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It's All About the Hoop

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Disclaimer: If you have zero interest in hooping for exercise and fun, you might want to skip this vlog. Then again, maybe you’ll be slightly entertained. Who knows?

We get a lot of questions and comments about hooping and I try to answer each one. But sometimes, it’s just easier to show you. Most of the questions we get are about finding a hoop. So, we decided to make a video explaining a little more about hoop size and tubing. This video takes you through my “hoop journey,” showing you actual sections of the various tubing I’ve used, so you can really see what’s going on.

Another disclaimer: I am not a hoopmaker, nor am I an expert. I’m just showing you what I’ve learned along the way.

STAY AWAY FROM THE TOY STORE HOOPS!!!! They're way too light and will drive you crazy. Hopefully, the video will show you what a huge difference there is between a toy hoop and one for adults. There are lots of places to find hoops online; search dance hoops or hooping. There are some terrific shops on etsy (shoot me an email if you want some shop names). Once you start digging, you find hoopers everywhere. And most hoopmakers are great about walking you through the process and making sure you get the right hoop. Warning: The more you hoop, the more you'll want to try hoops with different sizes and tubing. It’s a collectors sport. I’ve given several hoops away, but I try to keep enough on-hand, so I can get lots of friends hooping for play dates. Yes, you CAN have play dates when you’re a grown-up. In fact, you should!

A lot of people make their own hoops, with irrigation tubing and couplers from the hardware store. A bunch of my hoops were made by a local buddy who cut me a really awesome deal. There are hoopmaking tutorials on YouTube. I suggest starting with a 42" diameter hoop, 160psi tubing. Starting with a fairly big, somewhat heavy (1 1/2 lbs) hoop should get you waist and hip hooping pretty quickly. You may need to go larger or smaller diameter, according to what works for you. Start big and size down as needed. When you get bored, add a slightly lighter hoop (100-125psi) and start learning more tricks.


Remember, just like anything else, it takes practice. Don’t give up right away. Be sure to ease into it, a few minutes a day, for starters. It's tempting to hoop for a long time at first, but you can bruise yourself at the beginning, if you're not careful. There are lots of great tutorials on YouTube, DVDs and other online sources, to help you learn. You might even find a hooping class at your local gym. I love mine! Search hooping class or hoopdance and your city online to see if anything pops up. The Hula Hoop All Stars team is a very active team on SparkPeople, with lots of encouraging hoopers, at all levels.

Here's a SparkPeople article I wrote that explains why I'm so crazy about hooping.

I hope this helps answer some of the questions we usually get. Hopefully, seeing some of the different types of hoops makes it a little easier to understand. Hooping really is a fun way to exercise and play, especially if you share with friends. hOOp On!

PS: Today is Day 800 of my exercise streak! WOOHOO!!! (wonder how many of those days were hooping??)

Spark on, Brave Sparkers!
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