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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- “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.”
- 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!