Hula hoop hoop instruction

Reader Approved

Two Methods:Hula Hooping for BeginnersAdvanced Hula HoopingCommunity Q&A

Hula hooping is not only a great workout for your abs, but it’s a great way to have fun and impress your friends. To be an expert hula hooper, all you need is to practice and to improve your coordination. If you want to know how to hula hoop, just follow these easy steps and you’ll be able to do it in no time.

Method 1 Hula Hooping for Beginners

  1. Put on athletic clothing.

    Wear a tight-fitting shirt and pants so it’ll be easier to hula hoop and so the hoop won’t get caught on any loose clothing.

    • Comfortable shoes will also make it easier for you to hula hoop. They don’t have to be athletic shoes, and the choice of even wearing shoes at all, is optional. It will neither influence nor harm your attempt to hula hoop.
    • Avoid wearing any bracelets or any dangling jewelry that can get caught in the hula hoop.
  2. to Hula Hoop Put the hula hoop on the ground.

    Choose a hoop that reaches your chest or waist when you stand it on its side. Larger hoops are ideal for beginners because they spin more slowly, which gives you more time to adjust to the rhythm of the hoop.

    • If you’re really committed to hula hooping, you can try hoops of a variety of weight and size to see what works best for you.
  3. to Hula Hoop

    Step inside the hoop.

  4. to Hula Hoop

    Reach down and grab the edges of the hoop. Place your hands apart at a comfortable distance.

  5. Bring the hula hoop up to your waist level. Step one foot in front of the other to gain balance.

  6. Grip the hoop firmly with two hands. Relax the hoop against one side of your torso.

  7. to Hula Hoop

    Spin the hoop. If you’re a righty, firmly spin the hoop counter-clockwise. If you’re a lefty, spin it clockwise.

  8. to Hula Hoop Start to move your waist in a circular motion.

    Push your stomach forward as the hoop moves across your stomach. Push the hoop back when it moves across your back. Or you can rotate your waist in small circles and when the hoop touches your left hit your waist towards the left side and when the hoop touches your right hit towards the right.

    • Eventually you will find a perfect motion for pumping your torso.
  9. to Hula Hoop Continue spinning the hoop.

    Keep moving your waist in a circular motion as you let go and aim to get the hoop to wrap itself around your waist like a barber’s pole, round and round and round.

    • If the hoop falls below your waist or even falls to the ground, pick it up and try again.
    • When the hoop falls, try spinning it in the other direction. Though righties prefer to spin the hoop counter-clockwise and lefties prefer to spin it clockwise, you should still find the direction that works best for you. The direction you prefer is called your “first direction” or your “in-flow.”
  10. to Hula Hoop Expect the hoop to fall the first few tries as you get used to the motion.

    Just pick up the hoop again and keep going. It is as much about getting the feeling for the motion as it is about following instructions.

    • Once you become more experienced as a hula-hooper, you can discover some tricks for recovering a falling hoop.
  11. to Hula Hoop

    Have fun!

Method 2 Advanced Hula Hooping

  1. to Hula Hoop Learn how to recover a falling hoop.

    If you feel like you’re getting the hang of it and you don’t want to keep picking up the hoop from the ground, you can also learn to recover the hoop when it’s about to fall. This will make you look more like a pro and can let you spin the hoop for much longer. Here are a few things to try if the hoop falls below your waist:

    • Bend your knees below the hoop while pushing your hips really fast to get the hoop to move back up to your waist.
    • Turn your body in the direction of the flow of the hoop while pushing your hips really fast.
    • Move your body much quicker than normal to recover the position of the hoop.
  2. to Hula Hoop Master some more hula hooping skills.

