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Sam_noderer_headshotPosted by Samantha Noderer

Samantha is a Health Communication Intern at the MA Department of Public Health



HoopsWhen’s the last time you hula hooped?

I never learned how as a kid. But one day last year – in a very manic moment – I decided to get myself a hoop and change that. With a little guidance, I became a hooping fool over the course of just a few months: hula-ing around my waist, chest, shoulders, neck and limbs! It’s now, hands down, my favorite hobby.

Hooping is a great way to tone up thighs, abs, glutes and arms without ever feeling like you’re “working out.” It can also do wonders for mental health; releasing stress and inspiring creativity. And now that spring is upon us, it’s a great outdoor activity that “kids” of all ages can enjoy.


Step 1: Find Your Hoop. 
The hoops at a toy store are fine for kids, but really won’t cut it for an adult.

  • You’ll need a larger hoop, usually between 36-44 inches for beginners, depending on height. The rule of thumb is a hoop should fall somewhere between your belly button and chest while standing upright.
  • A heavier hoop is easier for learning, but a lighter hoop requires more core-work to keep it from falling.
  • Hoop vendors are happy to help figure out what materials and sizes are best for you. is a great place to start looking.


Step 2: Get Started.
Don’t know any hoopers? Don’t worry! YouTube is full of instructional videos to get you going. Start the trend among your family and friends.

  • Got kids? Send them to the KidTribe website – a fun hooping movement that’s part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. Adults can pick up pointers here, too!


Step 3: Words of Wisdom.
A few more key points for the best hooping experience possible:

  • Music. Hooping without music is like the beach without sand. I like blues, funk, and dance music. Experiment and find your own groove.
  • Hoop in both directions. One side will always be easier, but keeping your body balanced is important. Plus, it’ll make you a better hooper!
  • Don’t give up. Learning to hoop is a lot like learning to ride a bike. You might feel clumsy at first, but once you get it, you’ll get it. It took me two hours to get the hang of waist-hooping, so stick it out!
  • Stop thinking, start feeling. Still frustrated? Close your eyes and feel the rhythm between your body and the hoop. It can be a very “zen” moment.
  • Play. Experiment hooping around your neck, shoulders, chest, arms and legs (YouTube videos are really helpful here). Make up your own moves, or try using more than one hoop at once!



Who said exercise couldn’t be fun?

Feel free to comment below with any questions – I’d be thrilled to help you on your hooping journey.




…and Happy Hooping!  


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