May’s Great Hula Hooping Experiment

by Charlotte on May 2, 2011 · 85 comments

I'm allowed to laugh at this; I used to be goth.

“I need 100 feet of 3/4″ 120 PSI irrigation tubing, please.” The Home Depot man’s eyebrows shot up, marking the one and only time I have ever walked into that store knowing what I’m talking about. I hate to be the stereotypical girl here but thus far in my life all my visits to hardware stores involved paint chips or toddler potty stops. It was even better because I’d just come from a church function and was wearing a hot pink/navy blue mod 60′s sheath, had my hair in a ballerina bun on the very top of my head and was tottering around in 5″ stiletto booties – you know what everyone wears in the hardware store.

“Wow, bad day to be working on your irrigation system,” he said as he led me to the very farthest back corner of the store. (It snowed again this weekend. In May. Upside: great maple “sugaring” weather. Downside: everything else.)

“Oh, I’m using it to make hula hoops!” I chirped. He burst out laughing.

Any workout that involves the use of a blowtorch, a mallet and makes the Home Depot salesmen do a double take is my kind of fun! We’ve only done one hula hooping workout so far – today, baby! – but if the past weekend is any indication of how entertaining May’s Great Hula Hooping Fitness Experiment is going to be, it’s going to be a fantastic month. Since I’m brand spanking new to hooping – graduate of the YouTube course on hooping as of last night – let’s start with all the things I didn’t know just in case you are as clueless as I was.

Things I Didn’t Know About Fitness Hooping

1. Fitness hoops are not the same as the ones at Toys ‘R’ Us. An adult fitness hoop is BIG – between 10 and 13 feet in circumference or when stood on end, hits between your navel and shoulder. This is important because apparently the larger and heavier the hoop is, the easier it is to use. Toy or children’s hoops will only frustrate you endlessly.

2. Fitness hoops are expensive. To buy the real deal, expect to lay out anywhere from $30 to $100. To be fair, they do come in collapsible versions and every variety of sparklyshinypretty you can imagine. To be realistic, I cannot afford one much less four.

3. You can make your own hoop for just a few bucks. Enter the magic of the Internet! Livelovehoop tweeted me a link by the king of hooping Jason Unbound on how to make my own. (See my version with slightly disastrous results below.)

4. Hooping is really complicated. Just like most things I don’t spend much time thinking about, I had assumed that fitness hooping would be simple. Perhaps an hour of twirling it one way and then the other? Not so, my friends. There are hundreds of tricks and variations. Check out this round-up of YouTube tutorials by Hula Hoop Basics. They list how-tos for 582 basics. For our Experiment this month, I wrote down a list of about 20 basics and 5 tricks that I’d like to master before the end of the month. Considering how today went, that might be a bit lofty.

5. Hooping is sexy-sexy! Check out this video from Hoopnotica and tell me you don’t want to lick her. Wow she makes it look easy. Seriously though just like any dance form, hooping is an art as well as a workout. It did get a little awkward though practicing our “booty bumps” and “hip thrusts” – at least the hoop keeps a nice large no-touch zone!

6. I can hoop. Since I hadn’t seriously tried a hula hoop in probably a decade I figured I would be really rusty and have to practice just the basic movement forever. As Gym Buddies Krista, Megan and I (plus two of the people who are in Special-Ed at our gym) all discovered, we’re pretty good at it. We all fairly easily kept the hoop off the floor for 5 minutes and mostly off the floor for the better part of an hour. If you think you can’t hoop it’s probably because you’ve been using the wrong hoop.

Making My Own Hoop (A Pictorial)

Step 1: buy some PVC irrigation tubing. I had a coupon for the cute kid.

Step 2: cut it to the desired length. Jason suggests ratcheting pipe cutters. I only had a hacksaw and a lot of time.

Step 3a: heat the ends of the tubing so you can insert the connector piece. 

