HOOPING/HOOP DANCE & FITNESS
What are the benefits of Hoop Dancing and Fitness?
In my opinion, Hooping is one of the most enjoyable ways to exercise the body, mind and spirit. It has been coined by many as a moving meditation. The benefits of hoop dancing and fitness are far reaching, and may include:
- A low impact, cardiovascular workout
- Burn up to 400 calories per hour
- Tones the whole body
- Strengthens the core
- Improves balance, coordination and flexibility
- Increases and improves the body’s metabolism, thus providing more energy
- Promotes stress relief
- Develops creative self expression
- Boosts self confidence
- Encourages connection with others who enjoy hooping
- Leads to smiling and laughter
What can I expect when I first start hooping?
With any new exercise, you may experience some muscle soreness. Hooping involves the use of many muscle groups, including some that aren’t used very often. I like to think of the hoop as a constant massage. Depending on what moves you are doing, you may even experience slight bruising (especially on the hands). The bruising does diminish over time with more practice, and should not be a cause for concern.
Because we are spinning and whirling a piece of plastic around us, you may strike yourself in the process. Most commonly, I have seen broken nails and slight taps to the head. More serious injuries are rare (like a pulled muscle or severe bruise). Stretching and warming up will help prevent such injuries. You can always consult with your physician before beginning you hoop practice.
What is the recommended frequency and duration of hooping?
Ideally, it is recommended to hoop daily. This will help the body adjust to the hoop more quickly, and will encourage a faster pace of learning. As a new hooper, begin at a moderate pace, spending shorter amounts of time hooping on the various areas of the body. As the body adjusts physically, you can spend longer amounts of time in your hoop practice. Again, make sure to include a warm up, and stretching as part of your hooping routine
What class should I join?
The Foundations class is designed for those who have little to no experience with hula hoop dancing and fitness. We explore the basics of movement with the hula hoop, including body/core hooping and off-body/hand hooping. Our focus will be on creating transitions between the hoop skills with full body movement in order to develop hoop flow.
The Combo Flow class is geared towards hoopers who have been hooping for a while, and are comfortable with basic techniques. We refine skills and play with more advanced combinations and tricks. The focus is to integrate our hoop skills with movement to further develop flow.
Do I need my own hoop?
Hoops are supplied for class use. If you own a hoop, please bring it. Do not bring department/dollar store kid’s hoops. Hoops are also available for purchase. It is recommended that students do eventually purchase their own hoop, in order to practice outside of class time.
What should I wear to hoop class?
Comfortable, movement clothing is recommended, i.e. yoga wear, dance wear. Natural fibres are best. Clothes that are made with polyester and spandex tend to be more slippery, and can make hooping more challenging. Please avoid wearing tight, restrictive jeans or pants, belts, and really baggy clothing. Clean, non-marking indoor footwear is also recommended (sneakers, dance shoes), as they offer support and protection (in case you drop your hoop!).
Are there any other requirements?
Please bring water, as hooping is thirsty work! You may also bring a yoga mat for stretching and floor hooping. Of course, bring your smile and positive attitude!
Why are there so many different hoop sizes and styles?
The variety of hoop sizes and styles are due to the fact that there is such variety in body dimensions, and skill levels. The bigger, heavier hoops are great for beginners as they spin more slowly, allowing more time for the hooper to catch the rhythm. The heavier hoops are also great for those interested in maximizing weight loss and core strengthening. The smaller and lighter the hoop, the faster the movement required to keep it spinning. These hoops offer more of an aerobic workout, and are great for more advanced combinations and dancing. Most people have a selection of hoops that vary in size (i.e. a heavier hoop for core hooping, lighter hoops for off-body hooping).
What is the right size hoop for me?
Hoop size depends on body size. The factors I use to determine a suitable hoop size for a client are: approximate weight, height, and waist/pants size. I also like to know a client’s age, as this gives me an indication of the person’s flexibility and physical stamina. Skill level is also important, as a beginner hooper’s needs are different than those of a someone who already has hooping or dance experience.
What are the hoops made from?
Hoop Di Do uses mostly upcycled/recycled 100psi plastic tubing. The hoops are cut to size and decorated with specialty adhesive tapes.
How can I ensure the longevity of my hoop?
Store hoops in a clean, dry environment, preferably laying flat. If you do stand the hoops to store, make sure they are not standing on a direct heat source as this may warp the hoop. Storing your hoop in a hot car is definitely not recommended.
If you notice a warp, you can gently bend the tubing into shape and store flat in a warm environment, such as on a sunny floor or deck, until the hoop warms. Then return it to a cool place, still keeping the hoop flat.
Hooping on gravel and concrete will destroy the decorative tape, as well as exposing the hoop to water (especially salt water). Keep the outdoor practice to the grass. Avoid excessive pulling on the hoop (kids love this!) as it will turn your circle into an egg, or result in a kink in the tubing.