Archive for Hooping Tips


This weekend, aRoundJoy at The HoopShack celebrates it’s 8th anniversary…and through the years, there have been many changes. Let’s take a look back…a HoopShack FLASHBACK…

How It All Started

Originally, I taught hoop classes at a local warehouse in 2009. It all started small, but with a lot of love and passion. For about 3 months before opening and well into 2010, my clients and I were out hooping a lot in the community. Getting the word out about what hooping was, where they could come join us. We went to many places, events and venues, busy some months almost every weekend. I was teaching, on the go with my hoops at events and even training new instructors.

Such fun, but looking back now, I remember, things were out-of-balance. You need only look at the video below…I was quite thin back then, because I was hooping all day, busy opening a new business filled with cardio, toning, joy and promoting ALL that at the same time. I was eating anything I wanted, but burning it all off, and then some. Win-win…right??

That speaks volumes about how POWERFUL hooping is for a shapely figure. Look at my body! I remember…I was doing it everyday, for hours…ALL.THE.TIME. I do remember getting sick more frequently, though, because I would push through, when I really shouldn’t have. Hooping is SO fun, it’s just hard to say no sometimes. Plus, I wanted to take every chance I could to share about my new business! It did catch up with me, though. I got migraines that developed into a really bad case of vertigo by late 2010 and was hospitalized.

Lesson learned.

How (& Why) Things Changed

From that point, I did a better job choosing how to manage things, learned what I should and should not do, and how to keep things in balance, for my health’s sake. As the years went by, I also learned that more private instruction, with individuals or smaller groups, was the best way to train clients safely. It was also beneficial for me, allowing a pace that I could better serve clients, while keeping my energy, health and wellness in check. I’m now also older and wiser…funny how with age, comes wisdom…right?!?

In 2014, we sized down to a smaller office location. A year later, we sized down even more, to the guest house, with in-home private studio sessions and online training videos that you see offered today. Technology has changed the game for all of us!

How We Do It Today

Now, with my HoopShack-to-gO aRoundJoy BASICS training videos, I can teach you and you can learn from me, no matter where you live. I can do virtual private online training 1-on-1 or small group, via meeting software, Facebook “live” in my private group or individual private messenger chat and FaceTime. I still offer in-person private trainings, also small group events at various venues, by request, including the occasional parties/retreats at my home or the homes of my clients, friends and family. The aRoundJoy “community” aspect is still a big part of The HoopShack, and always will be.

You’ll see more events partnering with local businesses in 2018. Actually we’re kicking off with one while celebrating our 8th Anniversary this weekend at Legal Draft Beer Co. If all goes well, we’ll take The HoopShack out into Arlington more, get a monthly beginners class going there and a few other places…where we can meet up, I can teach you and we can all enjoy fun fellowship more often.

Thankful For It All

It’s been a wonderful journey these last 8 years. What a trip down memory lane this has been! Shout out to all my wonderful clients, family and friends for being so supportive and loving. Let’s keep on hooping…I’ll be 58 in a couple of months and don’t plan on putting down my hoop at all!

*I want to also say a special thank you to Tracy Kornet for helping to kickstart The HoopShack with that wonderful news story featured in the video above. You rock, girl!


Hooping Warm Up and Stretch PREVIEW

Preparing your body for hooping is very important and should not be overlooked. So, to give you a little insight on how I approach this, here’s a little hooping warm up & stretch preview…I call it “HoopRelax”…it’s a part of my online aRoundJoy BASICS Hoop Training Vault.

If you follow me regualrly on social media, you already know that I post numerous clips of my many hoop videos on Facebook and Instagram…but email subscribers will get even more access and very useful information EXCLUSIVELY from me!

By signing up, you will get “aRound Waist” – the first 4 videos of aRoundJoy BASICS delivered to your inbox, absolutely FREE! The entire vault, which includes 40 videos and other tools, is found inside my Member’s Only “virtual studio”- HoopShack-to-gO, here on

These videos are great for anyone who needs help with WAIST HOOPING, plus a way to sample my training…consider it a little gift to say “thank you” for receiving my emails.

By the way, I don’t send out many emails throughout the year, but to get you started, I do send a few at first. They contain valuable waist hooping instruction you’ll want to save…after that, the only other emails I send some seasonally, just a few each year. I haven’t sent out monthly emails in the last few years, just too time consuming and too much clutter…but if there’s ever a good offer coming up, I’ll be sure to let you know!