    As you become more experienced as a hula hooper, you can add to your hula hooping repertoire by trying some new skills. Here’s what you can do:

    • Practice moving faster. You can do this by shifting the weight between your feel more quickly, or by pumping your torso back and forth more quickly.
    • Move around as you hula hoop. To do this, turn your body in the direction that the hoop is moving. Shuffle your feet in the right direction.
    • Try the “booty bump”. Instead of moving the hula hoop around your waist, try moving it along your butt.
    • Try moving the hoop up and down your body. An experienced hula hooper can make the hoop move above or below his waist while still recovering it.
    • If you really want to kick it up a notch, you can try spinning the hoop around your head or your arms, or even around just one of your legs. Lighter hoops work better for this trick.

Community Q&A

Add New Question

  • How long does it take to be able to spin the hula hoop, and does your body shape matter?

    wikiHow Contributor

    It depends on how often you practice and how you do it. No, your body shape does not matter. It’s just a matter of time.

  • What are the physical benefits of Hula Hooping?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Hooping greatly improves your core muscles, so you can be better at things like sit ups. It also increases your endurance.

  • Will hula hooping help me get curves?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Yes, it helps you to get in shape and forms your abdominal muscles. But for better results, it’s good to combine hula hooping with some kind of strength training.

  • Why is it called a hula hoop?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Because the movement looks like a hula dance and the circular shape of the object is a hoop.

  • What size hula hoop should I start out with?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Your hoop should reach from the ground up to your belly button or the bottom of your chest.

  • How can I perform tricks with only one Hula Hoop?

    wikiHow Contributor

    You can hula the hoop on your arm. You can try putting the hoop on the ground and walking with it. Place it on one of your feet and with the other foot, jump over. Try not to touch it!

  • If it falls down, what do I do?

    wikiHow Contributor

    If you’re a beginner, just pick it up with your hands and try again. If you are advanced, then you can try to pick it up with your feet.

  • When I spin the Hula Hoop, how can I make it not slide down?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Make sure your first spin is firm and fast, then push forward and backward from your waist in a fast enough motion to keep the hoop going. Stand up tall; do not hunch forward or let your knees bend too much. Make sure your hoop is large enough.

  • How long should I hula hoop per day to make a difference in my body?

    wikiHow Contributor

    The amount you are comfortable with. It depends on how much you weigh. But do not push yourself and do as much as you want to.

  • Does it remove my belly fat also?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Yes, it does.The average person burns 210 calories in a half hour session. It also tones your muscles.

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Unanswered Questions

  • What are different hula hoop activities for kids?

  • Where can I get a hula hoop like the one in the article demonstration?

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Tips

  • Larger hula hoops will spin slower and be easier to use. For a person who is 5’8″, at 3.5′-4′ diameter is recommended. Heavier hula hoops will also be easier to use, but they shouldn’t be so heavy that you have trouble keeping them up.
  • Hula hooping is a great way to spice up a traditional abdominal workout. If you’re tired of doing sit-ups, try hula hooping instead.
  • Hula hooping is more of a rocking motion than moving your hips in circles.
  • If the hula hoop is going below your waist, then bump it up with your hips very quickly.
  • If you are having trouble with moving your waist properly, move your legs further apart and plant them, bend them, and focus on one foot, moving one leg in little circles starting with your hip. This will help moving the waist at the right rhythm.

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(This page is about how to make a hoop of your own.  Related posts are:

  • How to keep a hula hoop up
  • Hula hoop sizing
  • Where to buy a weighted hula hoop (if you read the instructions here and don’t want to make a weighted hula hoop of your own)

I sell both new and used hoops to individuals, at fairs and festivals, and at hoop dance classes.  If you can’t get to one of the

events I’m attendinggive me a call

and maybe we can work out a time and a place to meet.

Groups that need a larger number of hoops, such as day care centers and youth after-school programs, may find it more economical to make their own hula hoops. Hoops made from irrigation tubing are much stronger and last longer, under harder use, than hoops you buy at a grocery or discount store.

Everything I’ve learned about making hoops follows.

