I get a lot of questions about “weighted” hula hoops especially for the purposes of exercise or weight loss. There are a lot of hoops out there that look like pretty serious exercise equipment – wavy, bumpy, covered in foam, you name it. I am frequently asked whether or not the user can adjust (ie. increase) the weight of the hoop to increase the intensity of the workout. So, here’s the skinny (pun totally intended) on “weighted” hoops for the purposes of getting a good workout:
First, the term “weighted” means a couple of different things depending on who you talk to. Some people would call any adult hula hoop made with PVC (as most modern adult hoops are) a “weighted” hoop, while others refer to a weighted hoop as one that has had even MORE weight added to the inside of the tubing – whether it be water or sand, etc. The hoops that I make do not have sand, water or other materials added to them. They are heavier than toy store hoops because of the materials used in creating them, and they weigh approximately 2 pounds.
Now, on to the exercise part – for most beginners, a larger and heavier hoop is easier to hoop with. It has a larger distance to travel in a circle and it has more weight to aid its rotation. It’s far easier to maintain rotations about the body with a hoop that is larger, heavier, and therefore slower.
So, if you’re looking to increase the intensity of your workouts, you’re not going to increase the size of your exercise hoop, you’re going to want to decrease it, making it lighter and faster and therefore requiring more energy to keep that workout hoop spinning. I pick up a larger, heavier hoop when I’m looking for a nice, slow grooving hoop session whereas I choose a smaller, lighter hoop when I want a faster, high energy hoop session.
Whether your goal is to exercise with your hoop, dance with your hoop, or simply have fun with your hoop, any of the adult hoops out there in the 2 pound range are quite appropriate. You’ll be able to learn new moves at a good pace, take it off the body and use it for hand hooping techniques without putting too much strain on your hands, wrists or shoulders, and dance with it to a variety of musical styles and tempos.