It’s easy to sign up…just fill out the box over to the RIGHT or down BELOW on this page, depending on your browser.

I look forward to helping you! Happy Hooping!

Weighing in on Weighted Fitness Hoops

One question I get quite frequently is, “Do you sell weighted fitness hoops?” My answer is both “Yes…and NO!” I feel like its time to explain more and “weigh in” on this topic.

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Some folks come to their first hooping lesson with a hoop already in their hands. I encourage them to bring what they have so I can see what they currently own. Maybe they got it off the Internet. Perhaps they purchased one from a department or sporting goods store. It’s called a “fitness hoop” that is “weighted” so you can “use” it to exercise.


Once they arrive, it takes a minute or less to show them the difference in the hoop that I recommend vs. the traditional “weighted fitness hoop.” The reaction to their heavier workout tool is always the same…”I wish I would have known before I bought THIS one!” or “THIS one seemed too heavy, but I just thought I just needed to work up to it!” and even, “Well, I saved my receipt…I’m returning it!”

If you are considering a hoop, do me a favor – please don’t just run and buy a hoop at the store. The toys ones are TOO LIGHT and the weighted fitness ones are too heavy…well, in most cases they are…let me explain a few key points:

  1. Depending on YOUR body size & weight, the average BEGINNER hoop weight for success is about 1.5 lbs. to under a little  less than 2 lbs. It’s just enough “weight” for YOU to push against, yet not too heavy to still HAVE FUN! Any lighter of an object is too hard to feel. This is why the toys are hard for adults…our bodies weigh more and the toy hoops are basically like pushing against AIR! A kid, well, one whose smaller and weighs less than an adult, might find it easier since his body weight is relative to the lighter weight tube. The same can be said in relationship to the SIZE of the hoop…children are smaller, so they can use a smaller hoop, but as we get bigger and heavier, our hoops need to be larger and heavier. I explain a lot more details in another blog HERE.
  2. The fitness industry has taken all this into account when it comes to providing a hoop for your “workout”…it’s somewhat bigger than a toy…and has ADDED WEIGHT. This should be all you need….right??? If all you want to do is spin a heavy object on your waist, then YES, go for it. IF, however, you want to do what you see ME doing, spinning the hoop on my body, all over my torso, not just my waist, swinging the hoop around and off my body, above my head, having fun, smiling and enjoying the gentle movements…then NO, you do not need a hoop that is ONLY designed for a workout routine. I personally don’t believe in using any hoop 2 lbs. and over if you are wanting to do fun hooping that involves dancing, moving around and smiling. So consider your goal and purpose before purchasing.
  3. The hoops I make and recommend are weighted only by the fact that they are constructed with light materials, and those materials weigh something…depending on the size and how much material you add to the hoop (either plastic or tape, for instance) then the hoop will be just the right weight for you. Things like metal, sand, water, rubber – elements that are HEAVY – those should be avoided, in my opinion. Stay away from any hoop that you find which is weighed down with any additional components, seen or unseen INSIDE the tube. You’ll even see safety disclaimers on hoops that weigh more, saying you should only use it for 10 minutes at a time, that it can cause bruising, that sort of thing. Again, this kind of “hooping” is not what I teach or recommend for adding joy and exercise to your life. Seriously, I’m NOT choosing to hoop for my fitness plan to be reminded about how it can bruise me and how I can only do it for so long because it might damage my internal organs. I don’t want you to have to worry about this either. A hoop needs to be GENTLE on your body. That’s the kind of hoops I want my clients to use.
  4. “HOOP” is and has been like a cool “buzz word” in the fitness industry for a few years now…it’s under the radar, but making gains in visibility…and because the whole culture of fitness is so deeply rooted in “weight” and “reps” and the mentality of “heavier” lifting or pushing means SUCCESS, then adding MORE “weight” to a hoop seems logical and can help “sell” hooping as a workout. They want the consumer to feel like they are “working out”…a 4 lb. ring does make it FEEL like a piece of workout equipment, indeed. The WORD “weighted” is really a marketing strategy to get the mind “in the game”…blending old school fun with weight & cardio training. People begin to see more hoops on the shelves and it’s suddenly a household term, “weighted fitness hoop.”
  5. Hooping (as I do it, teach it and what you see floating around in hoopdance videos online) is an incredible workout. THE HOOP does not need any added weight. The way that your body benefits from hooping with a typical 1.5 lb. custom hoop is through repetition of gentle movement and the motion of using your OWN BODY WIEGHT into the hoop…dynamic stretching with that hoop as you pass it around your body…constant power with the legs or arms, keeping the hoop spinning by pushing it, which in turn keeps the heart pumping. You get cardio, toning and stretching all at once. You just can’t get all that from a heavy hoop that feels like a large, round dumbbell. “Weighted hoops” are for standing and using in place, lifting it up and down or just waist hooping only. I teach many more options, safely, to do with a lighter hoop.