Step 3b. When the hair dryer does NOTHING, break out Gym Hubby and the blowtorch. Just be careful not to melt the tubing or set it on fire… like we did. A lot. Boy that stuff stinks.

Step 4: Test it out like The Little Guy here – he kept calling it a “monster truck tire.” Close enough!

Warning: Do not ignore other children in the meantime.


Step 5: Decorate your new hoops with colored electrical tape. Yes we’re doing this at the gym. People love us.

The Workout

Because I know some of you will be curious, this month the Gym Buddies and I will be hooping 2 days a week, weight lifting 2 days a week following Chris Gethin’s Body By Design: The Complete 12-Week Plan to Transform Your Body Forever book, hip hopping for 1 day, running for 1 day (Gym Buddy Megan is training for a half marathon) and doing TurboKick 2 days a week. Obviously some days we are doubling up although we are still keeping my time limit in mind – don’t want to slip back into old habits!

The hooping basics we hope to learn: hooping in both directions, walking forward & backward, walking sideways, squatting, lunging, hip hooping, chest hooping, shoulder hooping, one-hand and two-hand lasso, turning in a circle, arm weaving, angled hooping in both directions, stalling, the booty bump, the hip bump along with several off-body moves like around-the-world, the revolving door, skipping rope and infinity.

Hooping tricks we’d love to learn: Over the Shoulder roll, the Corkscrew, the Vortex

By the end of the month I hoping to have choreographed a 30-minute routine set to music that keeps the hoops moving the whole time.

Who’s in with me?

What was your fave active childhood toy? Skip-it? Hobby horse? Pogo stick? Hula hoop?? Have you done this kind of hooping before – if so, leave me your tips, fave workouts or tricks in the comments (Please!!). Anyone else throw the hardware store sales people with a weird request?

{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

JourneyBeyondSurvival May 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm

You? Officially have my awesome vote. I may have to get bigger (wider) pipe to support how mammoth the diameter would have to be on my hoop.

Please enlighten as to the soreness factor. Also, I make a motion petitioning the gym buddies for a before/after video.


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Haha- there will definitely be video of this one! And so far, no soreness but then it’s only been 1 day;)


Terri May 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm

That looks like so much fun ! I might have to go out and get a hula hoop myself. I never knew there was so much to it !

I wasn’t really into hula hooping, or elastics or skipping when I was a kid – I think I was a little weird, I much preferred playing imaginary games with my BFF. We’d pretend we were pirates, or something like that *lol*

Your kids are so adorable – Jellybean may end up being a make up artist to the stars the way she’s going :)


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) May 2, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I know some girls here in San Diego who are REALLY into hooping. Like the tricks and stuff they can do blow your mind. They also combine hooping with Acroyoga…they are pretty much a Cirque du Soleil troop.

I havent hooped since jr high, at which point I was excellent. lol. But Im sure I wouldnt be so hot at it now. Something tells me jumping rope and hoola hooping are much easier when you’re 12.

Love your challenge this month!


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Acroyoga? I’ve never heard of that one before! Going to check it out now!! Cirque du Soleil would be my dream… have to be a lot more flexible though.


megan May 17, 2011 at 5:55 pm

you should moooost definitely check out arial acrobatics in point loma if you are a san diegan. best arial silks class. aka learning to be in cirque du soleil.


The Original Drama Mama May 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I am curious about this one, my step-mother-in-law (got that?) is nutso about the fitness hooping, she and a crowd of her her buddies invested in some special (translation: expensive) hula hoops (apparently this is tres chic on the Chicago North Shore right now). I’d like to hear if you think it works; (I enjoy the hula hoop feature on Wii fit) :)

I remember reading an article in SHAPE magazine not too long ago about actress Mira Sorvino (I think it was her) really being into hooping as well, I believe a hoop workout was included in that edition too.
Either way, it sounds fun! I want your gym schedule, we don’t have turbokick at my Y :(


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I found the Shape workout! Thanks for the tip!!