Outline

  1. Buy tubing and enough connectors to make up the whole roll of tubing (between 8 and 15 connectors, depending on the size of the hoops, for a 100′ roll of tubing)
  2. Buy tape to decorate the hoops (gaffer tape, shiny tape, and/or electrical tape)
  3. Make hoops
  4. Decorate hoops

Material for making hula hoops

Most people who make hoops buy tubing at Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse.  We buy the black irrigation tubing, which is sold in the back of the plumbing department.  (You might also check your local Tractor Supply, if you live in a semi-rural area.  Their prices may be a bit better than Lowe’s.  Call first.)

DO NOT USE Pex water line.  It’s pretty (red blue & white), but too soft to hold the hoop shape.

I buy 100′ rolls.  If I were selling more hoops, I’d buy it in the 300′ roll, which is a little cheaper per foot.  (Unfortunately, Lowe’s HW no longer carries the larger rolls of 1/100 tubing.)  100′ of irrigation tubing will make 7 or 8 very big (44-50″ diameter) hoops, or as many as 15 tiny hoops for little children.  A 300′ roll makes 25 hoops in a range of adult sizes.

Two hoops showing completed jointJoining hoop ends with male-male barbed connectorClosing hoop ends over connectorPile of hoops with connector in one endRoll of tubing cut into hoop-lengthsInserting connector into the first end of the hoopSoftening end of tubing in hot water to insert connectorCutting tubingThree sizes of hoop connectors: 1″, 3/4″, and 1/2″ (bent)Tubing cutters, with broken blade (that doesn’t matter much)300′ roll of 1/100 tubing, unbound and uncut300′ roll of 1/100 tubing, unbound and uncut

Hoops are held together with a double barbed, male-male connector that is sold in a rack right next to the tubing.  You’ll need to match the size of the connector to the size of the tubing.  Connectors come in bags of 10 (cheaper) or individually.  Make sure all the connectors are the right size for your tubing–they can get mixed up on the shelf.

Three sizes of hoop connectors: 1″, 3/4″, and 1/2″ (bent)

Irrigation tubing comes in a variety of diameters and weights.  I vary the size tubing I buy, so my inventory contains a range of weights.

  • “Fast” hoopers prefer ¾” 160# tubing.  This is a bit harder on your hands, but fast.
  • “Slower” hoopers might prefer 1” 100# tubing.  It’s fairly soft, but two hoops are hard to manage when you’re hooping twins.
  • Children’s hoops and juggler hoops can be made of ¾” 100# hooping, but that weight is not for adult-sized hoops.  It deforms badly at speed when made larger than 30”.  It’s also good for twins, when you need to manage two hoops.
  • Extra-large hoops can be made of 1″ 160# tubing, which is expensive.  However, the heavy weight tubing creates a heavy weighted hoop, which is good for beginners, serious exercisers, and men, without it being too big to fit in the truck.

The parts numbers for the tubing at Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse are:

  • 1 inch 100 PSI : #24169
  • 3/4 inch 160 PSI : #24195
  • 3/4 inch 100 PSI: # 24166

If you’re going to make a few hoops, go ahead and buy the $10-13 tubing cutters.  They look like strange scissors.  They leave a cleaner cut than a saw and are easier to use.  (You don’t need the $25 pair.)

Scrap or leftover tubing

Plumbers, landscaping contractors, and other people in the construction and agriculture trades sometimes have scraps of irrigation and water line tubing left over from a job.   I’ve made up a lot of hula hoops from scraps, but I also have some tubing that never fit a connector I could find.

Cutting irrigation tubing

Usually, I cut up the whole roll into hoop lengths and make up the hoops all in one session.  If I don’t need inventory, I may leave the “raw” hoops undecorated.  If you leave cut tubing unconnected, it will straighten out and you will have a flat spot on your hoop.

Cutting tubingRoll of tubing cut into hoop-lengths

Hula Hoop Sizing

Circumference = 2 * pi * r,  where r = radius.  2r = diameter.  Therefore, the length of tubing you need to cut is pi * height.

  • Beginner hoops:  shoulder-to-sternum height.
  • Intermediate hoops:  waist height.
  • Serious dance hoops:  hip height.
  • Very fast hoops:  inseam height.

