6 Expert-Approved Weighted Hula Hoops
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This throwback exercise actually works: Here's what trainers have to say about weighted hula hoops and the ones they recommend.
What are weighted hula hoops?
You might not remember it, but once upon a time, exercise was fun. You worked up a sweat during an intense game of tag or rode your bike around the block with friends. You jumped rope, played hopscotch, and hula hooped—and did it all just to have a good time.
Forget running a treadmill to nowhere and try an exercise that’ll take you back to your childhood. Besides, using a weighted hula hoop isn’t just fun; it’s a high-energy and calorie-torching exercise.
And it’s one of the best workouts for people who hate exercise.
Let’s get one thing straight: this isn’t your childhood hula hoop. A weighted hula hoop is much larger and heavier than the traditional version. It is also specifically designed to be an exercise accessory.
It usually weighs between one and five pounds and is made out of a softer material or padding that allows you to exercise comfortably and efficiently, says Erica Peter, a Toronto-based fitness trainer.
How do weighted hula hoops work?
A weighted hula hoop works by engaging your core muscles—you need them to keep the hoop circling your midsection, says Tami Smith, a personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise.
“The back-and-forth movement required to keep the hula hoop in place is cardiovascular in nature, so you’re able to strengthen your core while simultaneously increasing your cardiovascular system,” she says. “The addition of weight to a hula hoop versus a traditional hula hoop serves to add additional resistance, which demands that your muscles work harder to keep it up and encircling your midsection.”
The benefits of using weighted hula hoops
One of the reasons weighted hula hoops have become so popular is their myriad benefits. Here are some of the most notable perks, according to fitness pros.
The average individual could burn anywhere from 165 to 200 calories by using a weighted hula hoop for 30 minutes.
A study from the American Council on Exercise found that, when it comes to the rewards of exercise, hula hooping is on par with boot-camp classes, step aerobics, and cardio kickboxing. The researchers also found that a 30-minute hula hooping session burns 210 calories.
“This correlates to about the same caloric burn as other popular cardio activities, like walking and dancing,” says Smith. “Burning calories is beneficial for weight loss, particularly if you are in a caloric deficit [you’re eating less than you’re burning].”
Its weight-loss benefits are no joke. This woman lost 40 pounds from hula hooping!
Increase your endurance
Use a weighted hula hoop for 20 minutes several times a week, and you’ll notice an improvement in your endurance, says Peter.
“This activity keeps your heart rate up as you rotate your whole body to keep the hoop around your waist,” she says.
Boost your heart health
“Using a weighted hula hoop can strengthen the heart muscles and improve blood and oxygen flow throughout the body,” notes New York-based fitness trainer Jessica Mazzucco.
In a small study, published in 2019 in Obesity Facts, researchers randomly split 53 overweight people into two groups. One spent six weeks hula hooping before they switched to a six-week walking program. The other group did six weeks of walking followed by six weeks of hula hooping. Each used a 3.3-pound hula hoop.
By the end of the study, people whose exercise program started with hula hooping had lower LDL cholesterol and decreased waist circumference and body fat.
That’s important because LDL cholesterol (the “bad” type) is a major cause of heart disease.
One of the biggest benefits of using a weighted hula hoop is that it’s fun, which means you’re more likely to stick with it than another exercise that you deem boring.
“Using a variety of different tools and exercises will spice things up and allow you to keep your motivation high,” says Peter. In fact, finding a fun workout is one of the things that finally made these people love to exercise.
Save money and hassles
According to Rob Pambrun, a celebrity trainer and fitness consultant, the best part about exercising with a weighted hula hoop is that, unlike other home workout equipment, it doesn’t take up a lot of space.
“When it’s not being used, it can be easily stored in the basement or in the garage,” he says, noting that hula hoops work equally as well indoors and out. “Also, they are relatively cost efficient and certainly won’t break the bank.”
Try incorporating hula hooping into these cardio workouts that you can do at home.
Who benefits from using a weighted hula hoop?
The great thing about weighted hula hoops is that they’re beneficial for nearly everyone. But they’re especially great for anyone who wants to mix up their fitness routine and have some fun.