M.Lindsay May 2, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I could never hula hoop…even as a kid. I never got the hang of it. I’m really uncoordinated, so it’s unsurprising.

Your family is so gorgeous. Honestly, I live by myself (which can get a little lonely, even though I love my friends), and my parents and siblings are several provinces away from me, and seeing your family just makes me smile! And your son has the most honest and eager face, it’s amazing. You’re so blessed!


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Oh thank you – I think my family is such a blessing too. This means a lot to me:)


krysa.ballerina May 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm

That looks amazing! I might try this experiment if I can find someone with a blowtorch . . . *evil scientist laugh*

But being a child of the 90′s, I’d have to say that I’m a black belt in the art of the Skip-It. I could go forward, back, and side to side with that thing never stopping to breathe! My friends and I would have Skip-It races, meaning both running forward with it and seeing who could get to 100 the fastest! I would even have long summer days where I would just see how long it took me to get to 1000 and have the entire counter reset! Oh the joys of being a child :-)

As far as the effectiveness of the Hula experiment though, I don’t know if you’d be able to accurately talk about the effect of just hooping if you’re doing other lifting and cardio (duh!). So when talking about the results, be sure to factor that in! Love the idea though!


krysa.ballerina May 2, 2011 at 10:41 pm

One more thing, about how heavy is the actual hoop? Does it work better/more efficiently if it’s heavier or lighter?


Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow May 3, 2011 at 6:17 am

Heavier is better, because you can feel the hoop touching your body and that makes it easier to keep up. Very heavy hoops (weighed with sand etc) are recommended only if youw ant to get real sore.


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Thanks for answering this one! And if you have tips for us newbies, please let me know!


Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow May 4, 2011 at 4:30 am

Here is the most important one: bare skin grips best. If you can practice at home in your undies, great ! After that a cropped tank top is best. Cotton & other natural fabrics are grippy, anything synthetic is terribly slippery. And if you still need more grip, tape along the inner side of the hoop with gaffer tape (US hoopers swear by tapes from — their tapes are really pretty and high quality).
Cheaper but less pretty alternatives are cotton medical sports tape, or clear perforated medical tape (with nubs):*A*Fr-vpYfVM1t7jJ1VSUmIZ9c7p2umrw-QFdh-cN7GjMFzQ*/dsc03571mm9.jpg

Bare hoops or electrical tape is rather slippery.

Regular Cinderella May 3, 2011 at 8:32 am

Skip-it!!! That cracks me up–I was terrible at it, but it sure was fun!


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Well, other than my subjective impressions I’m not sure that I will be able to give you guys real results. Yes, because we’re doing other things but also because now that I’m not measuring body fat %, weight, inches etc. all that’s left is performance stuff. But I’ll do my best to give you my impressions of it as a workout! So far it’s definitely a 10 on the fun scale – better go find you a blow torch;)


Kat May 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I used to hate skip-bo with a passion. My ankles didn’t have the strength to keep it from whacking the ground or something, so it got ever so torn up even the first go round — and as a kid I kept trying that first time to get it right.

I’m thinking car hopping on roller skates would be a good workout… or jumproping =)


Katie May 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I want to play!!!

No seriously. I want to play. I am googling hulahooping right now. I’ve been bored at the gym lately, and I need some spice!


Carly May 2, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I can’t wait to hear all about this experiment! I am awful at hula hooping.
I used to be part of our schools jump rope team, however I can’t jump rope without having to pee now!


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm

See, you should jump rope with us – we’re all moms and yes, we’ve all peed our pants a little:)


Sybil May 2, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I would love tips for hooping longer than three minutes without feeling like someone took a hammer to my mid-section. If that weren’t happening I could definitely do it for quite a while, it is so fun!


Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow May 4, 2011 at 4:32 am

Hoop on other parts of the body ! it´s much easier than it sounds. And there are plenty of Youtube tutorials.


