How To: Hula Hoop

How To: Hula Hoop

Women are such multi-talented creatures aren’t they? In our ‘How To’ series we will share nuggets of practical knowledge from women all over Australia. From cooking, and welding to floral arrangement and physical therapy, in each journal you’ll be privy to an exclusive piece of wisdom from an expert in her field.

This edition’s ‘How To’ comes from the dynamic Sammy Quilliam – aka Flowmumma – who teaches hooping for fun, stress relief, cardio, toning, flow, therapy, connection, and of course the sheer darn joy of it. What’s not to love? Grab a hoop and get ready to roll, readers.

8 tips for successful waist hooping:

1. Choose the correct hoop size

One of the main reasons adults find it near impossible to waist hoop is because they are using their kid’s tiny hula hoop. As we grow bigger, we need a bigger hoop. A great rule of thumb is to stand up straight with your hula hoop on the ground in front of you, the top of the hoop should sit around your belly button area. The bigger the hoop, the easier it will be to keep it spinning because it will be slower and you won’t have to work too hard. A good adult sized hula hoop is around 38-40 inches in diameter.

2. Mirrors are your friend!

While this is not a necessity, I highly recommend finding yourself a full-length mirror to practice in front of to help fast track your learning journey. Being able to watch yourself is important because you will be able to notice your technique and correct yourself as you go. If nothing else, at least you’ll be able to have a good giggle at yourself!

3. Posture

Standing up nice and straight with your shoulders back will definitely help to keep that hoop spinning!

4. Eyes up

The hoop will follow our gaze. Therefore, if we are looking down to the ground, that’s where our hoop will most likely end up. So keep those eyes straight ahead!

5. Technique

A common misconception is that we must move our hips in a circular motion to hula hoop. The correct technique is actually a lot easier! There are two options we can choose from, either thrusting or side-to-side. To thrust, step forward with your non-dominant foot and thrust from your hips, pushing the hoop off of your body, front to back.

To do the side-to-side motion, step your feet shoulder width apart and shift your weight from left to right, pushing the hoop off your body side to side.

To begin the spin, hold the hula hoop straight, touching the small of your back. Then, toss the hoop towards your belly button in your non-dominant direction. As soon as that hoop starts spinning, start thrusting or shifting your weight side to side!  

6. Engage your core

Not only is hula hooping loads of fun, it is a fantastic workout! In order to keep that hoop on your waist, you have to engage those tummy muscles. Connect with your core and imagine that you are using your muscles to push the hoop off your body.

7. Find your rhythm

Music is a powerful key to help you unlock your hula hooping potential. Chuck on your favourite tunes to thrust to the beat! Music is also a great way to help you commit to a daily practice. I often suggest that my students do ‘a little, a lot’ which means committing to hooping once a day, to one song. I find this is an easy way to stay present with your practice without putting too much pressure on yourself.

8. Every rotation is a celebration!

This is my favourite tip of all. Be your own best cheerleader! Every time that hoop spins around your waist is cause for celebration. Tell yourself that you CAN do this and you're getting better every time you try. Remember to smile and don’t take yourself too seriously…you’re playing with a hula hoop after all!

Hooked on hooping? Find Sammy on socials @flowmumma