Hula hooping may offer an effective workout


The small amount of research available into hula hooping exercise has shown that it helps you increase core strength and endurance, as well as noticeably reduce lower abdominal fat. Photo: dpa

Strengthen your hips, back and stomach, while having fun as well? Hula hooping is no longer just for children, but has become a true-blue workout trend for adults bored with traditional methods.

Workout researcher Lars Donath is all on board. “It’s a low-threshold training device, ” says the expert from the German Sport University in Cologne. The risk of injury is low as well.

While there aren’t many studies out there on the effectiveness of hula hooping for a workout, the few that exist seem to show it’s worth giving the hoop a chance.

“The isolated studies show that within a few weeks, you can increase core strength and endurance, as well as noticeably reduce lower abdominal fat, ” Donath says. Besides a firm waist, it also helps with coordination.

Donath’s advice is to start easy and not overdo it – 10 to 15 minutes of hula hooping daily should be enough at first. Interval training is best here: That means hula hooping for 30-45 seconds and then taking a brief break, and repeating this series up to 15 times.

That said, only working out with a hula hoop would quickly become boring, and probably too easy. It doesn’t help that it’s an individual activity and not interactive, upping the boredom factor.

Donath sees the hoop as a good addition to a more varied training programme. If you’d like to stay with hula hooping a bit longer, you should probably change the hoops you’re using and perhaps buy a heavier one or a wider one to switch up your workout that way.

You’ll be besting the children at the playground in no time. – dpa

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