Summertime is the season of eating.

From vacation binging  to Fourth of July BBQs, pie eating contests and the countless invitations to outdoor dinner parties, it is easy to over indulge and put on some unwanted pounds. Lucky for you, getting back in shape is as easy as picking up a childhood pastime: the hula hoop.

The hula hoop workout

A favorite among celebrity TV personality Kelly Osbourne, hula hooping is among the newest fitness crazes to help you achieve a fun and amazing all body work out.  The Los Angeles based Hoopnotica takes this nostalgic favorite and transforms it into an energetic work out that blends dance moves, cardio, and, of course, major hip gyration for more toned thighs, arms, butt, and stomach. It is perfect for those who are feeling uninspired at the gym or are craving a new dance work out to help pump them up about creating a healthier lifestyle. Hula hooping for adults is no cake walk, however: it is a challenging work out that will have you work out muscles you never knew existed.

All it takes to get started is exchanging your dusty, lightweight glittery hoop for a more weighted one.

What is also important is to get more acquainted with the hoop before you start the exercise: twirl it around your hips and arms for a bit to get a feel of how it feels on your body.  Create a playlist of your best dance jams; fill up your water bottle; stretch out your leg, arm, back, and core muscles;  and then you will be ready for this basic fifteen minute introductory work out to hula hoop fitness.

There are three basic moves to hula hoop fitness: side-to-side, front-to-back, and the butt bump.  Advanced moves include walking around while gyrating, dancing with the hoop, and combining these moves together. It is recommended to this work out three times a week.

hula hoopSide-to-Side:

For most, this is how they naturally approach hula hooping. Stand slightly more than shoulder width apart. Push the hoop off a hip with your hands so it begins to spin on either your left or right side. Move your hips in a side-to-side motion. Do this for three minutes rotating in one direction, and then an additional three minutes rotating in the alternating direction.

Front-to-Back:

This move  is a slight variation  of the standard hula hoop approach. Position your feet so that one foot is in front of the other. Push the hoop off a hip to begin the rotation. Use your knees to rock your hips backwards and forwards in a continuous manner to keep the hoop going. If the hoop feels like it is going to fall, rock harder until it is comfortably rotating once more. Do this for three minutes then change which foot goes in front and hoop for an additional three minutes.

Hula HoopButt Bump:

The  butt bump is a bit tricky for those that are new to hula hooping. Hold the hoop at waist level, and put your feet and legs together. While keeping a flat back, lean forward like you are picking up something off the ground and the push the hoop off of a hip to start rotation.  Continually lift and lower your body around the hoop to keep it spinning by bending and straightening the knees. The hoop should appear to be almost hitting the floor in a perpendicular fashion. Do this for three minutes.

Remember to take breaks when needed! Hoops falling off the waist will also happen, so if that happens, do not get too discouraged! Just pick up your hoop, twirl, and let the good times and sweat continue.

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