’d find myself hooping in the backyard for over an hour, sweat dripping off my hair, stopping only because I had to do laundry or cook dinner. It’s crazy. And the workout is no joke. When you’re really doing this stuff, it’s a full-body, cardio/toning workout. And your core—oh, how you work your core! When you first start, it feels like you’ve been doing crunches for days.
Now I’m in a hoop class, so I actually have someone to teach me cool stuff! There’s always another trick to learn, a new hoop to try. Better yet, hooping is something I share with my daughter. And boy, how I love to spread the hoop love. When friends come to the house, they try the hoops. Cookout in the backyard? Break out the hoops. And you know what? It always leads to smiles and laughter. And that, my friends, is why I hoop.

Check out MOSTMOM1's SparkPage for more hooping inspiration (and awesome video blogs!)

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    I love hooping, but doesn't know if my gym has one. - 2/16/2018   11:48:06 AM
  • 66
    Just reading your story made me grin! - 2/8/2018   8:45:26 AM
  • 65
    I keep trying. Get more exercise from picking them up
    - 11/28/2017   12:32:07 AM
  • 64
    You have so much fun with your hoops, and you motivate me. I wish that there was a hoop club near me! Maybe I'll find people to help me start one! - 10/14/2017   5:28:24 AM
  • 63
    This looks like so much fun. I need a better back though. - 7/28/2017   9:46:26 AM
  • 62
    Lots of fun...I love to hula! - 6/25/2017   7:41:57 AM
  • HEYMOE012
    Looks like soo much fun!!! - 6/14/2013   6:16:36 PM
    I purchased myself a hoop, but I am having an awful time keeping the hoop spinning. I was unable to watch your blog, as it did not come up on my screen. Perhaps I am doing it wrong, as it has been many years since I did it as a child, and I am not sure I was much good at it then....lol - 6/14/2013   9:37:55 AM
    Now this looks like something I would definitely enjoy! Will find out if the right kind of hoop is available in my country! :) - 6/13/2013   4:08:22 PM
  • 58
    I'm a regular hooper myself and like Shelli here, I take a class in addition to attending more unstructured hoop jams, mostly so that I can push myself and learn new things. I'm still trying to get the hang of chest hooping, and leg hooping has still been eluding me, but I can hoop on my waist or hips for an hour and do all sorts of neat looking off-body hoop moves. This last year I also have an LED Hoop which looks way cool when hooping at night. :) - 3/30/2012   11:49:12 PM
  • 57
    This is something I really do want to try! - 3/29/2012   9:00:46 PM
  • 56
    I can't hula hoop to save my life but I love watching your vlogs about it! - 3/22/2012   11:23:41 PM
  • 55
    I so want to try this! I used to love to hula hoop when I was a kid...I was so excited when learned how to move the hoop from my neck to my waist to my knees then skip it on my ankles. *SIGH* Memories!

