Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Weighted Vs. Non Weighted Hula Hoops

One of the most frequently asked questions I get from people is if I use weighted hoops. The short answer: No, however I can create them upon request. I personally don't use water weighted hoops in my practice, but know plenty of people that enjoy weighted hoops. It's certainly a preference thing. But for the purpose of my hoop dance classes, I like my students to use hoops that can be whipped around in any direction and/or plane. Weighted hoops hinder this action.

3/4 of an inch tubing 40 inches in diameter - a good standard size beginner hoop
 Weighted hoops are adult hoops that have water, sand, rice, or other such materials that can add a little extra weight to the hoop, thus making it easier to keep the momentum of the hoop going around your waist. Personally, I think this is great. I've seen it help a lot of new hoopers really get into the groove..

...However, when the hoops are weighted, the hoop actually tends to end up doing more of the work than your body. I think people associate weighted hoops with a better cardio workout. But the less weight on your hoop, the harder you are actually working to keep it up and going around you. Make sense? It's like people lifting weights using smaller size/less weights to do more reps.

It's okay to feel discouraged if you can't keep your hula hoop up. Just keep playing with it.You will surprise yourself. Some ladies I know think that they need the water in their hoop to keep the groove going, but you really don't. If you are just starting hoop dance, try a hoop that is 1 inch thick with a fairly large diameter, somewhere around 38-40 inches. The better you get you can begin to downsize and try a 3/4 of an inch or 1/2 and inch tubing.

I can recommend getting friendly with a local hoop maker in your area. They should have a variety of sizes to share, as well as some advice on how to get started with waist hooping. Also, share your hoops with friends. A friend of mine introduced me to my first poly pro hoop, which has been life changing in my practice. It is flexible and lightweight and beautiful for dancing around and doing off body tricks.

Because I have been asked frequently about weighted hoops, I decided to make a batch and see how they do with the hoopers at a music festival I will be vending at this weekend. Remember: Variety is the spice of a hoopers life! Cheers!

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