Not just a party trick, hula-hoop­ing could help roll away ex­cess fat and add se­ri­ous mus­cle gains to your cur­rent rou­tine

Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS - Monty Simmons (@mon­tysim­mon­spt), trainer at Method Move­ment (method­move­

It’s all about the hula hoop

Thought hula-hoop­ing was just for pig­tailed school­girls and cir­cus types? Wrong. With min­i­mal space, you can torch fat and tone up, plus it’s a lot more fun than plank­ing. ‘Hula-hoop­ing is fan­tas­tic for get­ting your hips and core work­ing to­gether to re­duce in­jury risk and hit mus­cles you can’t usu­ally reach,’ says Monty Simmons, trainer at Method Move­ment. ‘And there’s more to it than the phys­i­cal – it helps to im­prove your co­or­di­na­tion, too.’ When you’re tired of your usual HIIT, this piece of kit will pro­vide a new mind and body chal­lenge.


Tar­gets: Abs, obliques, glutes, quads

Do: 30 secs

(a) Stand with your feet wider than shoul­der-width apart. Hold the hoop around your waist with your hands out to your sides.

Your right hand will be slightly be­hind you and your left just in front of your left hip.

(b) Get the hoop mov­ing by bring­ing your hands across your body with speed and let­ting go of the hoop – mean­while, push your hips in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. To keep the hoop air­borne, ro­tate your hips in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion, brac­ing your core. As you gain con­fi­dence, try rais­ing your hands.


Tar­gets: Quads, glutes, obliques, core

Do: 30 secs

(a) Start in a par­tial squat with the hoop around your waist. Hold it out to one side of your body, the other side against your waist.

(b) Keep­ing your core en­gaged and legs still, push the hoop around your waist and let go. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously ro­tate your hips in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion so the hula hoop cir­cles around your waist. Main­tain the par­tial squat through­out. You should feel a burn in your quads and bum.


Tar­gets: Back, shoul­ders, quads, glutes

Do: 20 reps

(a) Start in a squat po­si­tion, feet shoul­der-width apart, chest up and knees over your toes.

Hold the hula hoop out in front of you be­tween the thumb and fore­fin­ger of each hand. Keep your arms out­stretched and par­al­lel at ei­ther side of the hoop.

(b) Ro­tate the hoop by steer­ing your hands back and forth from a 12 o’clock to six o’clock po­si­tion.


Tar­gets: Hip sta­bilis­ers, ham­strings, abs, glutes Do: 15 secs on each foot

(a) Start in the same po­si­tion as for the ba­sic hula hoop move but, when you push the hoop across your body and let go, bring your right foot up so you’re bal­anc­ing on one leg.

(b) Squeeze your glutes and core for bal­ance while ro­tat­ing your hips in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion to keep the hoop aloft. Do this for 15 secs be­fore stop­ping and re­peat­ing on your left foot. Feel­ing con­fi­dent? Bring your foot higher off the floor.


Tar­gets: Abs Do: 10-15 reps

(a) Sit in an ‘L’ shape with your legs out in front of you and back straight. Hold the hoop in both hands and lift it above your head like a halo, arms and back straight.

(b) Roll on to your back, keep­ing the hoop in place, and tuck your knees into your chest, pass­ing your legs through the hoop.

(c) Us­ing the mo­men­tum gained from rolling back, thrust your hips off the floor and legs up through the hoop. Aim to get your legs as straight as you can. Now, roll back out to your start­ing ‘L’.

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