    I've been thinking about buying a weighted hoop for a while now. Maybe I'll get a few different ones and act like a kid again! - 3/22/2012   3:48:42 PM
    Some of us have been 'hooping' since we were kids in the 1950's. It IS fun - and funny! Thanks for posting this. - 3/22/2012   10:53:02 AM
  • 53
    I think that everything Shelli does is fun and I want to try this! I am about to move closer to my sister and will suggest we do both do it - I think she'd like it, too! - 3/22/2012   10:26:26 AM
    I could never even get a kids' hoop going when I WAS a kid. Kuods to you! Looks like a blast :) - 3/22/2012   10:14:45 AM
  • 51
    Thanks for this, I will get an adult hoop ordered and get hoopin with the kiddos! - 3/22/2012   9:34:46 AM
  • 50
    I was really good at it when I was younger in my teens and loved it.I tried it back a few years ago,Must try it again since I have lost 53lbs since then.I may be more successful this time around!! - 3/22/2012   1:24:27 AM
  • 49
    I loved hoops in the 60's and "by jiminy", I think I'll try it again in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the joyful reminder! xo Have fun, you little hipster hoopster! - 3/21/2012   10:40:50 PM
  • 48
    I've never even considered hooping - but you make me want to try! I think I'll look into buying a hoop. I do strength exercises, but I HATE doing the core exercises - this could be a fun way to exercise my core! Thanks for sharing! - 3/21/2012   10:40:47 PM
  • 47
    I have owned my share of Hula Hoops over the years....as a teen in the 50's, my mom SWORE I whittled my waist hula hooping! As an adult, have owned a couple more, but really don't like the noisey ones! The most recent I bought was a WEIGHTED one, at an exercise equipment store. It really makes hooping harder! Burns calories! WAHOO!! - 3/21/2012   10:05:09 PM
  • 46
    Great Post. I so want to try this. - 3/21/2012   9:43:24 PM
  • 45
    I gotta try this! - 3/21/2012   7:27:27 PM
  • 44
    I have the weighted hula hoop, I'm certainly not as good at it, as I once was. It is a great form of exercise. - 3/21/2012   5:30:21 PM
  • 43
    I have tried it - but just can't make it work! When I was a kid I was good at it....but alas, I am a kid no more! - 3/21/2012   4:26:29 PM
  • 42
    I only have a 5 pound hoop but I love working with it. As I get better I will start looking for others - 3/21/2012   2:10:18 PM
  • 41
    sounds like a lot of fun! - 3/21/2012   2:01:32 PM
  • 40
    I hooped no later than early 60s & possibly earlier - I know I wasn't 14 yet. It's fun and the exercise was strenuous enough even then to make me pant. And it doesn't make me hurt! - 3/21/2012   12:13:33 PM
  • MINNA72
    And this right here, Shel, is why I adore you! Hoop on, buddy! - 3/21/2012   5:43:39 AM
    I want a hula hoop!! I did as a kid and it would be worth a few calories!! - 3/21/2012   5:34:58 AM
  • 37
    Wow - you've got me all excited!! I haven't hooped since the late 60s/early 70s and I used to love it so. Where do I get one in Australia that's what I want to know!! - 3/21/2012   5:18:45 AM
  • 36
    I love her vlogs! When I saw her vlog for the first time with hula hooping, I started thinking about giving it a whirl. I finally went and just purchased a hoop online! Hopefully I'll have it when I get back from my vacation! - 3/21/2012   4:05:41 AM
  • 35
    Who said "too old because they did it back in the 50's!" So did I and it's still fun, makes you move your hips! Catch her video blogs; she does it with kids--they're awesome. - 3/21/2012   3:15:47 AM
  • JULIA1154
    It's so cool that you're having FUN! There's way too little of that in our lives; reading your blog and seeing your delight has put a huge smile on my face. I haven't hooped in decades but might just try it again.... :) - 3/21/2012   12:57:58 AM
  • 33
    I'm a Life Enrichment Coordinator at an Assisted Living/Retirement Community. We had a Hawaiian Party Day in January and had hula hoop contests. Wow what a work out. I was sore for days but it was worth it. I have been thinking about getting some hoops and you just made up my mind for me tonight. I didn't realize it was such a big thing. - 3/21/2012   12:40:06 AM
  • 32
    To old now, but did it back in the '50s. - 3/21/2012   12:27:51 AM
  • 31
    Awesome!! I'll have to check out that Spark Team! - 3/21/2012   12:24:57 AM
  • 30
    I hadn't hooped since I was a kid. Last summer, they had a hula-hoop contest and I won for the adults! I still haven't taken it up, but I love your blogs and vlogs and you are going to get me hooping yet! - 3/21/2012   12:12:44 AM
    I used to hoop before my surgeries and the weight gain, I ordered 2 large heavy hoops back then, I finally got to go pick them up 2 weeks ago. I have to learn all over but oh my gosh it is sooo much fun and now I'm buying a smaller lighter one too so I can relearn all my tricks. I have to go slow at this but its fun and exercise so WOOT! :D At 43 who knew I'd be getting back into my crazy circus freak ways. hahaha - 3/21/2012   12:03:22 AM
  • 28
    I just got my first hoop. It is kind of heavy. I am shocked I can keep it up. I need to start to devote time to it to see if I love it as much as you do. Congrats and thanks for sharing... - 3/20/2012   11:56:22 PM
  • 27
    Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for this! When I was a kid I used to hula hoop all the time, I'd walk everywhere hula hooping, I used to take pride in myself for how good I was. I am gonna get me a hoop! That's what I am asking for for Mother's Day!!! I hate exercise but I think I could get into hula hooping!!! Thank you so very much!! - 3/20/2012   11:32:09 PM
  • 26
    You know you got me; at 70! Tried it; love it! Now I'm making hoops for all my grandkids! - 3/20/2012   11:22:33 PM
    I couldn't hoop as a kid but watching one of your videos encouraged me to give it a shot and I LOVE it! I'm not in the least bit graceful like the videos I watch but it makes me smile and am trying new things all the time. Not able to to a lot but just walking and hooping tickles me. It is never to late to try. I'm 47 and couldn't do this as a child but look at me now. *smile*

    Thanks for spreading the love. - 3/20/2012   11:11:39 PM
  • 24
    Great blog article, Shelli! Wondering why I have suddenly lost the ability to hoop. I think my hoop is too big.. 44". I've recently dropped an inch in my waist and an inch in my hips. I used to be able to do 2 songs or maybe 3 before it dropped and now I can't keep it up more than 6 or 7 spins around me before I lose it. WTF? - 3/20/2012   10:54:16 PM
  • 23
    I think that is awesome! Something healthy and fun...It doesn't get better than that..Makes me want to try hooping again... - 3/20/2012   10:53:00 PM
  • 22
    I do want to try this, as I kid, I was not successful but you have encouraged me - 3/20/2012   10:33:25 PM
  • QUEEN82169
    I used to hula hoop as a child and was pretty good at it. My hoop was white, with ble and red stripes and it made a noise (like metal beads were inside of it) as I hoola hooped. Please let me know where I can buy a decent hula hoop from...those cheap little kiddie ones never work for me. Please email me: queen82169@gmail.com - 3/20/2012   10:24:41 PM
  • 20
    I recently got a travel hula hoop and love it. Some evenings, I hula hoop during my favorite shows on TV. I could go for hours it seems like. - 3/20/2012   10:22:10 PM
    I love hoops i can hoop with walmart hoops but i prefer the adult heavier ones ot is so fun keep it up!
    - 3/20/2012   10:13:03 PM
    I love hoops i can hoop with walmart hoops but i prefer the adult heavier ones ot is so fun keep it up!
    - 3/20/2012   10:12:58 PM

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