What size hoop?

When you first decide to try hula hooping it’s difficult to know where to start.

If there’s a class near where you live, that is the best place to go and find out all you need to know. You tend to learn faster in a class with a professional showing you exactly what to do. However, although hula hoop classes are spreading around the country, you might not be lucky enough to have a local one.

If you want to start off at home the first thing you need is the right size and the right weighted hoop.

You have probably had a go with a child’s hoop and struggled to keep it going at all. This is because it is far too small and far too light for an adult. The ideal size for an adult’s beginner hoop is bigger than you might think. Measure from the ground up to your belly button and that is the size hoop you need. Actually that is the minimum size you should consider, the bigger the better!

As far as weighted hoops go, there is a lot of confusing information to be found on the web. Hoops marketed just for exercise can be excessively weighted. The thinking seems to be that the heavier the hoop, the more toned you will become. There are a few reasons why I don’t believe these heavily weighted hoops are a good idea.

The risk of injury is much higher. Some of these hoops can weigh upwards of 3 lbs or 1.5kg. This may not seem like a lot, but when you consider the momentum that is created as it spins around your waist, the force that will be pushing and pulling against you will be considerably more than the advertised weight. Many of your major organs are situated in that area and it’s never a good idea to bash them about.

These exercise hoops often have metal balls or knobbly bits around the inside of them which are supposed to massage you as the hoop goes around. Sounds lovely, until you realise that it will be the hardest massage you have ever had, over and over again in the same place and sometimes on your hip bones. Some bruising isn’t uncommon when you first start hooping but these hoops can’t fail to give you some really nasty ones.

The heaviest hoop I make weighs 0.7 kg. There are no weights in it, that is just the weight of the tubing and the taping. This is heavy enough for the hoop to have some momentum of its own, which is helpful for new hoopers, but not heavy enough to be painful or dangerous.

So when you are buying your first hoop, try to talk to someone in the know, anyone who hand makes hoops will be happy to advise you. Avoid the knobbly, really weighted hoops and don’t try to persevere with your child’s hoop or you will struggle!