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With everyone stuck inside amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that accessible home workouts and innovative new gym routines have been taking over the internet. After almost a year of having to get creative, it feels like every aerobic exercise and ab routine has already had its five minutes of fame — and yet, there are still new workouts and trends going viral every day.
Recently, the trendy workout taking over the internet is the weighted hula hoop. On TikTok, the #weightedhulahoop hashtag has 73.4 million views at the time of writing, with several users claiming that they’ve been able to shave several inches off their waist using the hoop in just a few days.
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TikTok user Maddie Walsh seems to be responsible for the weight hula hoop’s ubiquity on TikTok. On Feb. 15, she made a video claiming that by using the hoop for just 10 minutes a day combined with some light cardio, she was able to shrink her 26.5-inch waist to 24.5 inches in 8 days.
“This is your sign to buy a weighted hula hoop!” she added in the caption of her video, which has received more than 2.3 million likes.
Walsh’s video has clearly inspired a movement — but it begs the question: Are these weighted hula hoops actually effective?
Weighted hula hoops can build core strength, but they shouldn’t be the only workout you do.
According to certified trainer and holistic health coach Dempsey Marks, the weighted hula hoop workout is worthwhile, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you’re doing at the gym.
“Incorporating a weighted hula hoop into your workout routine is a great way to build cardiovascular endurance and core strength,” she explained to In The Know. “Hula hooping — similar to dance workouts — gets your heart rate up and burn calories, making it an effective and fun aerobic activity. However, just hula hooping for 10 minutes a day most likely won’t provide you with any type of drastic results.”
If you want to make weighted hula hooping part of your workout routine, Marks says you should make sure it’s part of a healthy mix of “strength, cardiovascular and flexibility training.” Just 10 minutes of hula hooping at the end of your workout, she added, is a good way to “lose weight, tone up or increase your overall fitness.”
Ready to add a weighted hula hoop to your routine? Below, we’ve curated some of the best ones on the market.
Shop: Slimerence Weighted Hoop, $41.99
Shop: FlexioFit Weighted Hula Hoop, $27.99
Shop: TopLAD 6-Section Weighted Hula Hoop,$29.69
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