Are you keeping up with those resolutions to work out more? Or already fudging on them a little? Either way, here’s a little extra motivation for you. What’s more, it’s a workout that’s fun because you’re hula hooping! I love hula hooping as a workout because not only does it burn calories, improve balance, and tone muscles, but it’s a great way to melt away stress. For example, for those who watch my videos, I’m sure you can tell it’s impossible for me to hula hoop without smiling.

Try the exercises on for size, and see if you’re smiling and sweating too!

Exercise one: Hoop Lunges

 This is exactly like your classic, static lunge but you’re hooping the whole time for extra calorie burn! To help keep that hoop moving, really focus on your front and back push points to keep that hoop even. Utilize the fact that your legs are already in a forward and back position to shift you weight front and back, just be careful not to extend that front knee over your toe!

Exercise two: Hoop Squats

Stand with your legs a little wider than normal for regular squats and point toes out 45 degrees from your body. Shift your hooping focus to a two point push method side to side. Utilize the face that your legs are out to the side to shift your weight side to side to keep that hoop even. Be sure that your legs are out wide enough your knees do not extend over your toes when you shift your weight.

Exercise three: Hoop Heel Lifts

Stay in the same position as your hoop squats and hold the down position. Lift one heel at a time off the ground, keeping the ball of your foot firmly planted. Hold for a second before gently lowering your heel and lifting the other heel. For an extra challenge, lift both heels off the ground and hold for 30 seconds! Focus on the keeping that hoop moving, and keeping your balance!

Exercise Five: Hoop Side Lunges

Hold your hoop vertically in between your palms. Step straight out to the side with one leg, bend your knee and stick your booty back to lunge down. Most of your weight should be on your bent leg. Be sure to keep your upper body lifted and make sure not to extend your knee over your toe. All your weight should be in your heel. You should feel a pull or stretch on the inside thigh of your straight leg. As your hold this position, flex your chest muscles to squeeze on your hoop. You’re not only working your booty and legs with this one, but also your chest! Double the results!

Exercise Six: Tabletops 

Are those legs burning yet? The next exercise will give those legs a break and work on your balance and strengthen those lower back muscles. Stand with all your weight on one leg but a slight bend in you knee (No locking out that knee!) Point your other toe behind you. Lift your arm opposite your pointed toe up over head, making a straight line from fingertip to toe. Slowly lift your pointed toe off the ground, and hinge forward maintaining that straight line until that line is horizontal, or “tabletop” position. Use your hoop to help you maintain balance.

Exercise Seven: Hoop Leg Stretch

Whew! Did you make it through all those exercises? Good for you! Reward yourself with this hoop leg stretch that feels great and improves balance as well. Stand with all your weight on one leg. Bend your knee to slightly lift one foot off the ground. Keep your knee pointed at the ground so you’re lifting your foot behind you. Place your hoop behind your back and hook your lifted toe inside the bottom of the hoop. Shift your hands to grab the top of the hoop. Slowly hinge forward, gently pulling on the top of the hoop to lift that back foot high off the ground. The more you pull on that hoop with your hands, the deeper stretch you will feel in the quad of your lifted leg. Balance and hold!

 Thanks for sticking with it, and be sure to check out more fun ways to stay in shape here.