It can be quite difficult, and even dangerous, to try and do some fun “hoopdance” style hooping (and ESPECIALLY our OFF BODY moves) with a heavier hoop. You really can hurt your back and shoulders for sure. My advice is to resist the urge to spend money on one of the hoops you can buy that has labels and disclaimers. If it’s wrapped in PADDING, run away! Look to a local hoop instructor, like myself, either online or in your local community. Your hoop should fit you, be made custom, just for you, so YOU can have success and enjoy what you are doing, rather than second guessing if the size or weight. Leave all that to your hoop instructor, at first. In the beginning, seek professional advice if you are new to hooping, just as I offer here on my website, so you can avoid costly mistakes and injuries.

More fun. More options. More results. The point is to NOT feel like you are exercising, so you will want to do it more often, make it a new, healthy habit in your life! You can only get all THAT with variety and by using something that doesn’t remind you it’s a piece of fitness equipment every time you pick it up, right?! You want to focus on learning moves that help make your “workout” playful and fun, with hoops that make all that possible, keeping your outlook, well, SUNNY…



Forget about “weight” and “fitness” once you touch that new hoop, too. Just have fun and let the joy of the moment LIGHTEN your mood…let what feels fun guide your journey…and over time, YOU will become lighter in MANY more ways…mind, body, spirit…trust me!


Why You Should Look Up

I get asked everyday to troubleshoot problems that my hoop training clients are experiencing. They come to me with questions…I give some suggestions and tips to try. One that is always helpful in almost every situation is very simple, but often forgotten about. It’s easy to do and anyone can do it, although it’s sometimes the last thing you would think to do. See, it all starts with your eyes and where you are focusing them. YES, it’s just that easy! Here’s a few reasons why you should look up…

  • When you look up, you are putting yourself in uplifted state of mind. You think taller, lighter…and thus, you are happier. This can effect your attitude during hoop practice, for sure. Even if you don’t hoop (yet), pay attention to where you are focusing your eyes as you go about your day and then check your attitude at that moment. Try looking up and see if you feel a shift in how you “feel”…this is actually a great pre-hooping practice.
  • Focusing up puts your body in the correct posture for successful hooping and proper technique. You only need to refer to the first bullet point to understand that when you think taller you actually stand straight and tall…so this is all related to remembering to look up so you can place the body in the right alignment with more ease.
  • You can hoop while not looking up, but if you want to have that confident, fluid style, looking proud, motivated and happy, then looking up will help you accomplish that. Again, refer to the previous two bullet points. This is all tied in together. See how this is all related?
  • Now, in this short post, I’m not going to technically break down each move and explain how looking up helps specifically. Just know that the concept of correct posture matters in ANY move. A wonderful side benefit from hooping, when done properly, is better posture, ANYTIME, not just when  hooping. It all starts with looking up, whether you have the hoop with you or not.
  • When you look up, others can see your face, and if you seem uplifted, it makes your hooping more inviting and a pleasing experience for the observer. If you want to share more joy, let others  feel it, hooping is perfect for that. If you want to do more connecting with others and attract more joy, just think about your gaze, where you are looking and what your face is saying to those watching you.
  • Perhaps the biggest reason why I have trained myself to not tilt my head down is due to my inner ear issues and fear of triggering another vertigo attack. Looking down while turning can make you dizzy. Nobody wants that. I suffer from vertigo occasionally, but I digress. That’s a topic for another day. Just keep your gaze up and look with intention at objects, focal points, as you turn. I’ll go into more of this in a future post.

