Many people who consider hooping as a way to trim down want to know if a weighted hula hoop is better for weight loss.
Let’s start by clarifying what a weighted hula hoop is because there are two types of hoops referred to as weighted. Type one is the type you can buy from fitness and online stores such as aliexpress.com. They usually weigh from 750gms-2kg and are commonly formed from connecting segments with a moulded ridge around the inner circle. The second type of weighted hoop is made from larger, heavier pipe, has a smooth surface and is normally taped. These hoops weigh about 450-500grams and are the type of weighted hoops produced by In2Hula.
The common advantage of heavier hoops is that they are easier to keep moving with less effort. This means that beginner hoopers find them easier to start hula hooping with, and that people can keep them rotating on their waist for longer periods giving a more sustained workout. Weighted hoops allow you to get hooping faster and stay hooping longer, but does the extra weight of the hoop equate to extra weight loss?
You lose weight by utilizing oxygen and burning fat. To get into the fat burning zone you need to get your heart rate up to at least 65-85% of it’s maximum. This can be achieved either by intensity or duration. Developing muscle strength also assists with weight loss because muscle burns more calories than fat. Regularly exerting your muscles helps maintain or increase your basal (resting) metabolic rate.
As weighted hula hoops are easier to hoop with for longer periods they can help you get into the fat burning zone by duration. Weighted hula hoops also create greater resistance, which increases the strength as well as the tone of your muscles. However, does more weight mean more benefits? I think this may be a case of a little is good, but more is not necessarily better. Many people report that type one weighted hoops, the very heavy ones, are painful to use and often cause bruising and injury. This of course makes it difficult, and possibly inadvisable, to use them for long periods. Some people report that they just take a while to get used to and then they are beneficial. It appears to be the case though that they are not usable or suitable for everyone. In contrast to this I have never heard or read any reports of people experiencing pain or bruising when using a type two weighted hoop. You can experience bruising on your hands when you start doing hand hooping with them, but your hands do grow accustomed to it quite quickly. Bruising on your hands is also of lesser concern than pain and bruising around your abdominal area which contains major organs. I have not found any evidence that the type one weighted hoops give any greater advantage than type two weighted hoops, and there is a far greater risk of injury when using them.
There is no solid evidence that using a heavily weighted hoop is any better for weight loss than a heavy tube hoop, so is a weighted hula hoop any better than a medium weight or lighter hoop? Any form of hooping can be beneficial for weight loss because it is the physical movement and exertion of keeping the hoop rotating that works your muscles and drives up your heart rate. Lighter and smaller hoops require you to exert more energy to keep them moving. They give you a more intense aerobic workout. Waist hooping with a smaller lighter hoop is like sprinting whereas hooping with a heavier hoop is like brisk walking.
If you want to invest in a type one weighted hula hoop then you do so at your own risk, and there currently appears to be no solid evidence that it will give any greater weight loss benefit. You may get used to the extra weight and no longer experience bruising after a while, but this can mean that it will take you longer to get under way with experiencing the benefits of hooping for extended periods of time. If you are a beginner wanting to start hula hooping, especially if your fitness level is relatively low, then it would be a good option to get a type two weighted pipe hula hoop like those made by In2Hula. This is because you are likely to get fast results with it, with minimal discomfort. In2Hula hoops are easy to learn with, with minimal risk of injury apart from the usual aches of growing muscle. They are also easier to hoop with for extended periods of time, and if your fitness levels are relatively low then it is easier to engage in duration exercise than intensity exercise: it is easier to start out with brisk walking than sprinting. Type two weighted hula hoops are also still suitable for performing most off the body moves giving you a total body workout, whereas type one weighted hoops can only be used in a limited number of ways. If you are a competent hooper and want to up the intensity of your workouts and increase weight loss, then you may want to also invest in a medium weight dance or regular hoop and combine higher level aerobic workouts with your longer duration workouts.
Remember too that effective, sustained weight loss is achieved not by some miracle exercise or supplement, but by making holistic lifestyle changes to increase daily activity, eat for nutrition and reduce stress.
If you are wanting support and encouragement to establish a habit of hooping for at least 10 minutes every day then join the In2Hula 10 Minute Club Facebook group.
If you would like to purchase an In2Hula hula hoop then you can get one here