In other words, if you’re making hoops for a crowd, you’ll want a range with at least one at 60”, several at 46-48”, and then the rest as needed.  Some groups have many more small children than others.

I don’t measure length any more; I simply curl the tubing against an existing hoop and cut it to match, or not, as needed.

I have a 6’ diameter hoop made of 2” tubing.  Many men are comfortable hooping in that hoop where they won’t try a smaller or fancier one.  I put a run of gaffer tape around the inside of the hoop to give it grip for shoulder hooping, and it’s wiffled (has holes drilled into it) and sings at different pitches depending on its speed.

Joining the ends

I use boiling water to heat the ends of the tubing one at a time, and then slip the connector in. Let the first end cool completely before forming the hoop into a circle and connecting the second end.  Some patient people heat the ends with a hair dryer.

Softening end of tubing in hot water to insert connector

For smaller hoops (24-30”),  bend the connector a little to prevent a flat spot in the hoop (see the picture of the hoop connectors above–the small one is bent).  Connectors bend easily if you heat them in boiling water for 30 seconds.  Use very long nails (landscape spikes) or strong knitting needles, or pencils, to hold the connector while you bend it just a bit off straight.  Drop the bent connector into cold water to set the new shape.

Inserting connector into the first end of the hoopJoining hoop ends with male-male barbed connectorClosing hoop ends over connector

If you’re making a cloth-covered hoop, put the cloth sleeve over the hoop before joining the second end.

If you’re making a water hoop, pour one cup of water into the hoop before sealing.  Water in the hoop makes heating the second end a bit trickier.

We put the connectors into one end of the entire set of hoops, let the warm ends cool, and then join up the hoops. This gives a hoop that is more round than joining both ends at the same time.

It’s easy to kink the hoop when connecting the second end.  Keep the hoop round while the tubing cools and have a wet dish cloth handy to quench the heat.

Two hoops showing completed joint 24.5 completed hoops

(The picture shows 24.5 completed hoops.  I used a piece of leftover tubing from the last batch that was too long to throw away.  That hoop has two connectors.)

Decorating hoops

  • Some people can dance with untaped hoops, perhaps sanded for a bit more grip.
  • Spray paint tends to come off on whatever the hoop hits.
  • Gaffer tape and decorative metallic tape (“sparkly”) are the best to use for decorating hoops.
  • Gaffer tape, available on the web (not locally in Raleigh), is cloth tape with a non-residue, non-oozing glue.  It comes in lots of colors, some of which are ugly.  It comes in 2”, 1”, and ½” rolls.  Although the 2” rolls can be torn lengthwise if needed, I’ve taken to using 1” as my widest tape because it handles easily.  It’s a good width to start with.  ½” tape is pretty for accent colors.
  • Electrician’s tape, which can be found at hardware stores, can be used if it passes the 2008 CPSIA compliance and testing standards for plastic toys.  Electrician’s tape from Indenti-tape, which is the kind I use, passes these tests, as well as the European RoHS standards.  I cannot speak about the brands sold at hardware stores–check the package or the manufacturer’s website.

I like the fluorescent colors of gaffer tape—yellow, orange, green, and pink—much more in real hoops than I expected and will buy large rolls on my next order.  Kodak yellow is another good hoop color, as is red, Pro-Gaff’s blue, and burgundy.  Purple is more “lilac,” in my mind.  Teal is useful.  Black is handy if you want to add grip to a dark hoop.

DO NOT USE duct tape, which oozes nastily when it gets warm and fails completely in high heat, as might be found in the trunk of a car.

An average hoop consumes about 25’ of tape per color.  Sparkle tape is sold in rolls of 25’; allow one roll per hoop.  You may have some leftover.  You can cut 1” tapes in half lengthwise and get more mileage out of them.

