Hula hooping packs nostalgia alongside a full body workout, so it's no wonder that, according to Quartz, sales ticked up by 20 percent last summer. The workout is equal parts cardio and strength, and if you're looking to really up the aerobic and muscular intensity of your workout, weighted hula hoops will have you feeling the burn. "Because adding weight helps to further activate your muscles and requires your heart to work harder, it allows you to get both an aerobic and resistance training workout together," says Lacey Dunn, MS, CPT, founder of UpliftFit Nutrition. Meanwhile, Brianna Bernard, CPT, an ISOPURE Athlete, personal trainer, and nutrition coach, adds that hula hoop exercise can also help improve your balance, flexibility, and mobility.
When it comes to picking out which kind of hoop will be best for you, there are a few key factors to keep in mind: the circumference, the weight, and how you will be using it. According to Dunn, you're ready for a weighted hula hoop, "if you can easily hula hoop on your own without weight and have no back or neck issues." While you might want to grab one that's heavy and go at it, it's important to add weight bit by bit to ensure that you're still maintaining proper form and avoiding injury. Start with one that is around one or two pounds, and then work your way up from there once that feels comfortable.
Since hula hoops also come in a variety of sizes from 37 to 41 inches, it's also important to find one that fits your body. "It’s best to look for one that is about waist height when standing sideways on the ground." And keep in mind where and when you will be using the hoop: If you travel a lot or have minimal storage space, look for a collapsable option; if you're working out in the evening, opt for a glow in the dark style; and so on. Finally, the important thing to remember is to always opt for a "hoop that has a foam outer layer or other padding to prevent bruising," explains Bernard.
Ready to start spinning? Scroll down for the four best weighted hula hoops to mix up your workout.
Shop 4 weighted hula hoops
Perfect for travel, this two pound, collapsable hoop is made of eight detachable sections that are easy to take apart, put back together, and make the hoop size adjustable so you can fit it to your needs and body. It also has a soft foam coating for comfortable hooping.
This 3.3 pound multi-colored hoop is perfect for more advanced hula hoopers, who are looking for a challenge. The heavier weight means that you have to push harder and faster to keep the hoop from falling to your feet, and the wavy design is engineered to really stimulate your core muscles.
Don’t have space for a full-sized hoop? This iteration on the weighted hula hoop features a separate weight that swings around your hoop as you spin it like a grown up Skip It. The swinging weight helps with keeping momentum, and since the ring part is attached to you, there’s no risk of it falling down.
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