TS May 3, 2011 at 1:39 am

I had a thing for Chinese Jumprope as a kid. Ghetto (what other equipment can you make from stealing newspaper rubberbands?), but fun. Lately I’ve been getting back into jumproping (I honestly think I should go to the boating store near my house and pick up some rope, the ones they sell at the fitness store are too nice to actually use…um, that totally made sense in my head).

I’m not too familiar with the hula hooping terms, but that one move where you use the hula hoop as a skip it was my wheeeee! move. I look forward to seeing the results of your challenge! (oh, and your kids are so omnomnom cute!)


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Oooh I loved Chinese jump rope too!!


englyn May 3, 2011 at 2:01 am

If anyone else is trying to make a hoop out of irrigation pipe – stick the end in a cup of boiling water.


Jo May 3, 2011 at 2:28 am

Nice one Charlotte! Check out and for online resources and forums to help you out.

FYI, if you want to amp up your core and legs while hooping, you should stand in the classic ‘circus’ hoop posture. Feet hip distance apart, legs strong (i.e. squeezed quads), butt tucked under and squeezed, tall spine (a bit like mountain pose in yoga). From here, push hoop into your stomach and hoop with as small a movement as possible (either pushing back and forth, or side to side). Keep your arms held out to the side to work your arms.

Great list of moves to work on! In terms of learning them in a month, they’re all very possible, except I would suggest chest hooping and shoulder hooping might take you a bit longer. They took me 6 months to get the hang of, although some of my students get it a lot quicker.

If you have any questions or problems in the challenge, let me know! I’m happy to make up little tutorial vids if you’re stuck on something, or help you chereo your hoop routine :)

Love Jo


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Yes the chest/shoulder hooping has only made us smack ourselves in the face with our hoops. It makes me feel better that it normally takes a long time to get that one! And YES PLEASE help choreo our routine! I would love that!!!


Sara May 3, 2011 at 2:47 am

I loved hula hoops as a child- my friend had the chocolate Big M flavoured (milk) hoop and I was sooo jealous. I am now jealous of your grown up hoops and will definitely be heading to the hardware store to get one once my ankle heals.


Lynn May 3, 2011 at 5:14 am

I am going to have to try this!! You totally rock, girl!


saundra May 3, 2011 at 6:09 am

LOVE this! Thanks for the instruction on how to make my own hoop. I’m too cheap to buy one.


Naomi/Dragonmamma May 3, 2011 at 6:23 am

I did some hooping back in February as one of my routine-breakers: (I even used that same photo of the goth-guy hula-hooper!) I don’t look great doing it, but I can keep it off the ground for half an hour with a variety of techniques. Many years ago I won a hula-hoop competition in high-school. (Endurance only, not talent.) I have a gorgeous rainbow color hula-hoop that used to belong to my kids.


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Ooo thanks for the reminder! I remember reading this now on your blog (and I loved the pic then too – how funny!)


Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow May 3, 2011 at 6:23 am

I´m actually a hoop-dancer, so this made me smile. I don´t hoop for fitness though, it´s more dance. I attended a hooping convention last year, it was AMAZING. They even let me try out fir-hooping !
I totally recommend (especially the forums) for all kinds of hooping discussions, cool videos, or for finding other hoopers, hoop jams or classes in your area.
Also, do you know that if you put in TWO connectors in your hoops, it becomes collapsible ? Just cut your hoop on the opposite side of the existing connector, and insert a connector. The hoop is collapsed like this:
Don´t use 4 connectors, I tried that and the hoop was really weird.
Have fun !


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Thank you for all the sites and the collapsing tip! I am now going to look up fir hooping…. And yeah, it does seem to be a lot more dance-y than fitness-y. You know how I love dancing though;)


Elana May 3, 2011 at 6:39 am

I took one fitness hooping class! Lots of fun, but the timing didn’t work with my schedule. I’m very excited to hear about results after a month of hooping.