  • The silver holographic tapes are pretty in the sun; most of the colored holographic tapes are much prettier to look at when they are still than they are when the hoop is moving.
  • Glitter tape is a bear to tape with—it tends to wander and it does not “untape” to correct a mistake.
  • Although the tape itself isn’t much to look at, some of the best hoops are made with the plain mirror tape.  (BTW, “brass” = very yellow, compared to a more sedate “gold.”)
  • Glow-in-the-dark tape is fun.  It is also very slick.
  • Highway reflector tape looks better when the hoop’s not moving than it does in motion, and it’s hard to get on the hoop straight.
  • Aluminum tape for ductwork makes a very “high tech”-looking hoop, but it needs additional gaffer tape for grip.

Taping patterns vary.  If I’m making a sparkle hoop, I put the metallic tape down first.  It sticks better to the hoop material than it does to gaffer tape.  Then I’ll add a gaffer tape, and perhaps another accent color, or not.  It can be fun to wrap backwards, spiraling the opposite direction, and to weave two different colors of tape over each other.  Do not try this on your first hoop.  I also like “quartering” a hoop with different patterns or colors on each section.

Sources for hoop tape

I currently buy gaffer tape from www.identi-tape.com, a supplier to tape users in many fields, and sparkle tape from www.mccormicksnet.com, a supplier to the marching band and drill team community. Within McCormick’s site, select Guard, then Equipment and Supplies, to get to the tape pages. Both gaffer and sparkle tapes can be ordered from www.identi-tape.com, which also has the DOT and glow-in-the-dark tapes. Their holographic tapes may well be the brightest available.

karentiede.com

Choose a topic below to learn more about hoops available in each section, tube types, weight, what’s best to avoid bruising and more!

READY TO BUY YOUR HOOP? Choose a Category Below!

When you select a category, you’ll first select a tape wrap style, then you will be able to select tube type, tape colors and size.  All hoops in a given category are made of the same materials (except for the Heavy Tubing Option in the Everyday Use Section). The only difference in price is due to the tape style selected.  If you are taking a class, you can always ask your instructor what type tubing they recommend.

Standard or Collapsible:

Hoops come in two options, Standard which is a permanent solid hoop and Collapsible which comes with a push button to coil down or 4 or more pieces to be completely disassembled.

All hoops will ship coiled down in a box to avoid shipping damage and to preserve its shape during transport…but don’t fret, they are easy to push together.

We ship the hoops with the connector secured inside one end of the hoop. When you receive it, stand Your Hoop in front of you and push the exposed end of the connector into the hoop using an up & down motion…see the video. If necessary, carefully heating the open end of the hoop with a hair dryer (or grabbing a strong buddy) can make it easier to push together.

Now that you have pushed together your Standard Hoop, there’s one last step…

Locate the plastic peg under the tape near the connection point. You’ll then insert the attached peg into the hole drilled underneath your tape…once you have, it’s a permanent non collapsible hoop.

You can also make adult hoops a Collapsible Hoop for just a bit more!

Any Everyday Use, Hoopdance or Fitness Hoop can come in a great collapsible pull apart style!  Just select the hoop you want and add the Collapsible Hoop option you want when adding the product to your cart!

Collapsible hula hoops are custom built to order and are available as a 1 pc, 4 pc, 6 pc or 8 pc style. The 1 Pc Collapsible Hoop is an economical way to have a travel hoop. For long term storage, wire ties work great. For quick access, we love the pony tail holders with two plastic balls where one ball loops over the other. Use two to three…easy breezy!

Our Hoop Links let your hoop fit your mood. Choose a 2 inch Hoop Link to increase your chosen hoop size by two inches or a 4 inch Hoop Link to increase it by four inches.

EXAMPLE: You can order a 36″ hoop and add a 2 inch Hoop Link to increase it to 38″. Order a 40″ and a 4 inch Hoop Link to increase it to 44″.

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How To Select Your Hoop Size:

For beginners, a fair rule of thumb is to measure from the ground to about an inch or two above your belly button (the bigger the hoop, the slower the rotation).  For more experienced hoopers or for those that could hoop as a kid, measure to belly button or slightly above. Very experienced hoopers typically go no more than an inch below the belly button.  Bigger waist?  Add an inch or two.

