Hula hooping is a good workout, especially for the back, abs and obliques, but it also engages the lower body and provides a substantial cardiovascular challenge when done for sustained periods of time.
A weighted hula hoop works exactly the same way that a regular one does but it tends to be easier to use for extended periods of time and rotates in a smoother, more fluid fashion.
The intentional momentum you have to create and the effort required from your muscles to keep rotations going benefits your muscles and cardiovascular endurance, so you are toning and burning calories at the same time.
How many calories does a weighted hula hoop burn?
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) funded a study completed at the University of Wisconsin, and found that a 30 minute weighted hula hoop workout which consisted of hooping moves and twirling motions around the arms, waist, and legs burned roughly 7 calories per minute.
The participants of the study were as young as 16 and as old as 59 and were all female.
The number of weighted hula hooping calories burned are apparently very respectable!
Most women do not see this rate of expenditure while plodding away on elliptical machines or treadmills (at least not when focus is divided and fitness thresholds are not pushed).
Benefits of using the weighted version
Many people find that the extra mass actually makes it easier to keep the momentum of the twirling motion.
They come in varying dimensions and tend to be coated with a foam (unlike children’s plastic versions) that make them more comfortable for the many, many revolutions that they will inevitably be making around your midsection.
They most often come in 3, 4 and 5 lb varieties. It’s a good idea to start with the 3 lb when you are brand new to the workout, and increase as you get used to the exercise, and gain endurance for the specific movement.
Another suggestion to those new to this kind of program is to introduce both your muscles and the flesh on the sides of your body to this sport slowly. Those that jump right into full fledged routines for extended periods of time have noted that their sides become temporarily tender.
Really though, any time you start a new routine with even moderate vigor (as you should), your body is going to speak up in the form of cranky muscles that haven’t been utilized in a while, or general soreness from movements and positions that your body is not used to.
With that said, most weighted hula hoops will come with user’s guides that instruct you to start out by using your new piece of equipment for just a few minutes a day until your body becomes accustomed to the ring whirling around your waist.
After a week of doing about 4-5 minutes a day, you should be able to comfortably bump up your hula hoop workout time to ten minutes, 20 the next, and even 30 minutes at a time by week 4 or so.
Once you become proficient at this, you can increase the challenge by stopping twirling to do intervals of difficult bodyweight exercises such as push ups or squats.
It’s a fantastic workout for your abs and can really be very enjoyable, as well. If you don’t find that you’re having a good time while you’re doing it, just thinking of the number of calories burned while weighted hula hooping ought to put a smile on your face.