Heather Eats Almond Butter May 3, 2011 at 6:52 am

The Jelly Bean photo was my favorite part of this post – that is hilarious. Also, loved the photos from your Easter post as well. Such a beautiful family. :)

So cool you made your own hula hoop. I had no idea the adult ones were so pricey. I have friends who hula hoop the half marathon here every year. I could not even imagine. That has got to an amazing workout.

I wanted to tell you how happy I am for you that your intuitive eating went so well over Easter…however, now you’ve got me wanting to drive down to our hardware store demanding cinnamon jelly beans. ;)

Also great Redbook article. I left a comment, but then realized I was logged in under CD’s yahoo account. Nothing like talking about vaginas while using your husband’s name. He’d be so embarrassed. Hehe.


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Hahahh – gotta go read your, Imean CD’s, comment now!! And thank you for all the compliments:)


Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me May 3, 2011 at 7:13 am

haha oh man I used to LOVE hula hooping! Hopskotch. Coloring the entire driveway with chalk. Ya know, that kinda stuff.

Can’t wait to see how this goes. I haven’t hula hooped in years!


Joshua May 3, 2011 at 7:39 am

Okay, first: I’m going to need evidence of your Goth period.

Second, I love that your husband owns a blowtorch. I’m in love with him now.


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm

He says he loves you too, man.


Marion@affectionforfitness May 3, 2011 at 7:43 am

Charlotte, are you sure that most of us could hula hoop if we tried with a better hoop? Have you experimented with the hoop on any random neighbor or gym goer? That would be interesting! I think I would try hooping if I thought there was any real hope. : )


Vikki May 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm

You can, trust me. Bigger hoops mean less movement needed to keep the hoop moving around your body. Tip: When you do it, stick one foot slightly in front of the other and rock back and forth. Do not circle your hips. That way leads to failure every time. :D


TheCircularPhile May 22, 2011 at 12:35 am

Anyone can hoop with big enough hoop. I have never had anyone seriously try and not be able to do it. I call my 45″ hoop my magic hoop because I can get anyone hooping with it. I had a hard time learning at first. I was not a natural hooper, but now I have gotten good enough to start performing. It just takes the right size hoop and a little practice.


bjbella5 May 3, 2011 at 8:01 am

How fun! I am out of the loop (hee hee) and didn’t know hooping was a new fitness trend.

Is your homemade hoop noticeably heavier than the store bought kind? When you were talking about weight I thought you might fill it with sand or something.


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Yes, our hoops are definitely heavier than the store kiddie kind. The instructions said we could fill them with sand and I considered it but I figured we should start as basic as possible!


Regular Cinderella May 3, 2011 at 8:42 am

A friend of mine from high school started using a weighted hula hoop a couple of years ago. I don’t think she did any set routine…just did it while she was watching TV. It helped her get started with regular exercise and now she’s lost a ton of weight. I had never heard of it before she told me about it. I’m excited to see how it goes for you guys this month! (And wondering if I can ditch work one day to come watch. LOL)

PS–I want more cheese! DROP! Lots and lots of CHEESE!


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:20 pm

And when you see my luggage it’s marked with LV!


Beth @ To the Fullest May 3, 2011 at 10:11 am

YES! You have discovered hooping at last!! I was wondering when hoop dance would make an appearance here. :) Happy hooping! Beware: hooping may change your life.


Geosomin May 3, 2011 at 10:30 am

I have a few friends who hoop – it’s a lot of fun. I’m not as good as I’d like to be, but it is a fun way to get in some exercise.
I found when I made my own hoop, I put a bit of water inside the tube before I sealed it and it made for a bit easier hooping. I’ve also heard a bit of sand helps too…I also wound around the outside with electrical tape – not only made it pretty, but no black marks from the tubing on my clothes.
I’m looking forward to the nice weather so I can whip out my hoop again. I’ve been more into learning to spin poi lately. It’s so pretty to watch people hoop and spin. It’s ama
Have fun :)


Geosomin May 3, 2011 at 10:31 am

ama = amazing…sorry


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Spin poi – what is this??? I must know!


