Weighted Hula Hoops Are The Rage. But How Heavy Is Too Heavy?

Weighted hula hoops are all the rage.  In today’s lesson, we’ll answer some of the biggest questions about them.

  • How HEAVY does your weighted hula hoop need to be in order to lose weight?
  • Which trend could be moving your weight loss goals in the wrong direction? (and killing your back in the process)
  • What’s the perfect hula hoop weight to really work your abs?  
  • Is front back pushing or side-to-side better for your core?

Plus, a super simple exercise you can do anywhere to help you fire off deep core muscles! Read more

9 Ways to Freshen an Old Trick

It happens to all of us, from the novice hoop dancer to even the most veteran of performers. You spend so much time mastering a hoop trick or flow sequence, that your brain gets stuck in the movement pattern you’ve practiced.  You can see this in a hoop jam or a performance, where inevitably you fall back on the patterns that your brain and body know, the sequences that are comfortable.  This can lead to stagnation, boredom, or feeling “stuck” in your hoop dance flow.  Today we are going to give you 9 ways to freshen up an old trick and break out of your “hooping habits” that will re-energize your mind and just might help you invent the next amazing hoop trick. Read more

5 Hula Hoop Exercises That Fire Your Core and Wake Up Sleepy Glutes

What Better Homes and Gardens Got Right (and a few minor tweaks) PLUS a Low Impact Hula Hoop Circuit that Will Activate Deep Core Muscles

Better Homes and Gardens 5 Hula Hoop Exercises That Fire Your Core and Wake Up Sleepy Glutes
Our Two In One Fitness Hoop was featured in the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  “Versatility makes this fitness hoop and jump rope worth the investment”  You can check out their Fit in 15 workout routine in the issue.  If you are looking for a lower impact version, we’ve got your covered – Scroll down below for our Done For You Low Impact Hula Hoop Circuit! Read more

Stop White Knuckling Your Weight Loss

Steal These Strategies

I recently sat down for a goal setting session with a client and one of her goals was to “lose the jiggle”.  Are you in a similar situation?  You order a fitness hoop to help lose your belly fat and want to know where to start?  Today I’m going to give you strategies to help move fat loss along.  And these tips aren’t about the specifics of your exercise program or your nutrition strategy, but rather how you set up your environment so you can stop white knuckling it through the process. Read more

Rock Your Balance!

5 Balance Drills With Your Hula Hoop

Look, we get it.  Balance exercises aren’t “sexy”.  The exercises alone don’t produce rapid, amazing, shocking body transformations, or RIGHT NOW results.  And in a busy, fast paced world we tend to deal with the “right now” problems versus the prevention of the “what might be” problems.  Adding another session of exercises to your routine on when so many of you struggle to fit in your workouts now can seem overwhelming.

Luckily, we have created a series of short yet super effective exercises you can use in three different ways, whether you are focused on weight loss, hoop dance flow, or preventing falls and injury.  It’s like a transformer workout.  (Bear with me, I’ve been spending time with my five year old son and transformers and legos are at the center of my vocabulary these days!)

3 Ways to Use This Exercise Series

Your Main Workout

Turn Weight Loss ``On`` By Reducing Stress

If you have belly fat or are post menopausal, adding in this sequence can give a boost to your weight loss efforts.  The old mantra of “exercise more and eat less” is ineffective in the weight loss gain.  It creates additional stress on the body.  And if you have belly fat and are post menopausal, stress is a factor holding you back.  We’re not just talking emotional stress but physical stress in the body, created by too much exercise, reducing calories, processed foods, food that cause inflammation, etc.

Adding in this sequence, especially if set to a very soothing, rhythmic type music can challenge muscle activation without increasing hunger, cravings, and mood swings like too much cardio can.

Frequency:  Try this series a couple of times a week.  Complete each exercise 1-2 times, depending on your level of fitness.  Focus on your breathing, moving fluidly through the exercises and relaxing.

For Balance Only

Improve Balance to Help Prevent Falls

This series addresses the balance triage (cognitive, visual disturbance and poor reaction time) simultaneously.  This will not only save you time, but drastically increase the effectiveness of the exercises when faced with a fall or balance challenge

NOTE:  IT is very important to perform your balance exercises before engaging in your cardio waist hooping or dance sessions.  Engaging in balance exercises AFTER your workout can negatively impact the progress of your balance work.

Frequency:  Try this series a couple of times a week.  Complete each exercise 1-2 times, depending on your level of fitness.  Finish up each session with 5 minutes of waist hooping at the end.

Hoop Dance Flow

Ever Felt Dizzy or Off Balance In Your Flow?

These are excellent drills to help you “ground” your balance while constantly turning, changing foot position, changing direction, and multitasking if you work with more than one hoop.

You can add this series in the beginning of your flow session as a warm-up, in the middle as a “reset” if you’re having difficulty with tricks, or at the end to slow things down and cool down.

Frequency:  Try this series a couple of times a week.  Complete each exercise 1-2 times.