Hoop dancers will benefit from a bit more room in their hoop (more room to perform tricks without knocking yourself in the head!) than is necessary for exercise hooping around the waist (the smaller the hoop, the faster the rotation and the more you’ll have to tighten your core, like it or not).

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About Hoop Weights:

All our Everyday Use, Hoop Dance Hoops and Fitness Hoops are considered “weighted hoops”.

Pro Performance and Hoop Play Kids Hoops:  1/2″ Tubing and weigh around 1/2 lb.
Tubing Circumference = 2.5″ – Diameter = 6/8″

Light Tubing: 3/4″ Tubing and average weight is 14 oz to 1 lb.
Tubing Circumference = 3.3″ – Diameter = 7/8″

In the Everyday, Hoop Dance & Fitness Hoops Sections

Heavy Tubing: 3/4″ Tubing and around 1.5 lbs.
Tubing Circumference = 3.375″ – Diameter = 1″
Can cause slight to moderate bruising if used anywhere besides the waist.
Some beginners and hoopdancers prefer Heavy Tubing.

In the Everyday Use Section.

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Our Everyday Use Hoops are the best bang for the buck out there and are a great way to get started. Perfect for general hooping, hoopdance or hoop classes.  If you are taking a class and do not know, you can always ask your instructor what type tubing they recommend.

Select your tubing: Light (more flexible) or Heavy (a bit heavier and more rigid).  A lot of beginners seem to prefer light or heavy empty tubing with no filler. Bruising is much less probable with a light empty hoop.  Some may experience bruising with the Heavy Tubing.

To select your size, you should know our Adult Size fits most. A fair rule of thumb is to measure from the ground to about an inch or two above your belly button (the bigger the hoop, the slower the rotation).

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Our hoopdance hoops are the perfect size and weight to get your groove on.  Features our 3/4″ Light tubing with no filler and fabulous tape jobs. Design your custom hoop dance hula hoop today. If you are taking a class and do not know, you can always ask your instructor what type tubing they recommend.

Hoop Dance Hula Hoops ~ We recommend light tubing with no added weight to get the speed you want to do fast tricks. If you’re beginning or are more of a low tempo music kinda person, heavy tubing is still OK. Just remember, the heavier the hoop, the slower the rotation.

To select your size, you should know our Adult Size fits most. A fair rule of thumb is to measure from the ground to about 2 inches above your belly button.

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Exercise ~ We personally like the Light empty tubing which can be found in the Fitness Hoops section. It comes in around 1 lb and you don’t feel the “pull” you experience with a water filled hoop. Heavier hoops have a slower rotation so a heavy hoop with weight is really gonna have you moving to get the speed up. When you add weight it gets heavy fast and can cause bruising if you’re just learning.

There is much discussion in the area of exercise hoops and we believe it’s pretty much personal preference.  Many feel a light hoop forces you to move faster, thereby tightening the muscles as you hoop. Others like weighted hoops. You have to use more force to push the hoop around…but you can’t hoop as fast.

A lot of beginners seem to prefer light with a bit of weight or heavy empty tubing which are found in our Basic Hoops section. Many hoop dance classes use light empty hoops.  To select your size, you should know our Adult Size fits most. A fair rule of thumb is to measure from the ground to about 2 inches above your belly button.

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Looking for sturdy hula hoops for the little ones? Avoid the bruising caused by the heavier tubing with our Hoop Play hoops!  Hoop Play Kids Hoops are still made of a sturdier plastic than regular hoops. We use a smaller tubing than our regular hoops and they weigh in at just a half a pound. Perfect for little bodies!

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Your Hoop manufactures hoops for everyone, including the Pros.  Our dance, circus and rhythmic gymnastic hoops (not FIG certified) are built from a lighter tubing than our regular hoops to ensure maximum speed with minimal bruising. When ordering, size indicated is the OUTER DIAMETER of the hoop.

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