Nicky May 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

There are also fire poi.


Geosomin May 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Poi is the art of spinning balls (they can be on fire!) on the end of ropes in elaborate patterns…look up poi (performance art) on wikipedia. It’s a lot of fun.
There’s a few websites with tutorial videos: is a good starter…

PS – your new website slows my computer to a crawl…it’s wierd…


Nicky May 3, 2011 at 10:38 am

I loved hooping as a child, but I was also a pogo-sticker. I even came in 2nd in a pogo stick competition at a local shopping mall when I was about 11 (about 100 years ago). It turns out that pogo sticks have come a long way since then and they now make them with compressed air chambers that allow you to jump REALLY high. A friend’s teenage son has one of these babies and it’s amazing! I may have to get one for (I bought myself a unicycle as a 44th b-day present–I still need a tutu, though). Check out the extreme pogo video:


Hanlie May 3, 2011 at 11:02 am

I bought a hoop over Easter and am getting the hang of it… It’s actually easier than I thought. And great exercise!


Alyssa May 3, 2011 at 11:25 am

More lovely pictures!!!!!
This sounds like SO much fun! I may have to make a hula hoop.
Or, um, buy one. I should not get anywhere near a blowtorch.


Nikki May 3, 2011 at 11:47 am

Okay, first off that top picture was hilarious. Secondly, your kiddos are stinking cute.

Lastly, how awesome are you for making your own hula hoops! I can’t wait to see the posts along the way. :) I’m also kind of curious to try it, but the last time I tried, I pretty much stunk. Hopefully it was just the wrong size hoop.

Have fun!


Laura May 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm

One of my best friends fell in love with hooping last year, and now half our events are planned around classes/workshops/summits/etc. I tried it one time, expecting to love it since I was awesome at hula hooping when I was a kid (I could sit down, stand up, walk, and even twirl a baton WHILE STILL HOOPING THROUGHOUT). But I hated the hoops for “hooping”! They were so heavy and I ended up with a massive bruise on my left hipbone (since that was the direction I was hooping). It hurt for a week and I never hooped again!

If you want me to put you in touch with my friend Lorelei, let me know – I’m sure she’d have some great suggestions for you guys.


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I’ve heard the weighted hoops can leave bruises like that! FOrtunately I don’t think ours are heavy enough to do that kind of damage. And we’ll take any help we can get!


Shannon May 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Well, the bruises could be due to the weight. 100 PSI hoops are lighter than a 160 PSI hoop. It all depends on what hoop you were using to cause the bruises.


Leslie Goldman May 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Umm…exactly what type of church functions does one attend where they get to hear 5″ stilettos and hot pink dresses? MY KIND.


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Hahah – my church is awesome!!


becca (bellebottoms) May 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm

In college after I had stopped playing for my school soccer team my junior year, I had to get a job since my scholarship was no longer coming in. I ended up working at my school’s fitness center…anyways, we had hula hoops there for a class that was offered, and i used to see how long I could hula while I was standing in our service center. one day, it happened…..41 MINUTES!! THAT’S RIGHT, i hula-ed for 41 minutes straight…now, I know that’s probably not a record, but it was to me! :)

my abs never hurt so good…


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm

See – that’s what I’m talking about! I want some of that sore abs action!!


Lisa Russell May 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I’ve been hoop dancing for about a year now and I absolutely love it, I hope you do, too <3


Heather May 3, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Love it! I made my own hula hoops last year, but need to use them again. I also loved the skip it and jump rope. Now I want to go home and play.

I’ll join in on this fitness experiment (my first with you guys!) after I take a look at the videos of the moves you’ll be working on. Fun!


Heather May 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Oh, forgot to mention that everything I’ve read says hula hooping burns 100 calories in 10 minutes. I proceeded to use my HRM and confirmed it!