What if you want to look down while hooping?

I realize, at times, you JUST want to peek down, see what’s happening, perhaps, with the hoop spinning on the body…it’s inevitable. My best advise is to find a reflection to watch yourself in…a mirror, if accessible, a window or glass door…or sometimes even a vehicle if it has enough flat, shiny area on the side. You can also just glance down PERIODICALLY with your eyes, while not moving your head down…you eyelids will almost looked closed, but your shoulders, head and chin should remain up. Use that as a little technique whenever you feel the urge to look down. It takes some practice, but if you focus on small eye movement, keeping the other body parts in alignment, it will become your new normal.

Enjoy this short video and get inspired. Again, even if you are not hooping right now, looking up can help brighten you day. It’s never a bad thing to try and develop into a daily habit.  You’ll be that much more prepared to start hooping!



I also have a more recent video, recorded “live” over on my Facebook page…I speak about the physical pain that looking down can cause. So, head on over and watch that, too. While you’re there, stick aRound a few minutes, like, follow, comment and connect with me there if you haven’t already! I regularly make daily live videos on various, informative topics, including hooping, and so much more!

Oh, and don’t forget! I have a free waist hooping video series that also explains more about how focusing up and posture are related…sign up anytime right here! It’s a great preview of what it’s like to train with me!




Amy Grant Hooping aRound The Christmas Tree

There’s a little something I knew but had forgotten! Well known singer, and one of MY favorite musical artists, Amy Grant, has been hooping for years! I recall seeing a YouTube video of her skills on the farm with friends several years ago. Recently, I learned she was now hoopin’ aRound the Christmas tree on her holiday concert tour!









Thanks to videos on social media, we can all enjoy watching the festivities! A client retweeted a video on Twitter & alerted me! I also gave it a tweet-tweet & also looked up the hoopla on Facebook…here’s just some of the fun!

I mean, Y’ALL…how fun IS she?? Hoopin’ & rockin’ aRound that Christmas tree!


According to what I can find, she was hooping as far back as 2008 in a quick video outside what appears to be a sound recording studio. Now, let’s look back at Amy in another video from 2012, on the farm with friends…


I LOVE IT! The only thing is that she’s using a “weighted hoop”…and you know how I discourage use of those. I explain all that HERE.

Now, don’t get me wrong. That’s not to say that I am not THRILLED over the moon that Amy loves getting in a hoop and spinning with the music! Oh, it makes my heart sing! I just want you all to understand why a hoop like that isn’t the best choice…safety is the biggest concern….but more than that, there’s SO many more full body benefits you can experience with a custom size & weight (lighter) handmade hoop…using it off-body is SUCH an incredible arm workout. Hooping is SO much more than just spinning a heavy circle on your waist.

Of course, I did notice in that fun 2012 video there ARE other, lighter hoops spinning alongside Amy’s. I wonder if she is also using those sometimes? I hope so. Maybe Amy is like so many who think “more weight” is more beneficial for a workout. I hear that all the time. I know for sure she finds it easier to keep the hoop going! It’s very common. That’s what the weight IS good for…but that’s it. Lighter hoops work you out HARDER…again, I explain more details about the SIZE of lighter hoops HERE…bigger is easier, but it doesn’t have to be much heavier than 1.5 – 2 pounds. Any more than that and you can bruise, hurt internal organs and you can’t use the heavy hoops for anything else but waist hooping.

A hoop helps more than just your waist,  keeping your “girlish figure” in tact! It’s got so many therapeutic benefits for those of us over 50, too! Opening up the upper body, flexibility in the shoulders AND hips as we get older, warding off arthritis even in our fingers, helping to keep them active as we use a hoop in our hands…even challenging the brain to LEARN a few tricks with our hands, using our mind, as if working a crossword puzzle, to make vital connections…thus, exercising our mental muscles, too! THAT is SO important as we age! None of that can be accomplished with a heavy, thick hoop.

STILL, with ALL that being said, I just love seeing the hoop circling Amy! I also now have something I want to do in my life while I’m still here to do it…I want to make Amy a pretty new hoop, give it to her and then teach her a few moves.

Yep, it could happen someday. You never know.

Hooping with Amy Grant. On my “Grown-Up Christmas List?”

Nope. Just on my bucket list!