Why These Exercises Are Kick Butt

  1. The exercises combine cognitive AND balance challenges together. Training balance problems in isolation doesn’t simulate real world conditions – for example, falling in the dark or falling when you are distracted by other thoughts or activities.
  2. The advanced exercise (see #5) at the end of the series won’t allow you to anticipate the disturbance in your balance, making it simulate real world more effectively.  We do well when we KNOW what’s coming, right?  But it is your ability to recover from an unexpected balance disruption that causes the most serious problems.  This can occur from bumping, slipping, tripping,  bending, reaching, and turning.
  3. The exercises combine strength training AND balance challenges.  This is very effective, as muscle weakness is a major contributor to balance problems as we age.  These exercises develop core strength and balance at the same time.
  4. The balance exercises include sensory challenges that stimulate real world conditions – lighting changes, loss of vision, moving your head from side to side.  To simulate lighting changes you can dim your room lights or even wear sunglasses.

Balance Exercise Series

Each exercise contains modifications based on balance skill level.  Choose which version you are most comfortable with and can safely perform.  Be sure to work in a space that has enough room and wear smooth bottom shoes or go barefoot.

Exercise #1:  One Leg Balance Drill Series

Aim for 10 balance holds on each leg.  Repeat 2-3 times.  You can choose which one leg balance drill best suits your current balance skill level.

Exercise #2:  Body Circle Series

Aim for 10 body circles in each direction.  Repeat 2-3 times.  You can choose to perform these with or without your hoop based on your current balance skill level.

Exercise #3:  Walk the Line

Aim for 10 steps both forward and backward.  Repeat 2-3 times.  You can choose to perform these with or without a lifted leg balance based on your current balance skill level.

Exercise #4:  Object Stepping

Aim for 10 steps over your objects.  Be sure to use soft objects.  Repeat 2-3 times.

Exercise #5:  Obstacle Course

Aim for 10 random steps over your soft objects.  Repeat 2-3 times.  You can increase the challenge by having someone call direction changes for you, as demonstrated in the video and also tossing a ball back and forth as your skill level increases.

About the Author:

Llittle0915v11 150x150 Rock Your Balance!

Leigh Little is a certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist and Precision Nutrition Certified.  She is a regular Canyon Hoops contributor with blog articles and videos and is the creator of Canyon Hoops Hoop Fitness DVD.  To work with Leigh one on one for hoop fitness, dance, or weight loss contact her at leighlittle@real-fitness-solutions.com

Case Study #1: Hoop Size

Background

Judy wrote to us asking for help in possibly ordering a new hoop size or how to best work with her exercise hula hoop she already purchased.  Judy is 75 and had never hooped before purchasing her 42” weighted exercise hoop from Canyon Hoops.  She learned to hoop by watching our Hoop Fitness DVD and was super excited to learn that she could hoop at 75 for the first time!  She mentioned that she experienced soreness above her right hip after hooping and as a result had taken time off from hooping.  She wrote in to ask whether she should get a different hoop size or what she could do differently. Read more

Lessons From The Biggest Loser: How to Get It Right

Lessons Learned from the Biggest Loser

Millions of us abuse our bodies emotionally and physically every day.  The fact is we engage in harsh self talk, radical strategies, or strategies that work for someone else and at the end of the day end up frustrated and feeling hopeless in the war against weight loss.  This is happening all across America.  A recent article from the New York Times shed light on The Biggest Loser Contestants and the problems that resulted following their radical experiences on the show. Read more

6 Minute Hula Hoop Workout

6 Minute Hula Hoop Workout

Target Your Abs and Lower Body

This 6 minute hula hoop workout is designed with exercises in a specific order to fire your abs, glutes, and legs.  

  • If fat loss is your goal, there are 3 specific ways you can use this workout to maximize results.  Number 2 may save you if you have a meal that’s not so, well, weight loss friendly!  Look for these  below the video.
  • This workout is suitable for all fitness levels and can be done with any hoop, although we recommend a weighted fitness hoop for this particular lower body hula hoop workout.  We demonstrated this hula hoop workout sequence using our 2 in 1 Fitness Hoop, that easily takes your hoop from large to small with a push of a button.  You can see how easy it is to go back and forth at 3:55 in the video.
  • And keeping with our theme last week, we used a 110 BPM (beats per minute) soundtrack.  You can use one of the free music apps we recommended with a slower or faster soundtrack.  Check out the music apps we recommended in our Top 15 Hooping Apps post.

Read more

Top 15 Hula Hooping Apps

Top 15 Hula Hooping Apps

Learn which of these top 15 hula hooping apps just might take you from beginner to expert.  Technology can make not only our schedules and productivity more efficient, but it can take your hula hoop dance and fitness practice to the next level.  So today, we’ve complied our 15 most interesting and applicable apps that can help you:

  • take your hoop dance from bad to mad,
  • teach you how to incorporate your hula hoop with total body conditioning,
  • track your nutrition if weight loss is your goal,
  • manage learning your hoop tricks,
  • provide music variety and consistent beats per minute
  • improve coordination of your brain and body movements,
  • improve sleep to help reduce cortisol and boost weight loss results (check out our article on how hooping can boost your mood)

Read more

Get the Skinny on Waist Trimmers!

Get the Skinny on Waist Trimmers

What You Can Really Expect From a Waist Trimmer

Today we’re going to break down when and why you should consider using a neoprene waist trimmer in your hula hoop dance and fitness practice and what results you can realistically expect.  AND, you’re going to love this.  A protocol to use with the waist trimmer to jump start your results and put you into fat burning mode during and after your workout. Read more