5 tips on how to do Hula-Hoop for beginners

1. Dress for success: When you are using a hoop, wear close-fitting athleisure attire. You’ll want to get skin contact with the hoop, so tank tops and shorts are ideal. Remember, hooping is an art form, so wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable.

2. Choose the right hoop for your style: No, you cannot just grab the one you used as a child — those typically have water or sand for weight, so the hoop is wobbly and off-centered.

There are specific hoops designed for specific purposes. As a beginner, you’ll need to start with a bigger hoop to master the basic moves. The bigger your hoop, the slower it rotates. That makes it easier to learn. The right hoop size for you should hit your belly button when you stand the hoop upright from the floor.

For on-body moves, Presnell recommends starting with a 36- to 40-inch (91.4- to 107-centimeter) hoop that’s weighted and taped. It might sound counterintuitive, but heavier hoops are easier to keep up. If you plan to try off-body moves, get a lighter and smaller hoop. She recommends a 29- to 30-inch (74- to 76.2-centimeter) polypropylene hoop that is about 0.75 inch (1.9 centimeters) in width.

3. Get the body ready before picking up the hoop: Before you start hooping, Santas recommends warming up. Put your hands on your hips and slowly move your hips in a circle, in both directions. “Warm up your hips and your core first, before trying this dynamic movement,” Santas said.

Make sure you stand up straight and tall. Your weight should be centered with your feet shoulder width apart, and your hoop should be parallel to the ground before releasing.

4. Master the waist spin first: As you spin the hoop around your waist, keep your legs as still as you can and pulse your waist forward to backward in a rhythmic fashion. When the hoop starts to drop (and it will), move faster and harder to push it back up. Focus on your four contact points: left hip, right hip, back and front.

5. Give these tricks a whirl: Once you get a good flow, practice a two-handed isolation. This is when the hoop stays still as your hands lightly circle the inside of the hoop. This creates an illusion that the hoop is defying gravity. “It’s like the hoop is just floating in one circle while your hands are doing all the work,” Presnell said.

For an on-body move, try the upward escalator — when the hoop twirls up around your body with one flick of the hand. Start with the hoop in front of you around one foot, then push the hoop up with the other hip, and the hoop will spiral up your body until you can catch it by your head.

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