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm



Jody - Fit at 53 May 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I was a master at hula hooping when I was a kid – what happens when we grow up!!!? Well, I did but maybe not you Charlotte! ;-) I lived back east as a kid where we could actually play outside all the time & did so I did all that fun stuff…. maybe I need to hula hoop again! Can’t wait to see pics of this!


Jen May 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Can you make it heavier somehow? Fill it with water or sand? Make it more ‘fitness-y’? I know some of the weighted hoops for sale are from 5-10#. How much does yours weigh?


Charlotte May 3, 2011 at 11:26 pm

I haven’t weighed mine (don’t even know how I’d get that sucker on a scale!) but I’m guessing it weighs 2-3 pounds. And yes you can add sand or water to your hoop. I’ve heard that those do give a better workout but can also leave hefty bruises – let me know if you try a heavier hoop!


Andrea M May 4, 2011 at 4:07 am

I have seen a weighted hula hoop with rivets. ouch – talk about sore obliques, immediately. I really loved the skip-it growing up. 999, check. reset, skip again!


Another Suburban Mom May 6, 2011 at 6:16 am

I love my hula hoop, its a lot of fun to use, and now that its nicer out I will bring it into the yard and hoop while the kids are doing kamikaze manuevers on their bikes and scooters.


Angela Wills May 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I loved this blog post! What a great sense of humor… makes me realize I’ve been missing out not reading more blogs.

I actually made my own hula hoop using the same tutorial last year. Then, because I love making blogs I whipped up a video on how to do it and a blog dedicated to hooping. I’ve only got ONE post on there but your awesome post has just inspired me to get back to it.

Hope the hooping is going well. I love it myself! So much fun :)


Charlotte May 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Yay! I’m totally addicted now! Seriously, these things are ridiculously fun!!


R. May 17, 2011 at 10:56 pm

This sounds like fun although I’d almost definitely throw out my back! But I love that big “family” display on the wall behind you in the image with your hairdryer! That’s super cool and while I don’t have any kids, I’ll definitely make one of mine and my husband’s families.


Charlotte May 18, 2011 at 8:28 am

Thanks! Can’t say I thought of that myself – I think I found it in a magazine? – but I love it! And it was super cheap to make!


TheCircularPhile May 22, 2011 at 12:45 am

If you want to make one hoop to try for yourself without having to buy 100 feet of tubing, I’d suggest They have a hoop it yourself kit that includes tubing, tape and connectors for $25. All you need is boiling water or a paint stripper (heat gun.)


Leslie "Tilly Whirls" May 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I don’t even use boiling water to heat the ends of my polyethylene. I just run it under super hot tap water for a few minutes. Usually does the trick.


Ashley May 22, 2011 at 12:51 am

Loved this! Especially the pictures…tip for making more hoops to get the connector in…I didn’t read through all the posts but if you just heat some water in the microwave for a couple minutes and leave the end of the hoop in there for about a minute the connectors slide in easily! I’ve found after you connect both ends to put it in some cold water so you don’t have to hold it so long so they don’t slide back out while the tubing expands again.

I had a similar experience buying tubing…except mine was at lowe’s and I wasn’t quite sure that the tubing was used for irrigation…when the salesperson asked me what it was used for and I said I don’t really know…he was like “are you going to use it to make meth?” I’m not sure it’s actually used in meth labs but that’s when I told him no I’m making hula hoops….he looked extremely skeptical.

I have heard hoops about 2 to 2.5 pounds can be dangerous especially to beginners who don’t quite have the movements down yet. The heavier the hoop the more bruises and soreness though….I wouldn’t, and don’t know any fellow hoopers who would, recommend using more than 2 pounds especially without the supervision of a trainer who uses weights like that…just like any other weights…


mb August 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Use boiling water to heat the ends of your tube. It’s the cleanest, easiest way.


RelaxedMoments December 29, 2012 at 5:27 am

Hello! In your entry did you use the information from some researches or these are only your personal thought? Can’t wait to see your reply.


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