I hear it all the time when I talk to people who "can't" hoop. They say it in all kinds of ways.
"I can't do that", "I can't hula hoop", "I haven't done that since I was a kid so I can't do that now", "I would never be able to do that", "I am too old for that", "I am not flexible enough for that", "Guys can't move like that". "Only kids can do that", "Adults aren't supposed to be able to do that"... and so on!
I am here to tell you the top 5 reasons why these excuses just won't fly.
You only THINK you can't do it! Brace yourselves for a reality check!
1. You're Moving your Body in Circles
The #1 thing that people don't understand about waist hooping (sometimes called hula hooping) is that you DO NOT move your hips and bellies in a circle to keep the hoop moving. You MUST do a front to back, side to side, push-pull motion! The hoop is the only thing that will be moving in a circular motion. You must move in a front to back or side to side motion. See the graphic (I drew in Paint) below.
2. You're Using the Wrong Hoop
The #2 thing people don't know is that only certain hoops will work! If you are an adult and you are still trying to use a hula hoop from Walmart, Target, the Dollar Store, or another department store, you are using a KIDS hoop. You are no longer a child and those hoops are not likely to work out for you for several reasons. I will list them and then explain.
- The hoop is too small
- The hoop is too light
- The hoop is too slippery
The reason I say the hoop may be too small is that everyone is a different size and shape. A small, petite woman with a very small waist line may succeed with a kid's hoop but that may be because her waist is the same size as a child's waist. At a workshop, I had to teach a small 5 year old girl how to hula hoop with a large, 40 inch adult hoop. Most adults need a bigger hoop to match their bigger waist. The bigger your waist, the bigger the hoop should be. Some people say that the hoop should reach your belly button. That is not accurate because many tall people have small waists and many short people have large waists. The waist size is a better way to determine the hoop size.
Here is a comprehensive article on exactly how to size your hoops: How To Choose Your Hoop Size
- My student Ashley holding up my largest hoop in hoop class! This one is 50 inches!
Buy the correct sized hoop here: https://www.thespinsterz.com/beginner-hoops
Even if you have a small waist and you start off with a small hoop, that may not work out. Even if you have a big waist and you start off with a big hoop, that may not work out either. It all depends on other factors which will be explained in the remainder of this article.
The reason you may want a hoop that is heavier is because of how it sticks to you as it moves. A light hoop isn't likely to sink into you and hold on. It is more likely to touch your waist without grabbing on. A Heavy hoop will dig a bit deeper into your body and give it something to hold on to. See graphic.
Beware because heavier hoops can give you bruises more easily than others due to how far they push into your skin and tissues. If you get bruised, let the bruises heal before continuing. Get Arnica Gel at the store to help relieve any pain and make the bruises heal faster. It can be found near the antibiotic (Neosporin) ointments.
All department store hoops come without grip. The hoops you purchase from etsy or other specialty hoop shops will give you the option of getting grippy tape on the hoop. The tape is called gaffer's tape or spike tape. It is a mix between tape and fabric and it sticks to clothes and skin much better than a slippery, normal plastic hoop. The picture below shows what the grip tape looks like. (In pink, orange, green and yellow.)
- photo credit: circlesofjoy.com
If you absolutely cannot afford a hoop with grip tape or to buy a roll of grip tape, you should try to get some hockey tape or some clear medical tape. Those are pretty easily found at many stores like Walmart.
3. You Aren't Properly Motivated
One of the biggest reasons I see people fail is because they couldn't care less whether they get it or not. If you don't really have the desire to learn and build this new talent, you aren't going to succeed. Only those who have a genuine interest in hooping will succeed. The rest will just see it as a temporary boredom relief. You must RESPECT hooping for the beautiful, amazing art form that it is. Otherwise, you're probably going to end up quitting before you learn much.
If you are searching for reasons to be passionate about hooping, just spend time around passionate hoopers. They will show you how happy they are and how healthy and amazing it can be. Watch videos on YouTube of professional hoopers and hoop dancers. Research the large amount of benefits of hooping. You may be very surprised!
Most of the time, people interested in hooping will judge themselves before others will judge them. You have to decide if it is YOU who is telling yourself negative things or if it is really other people. More often than not, other people completely support hooping. Are YOU the one that is stopping you?
You may have some un-supportive and judgmental people in your life. If you are terrified that they will make fun of you and discourage you when you hoop, you are in for a hard time. You can't let them scare you. If at all possible, you may want to cut them out of your life completely. Anyone that hurts you may not belong in your life. You must do this for yourself. Don't let others control your life decisions.
Hooping quickly becomes a lifestyle change that makes you happier, healthier, and different than you were before. It may be time to make serious changes. Odds are that hooping isn't the only thing they are trying to stop you from doing. Your best bet is to nip this in the bud NOW.
Look deep inside yourself and say "I am going to be happier and do this for myself, despite what others may think".
5. You Haven't Taken a Class or Lesson
Don't underestimate the power of an instructor. You wouldn't typically find someone trying to learn ballet, gymnastics, or karate all by themselves. Those really do require an instructor with experience. Much of hooping CAN be self-taught and learned from YouTube. However, not everyone is made to be able to do this alone. Some students are incapable of learning without someone there to help them move their hands and explore why they aren't doing the moves correctly. You may want to learn with someone who has had at least a year of field experience teaching students how to hoop.
Instructors have experience with knowing all of the reasons why a specific move or trick will fail. They are likely to be able to tell you what goes wrong before you even have tried it. Their job is to make sure you succeed. Let them do their job.
Are you feeling more confident now? I hope so!
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~Written by Melissa Stockwell