The weighted hula hoop workout trend has been going viral on TikTok as of late and for good reason. People have found that weighted hula hoops help to lose weight and stay active. Videos advocating for this workout have gained millions of likes.
Hula hooping is a classic, simple form of physical activity that children and adults alike can enjoy. Plastic hula hoops are the most common type that people use and are a great cardiovascular workout. Normal hula hoops usually weigh less than two pounds, but weighted hula hoops exceed that number to provide more resistance to the body. The increased resistance makes the hooping movement more intense. Even though weighted hula hoops may show more results, regular hula hooping is still very useful for improving health. Having healthy eating habits like avoiding processed foods, eating vegetables, fruits, grains and healthy proteins, paired up with hula hooping daily, can be extremely beneficial to your health. Both weighted and regular hula hoops are relatively inexpensive and can be done anywhere. Hula hooping can engage your core, increase balance and build strength in muscles that help posture.
However, it is important not to jump right into hooping without knowing what will work for you. Kristin Weyhrauch, vice president of Hula Hoop Club and a senior majoring in English, recommended a specific type of hoop that is not too light or heavy for beginners — one filled with water.
“If a beginner uses a hula hoop that is too light, then the hula hoop may revolve around the waist too quickly,” Weyhrauch wrote in an email. “However, beginners shouldn’t use a heavy hula hoop either because beginners tend to use too much force and make jerky moments, which could lead to injury.”
Injury can occur when doing any type of hula hooping. Hula hooping for too long can result in unneeded soreness. Weyhrauch also mentioned that too much hula hooping in one direction can result in an unbalanced posture. Finding the right size is critical as well. When a hoop is resting vertically on the ground, it should end up reaching somewhere between your waist and the middle of your chest.
Similar problems of regular hula hooping can arise from weighted hula hooping but more intense. Doing these workouts more than 30 minutes a day can lead to more serious issues down the road. TikTok user @aalisonn was diagnosed with an abdominal hernia from using weighted hula hoops too much. Using hoops that are too heavy for your experience level can be troublesome too. Weyhrauch believes if you are experienced with normal hula hoops, weighted hula hooping is a wonderful workout, but still treat it like a new exercise.
“It is important for people to take it slow and listen to their bodies,” Weyhrauch wrote. “If you are in pain, then stop and rest as long as you need to.”
While weighted hula hooping has been having a viral moment, regular hula hoops boast most of the same health benefits. The increased resistance does yield a more intense workout, and if you are already experienced with hula hooping, it could be worth looking into. But if normal hula hooping is what you are content with, switching to weighted hula hoops is not exactly a necessary upgrade.