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These days, many trends start on TikTok, including those in fitness. One of the most-loved exercises shared on the platform is the weighted hula hoop. At one point, they were so popular, they were hard to find in stock. But now, Amazon carries plenty of them.
There are a few basic benefits to using a weighted hula hoop: It provides a cardio and strength element to your workout, you can use it anywhere, and it’s relatively affordable.
Steven Virtue, Fitness Development Manager at Total Fitness in the United Kingdom, told GQ Magazine that it’s “a great exercise for the lower-body muscles, working your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves.” It’s also “a brilliant workout for your abdominal [muscles].”
A small study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2015 found that it really works. According to the report, the study had 18 women ranging in age from 32 to 58 use a weighted hula hoop for six weeks. They didn’t change any other part of their daily life. At the end of the trial, researchers found that, on average, participants lost 1.3 inches from their waistlines and 0.6 inches from their hips. Although, there “were no improvements in torso muscular endurance as measured by isometric testing.”
So, it won’t make you “totally ripped” per se, and depending on your goals, it shouldn’t be your sole form of exercise either.
However, any exercise that you find fun to do is good exercise. You’re more likely to do it and stick with it when you enjoy it. So, go ahead and hula hoop your heart (or your waist) out!
Last year when the weighted hula hoops trend first kicked off, it was actually hard to find them. However, Amazon has plenty of great options in stock now.
There are two different types of weighted hoops. You can stick with a standard hula hoop shape that’s padded and weighs around two pounds. This requires you to keep it up by circling your hips.
NEOWEEK Exercise 2-Pound Hoop, $16.98
However, there’s another version of the weighted hula hoop that is a little easier to use. It’s an adjustable hoop (also called a “smart hula hoop”) that fits snugly around your waist, and it has an attachable weight. When you circle your hips, the weight moves around your body. It’s somewhat easier because you can’t drop the hoop.
Of course, like any other type of exercise, it’s important to practice good form and not overdo it. Some people have reported bruising from using a weighted hula hoop, and those with back pain should avoid it. According to Jenna Tosto, a physical therapist with the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at Mount Sinai who spoke with NBC News, she recommends starting out with an unweighted hoop and then progressing to a hula hoop that weighs under two pounds. She also advises using a hula hoop for 20 minutes or less per exercise session.
Keep these tips in mind if you decide to purchase one.
If you liked this article, check out all the cheap workout equipment you can use to exercise at home.
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