“Whether you’re new to fitness or a seasoned pro, with practice over time, you’ll be able to see improvements in your core strength, cardiovascular endurance, and overall physique,” Smith says.
(Don’t miss the secrets of women who exercise every day.)
Qualities to look for in weighted hula hoops
All right. You’re doing this hula hoop thing. So which one should you buy?
When shopping, focus on a few key features. Experts suggest paying attention to the weight, height, and material.
If you’re just starting out on your weighted hula hoop journey, Peter recommends opting for a lighter one. “Once your core gets stronger, you increase the weight gradually,” she says.
Yes, there’s such thing as a too-big or too-small hoop. When purchasing a weighted hula hoop, it’s important to measure it up to your body.
“It should land somewhere between the middle of your chest and your waist when standing,” says Peter.
Some hoops are more comfortable than others, notes Pambrun. It all depends on the hoop material.
Peter recommends avoiding weighted hula hoops made out of low-quality plastic, as they won’t last very long. “The better hula hoops will have extra padding around the hoop or be made of a softer, higher-quality material,” she says.
Pambrun agrees. “Some hoops are equipped with softer padding than others, so make sure you take the time and choose a hoop that’s comfortable for you,” he says.
The best weighted hula hoops
Ready to shop weighted hula hoops? They are one of the best fitness gifts for women. Here are the ones that the experts recommend.
Better Sense Hoola Hoop
With more than 600 reviews and an average of 4.3 stars, it’s clear people love this weighted Better Sense hula hoop. It weighs in at 2 pounds, which makes it a safe choice for exercisers of all sizes and fitness levels, notes Smith.
“There are three adjustable sizes, depending on how many sections you add or omit from the hoop, and it’s padded nicely to keep you comfortable and to prevent it from slipping while you work out with it,” she adds.
Auoxer Exercise Hoop
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly hula hoop made out of 100 percent safe and nontoxic material, Auoxer‘s hoop is a great option, Peter says.
“It has quality foam that wraps right around the whole hoop, and it can be completely adjustable for your comfort,” she says. “It also comes with a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee, which is always a nice bonus.”
Sports Hoop Acu Hoop
This multicolored weighted hula hoop is ideal for adult beginners who weigh between 140 and 180 pounds. It has soft, rubber foam that provides ample comfort and a wavy design that stimulates your core muscles.
It’s worth noting that Sports Hoop‘s product is a bit heavier than most hula hoops, weighing in at 3.3 pounds, which means you might get an even better workout from it.
MOVP Weighted Exercise Hoop
When it comes to features, this weighted exercise hoop ticks all the boxes, according to Smith.
“It’s adjustable, compactable, and it features some nice padding to protect your body from any weighted impact,” she says. “You can adjust it by omitting or adding a section to make sure it is the right size for your body.”
One good reason to invest in an adjustable hoop: it’ll be more accessible to your whole family. You can add or remove sections to accommodate for height, weight, and age.
RedSeasons Exercise Hoop
If you’re looking for a more affordable weighted hula hoop to try this option from RedSeasons.
“It offers most of the same qualities as the other more-expensive options and is also easily transportable, so you can take it with you anywhere,” says Peter.
It weighs in at 2 pounds, includes eight sections for making size adjustments, comes with soft foam, and has a 100 percent satisfaction, money-back guarantee.
Yidon Weighted Hoola Hoop
Mazzucco likes to recommend the weighted hula hoop from Yidon to beginners because it weighs in at only 1.9 pounds and has floating points that will massage your subcutaneous tissues.
“It is also a great hula hoop to take on the go, as it is detachable, so you can take it anywhere and use it anytime,” she says. “This hula hoop is also size adjustable, so you can adjust it according to your figure.”
Next, check out the best exercise equipment for your home.
- Erica Olivia, BSc, Toronto-based fitness trainer with the the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers
- Tami Smith, ACE-certified personal trainer
- Jessica Mazzucco, CPT, NYC-based fitness trainer
- Obesity Facts: "Effects of Weighted Hula-Hooping Compared to Walking on Abdominal Fat, Trunk Muscularity, and Metabolic Parameters in Overweight Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Study"
- Rob Pambrun, CPT, celebrity trainer and fitness consultant
- American Council On Exercise: "Effective Hooping: Workout or Child's Play?"