1. Find the rhythm
Yep, you heard it. As vague as it sounds, I want you to spin your hula hoop and feel the rhythm. Waist hooping is largely about pushing into two opposite points, or areas. If you imagine a circle, focus your pushing (with your belly) into two opposite points on that circle. As you get jiggy with it, you’ll notice this backwards and forwards motion smoooooth right out. It might feel something like “da-det… da-det… da-det… See if you can find that.
A lot of people tense up and forget to breathe when focusing on something new. I’m here to tell you that waist hooping is wayyyyy easier if you remember to breathe! You might even like to breathe in for 4 rotations (or 4 tummy touches) and out for 4 rotations to help you stay focussed on breath. Which brings us to…
3. Use those abs
Yep, everyone’s got em. Using your core and tummy muscles is distinct from tensing up your whole body and forgetting to breathe (we’ve all done it). The key is to find the feeling of using your ab muscles for easier waist hooping. This will come over time with both consciousness and repetition. Over time, engaging your ab muscles will come more naturally and eventually become second nature. If you do really feel it the next day, don’t stress! Sore abs doesn’t mean bad! It means you’ve used your muscles and they are getting stronger. The tightening sensation you will feel when you are waist hooping is your muscles strengthening! Cooool.
4. Play music
Sounds simple but having a jamming beat while waist hooping can mean the difference between feeling like an awkward wonky donkey and a beginner waist hooping maestro, trust me. Feel the groooove and move!
5. Rock and roll baby
Use your feet! Consider where your feet are placed. Waist hooping with your feet apart makes it easier. Go an “A-frame” stance or one foot in front of the other. Feet together? MAXIMUM OVERLOAD 1OX SUPERPOWER.
6. Do a spin
Yerp, make a pivot. Not a dancer? Neither am I! I’ve got a great 1 minute section in a live video introducing how to turn and how to pivot while waist hooping here. If I can do it you can do it. Going for a turn with your hoop actually slows it down for a moment (thanks science) and gives you a beat to a) catch your breath and b) push into and find the rhythm while waist hooping again.
7. Find your centre, and repeat the motion.
Yes, yes! This is important! Waist hooping is essentially the reproduction of a simple pattern. Grip the ground with your toes, keep your feet flat, suck your knees up into your thighs, squeeze your butt, switch on your abs and push front to back, side to side or on a diagonal. No need to be a drummer to tap into this wisdom. Find your groove, find the motion, and repeat. The more you introduce WAGHARGHH big floppy movements, the harder waist hooping becomes. Lock in to your centre.
8. Reverse it
And put your thang down, flip it, make it worth it. Ooooo Missy, she was onto something. Temporarily reversing the spin of your hula hoop for a minute will help keep things even, balance out those back and core muscles and it will mean that when you switch back to your “natural” direction, the way your waist hooping feels better at the start, it will feel a little easier.
9. Push into the sad side
Oooo yes. It helps if you have a friend point out where your hoop is sagging while waist hooping, or you can use a mirror. This little tip will do wonders for flattening out your hoop and making sure it stays parallel to the floor. Push into the sad side – because it needs more love and energy! This will flatten it out.
Along with staying the course in your repeated motion, like anything waist hooping is about perseverance. What seems impossible now is just a matter of time, focus and attention away – whether that’s two months or five years. Working on something for only 60 seconds at a time every day = 6 hours of training over a year. That’s more than I’ve ever spent learning how to yodle, so get back in ya hoop and get waist hooping.