How to Hula Hoop

About: I am an engineering student at Stony Brook university, and a hoop dancer. I am, The Hoopgineer!

I do hoop dancing, and I am always asked by people how to do some of the tricks I do and how to hula hoop. So in case there are any people on here interested in getting involved in hooping or hoop dance I decided to make an instructable!

Let me start by saying that hooping and hoop dance is a fun and exciting art. It is wonderful to watch, the moves are fluid and fun, and its an amazing exercise! I've lost at least 25lbs now and approximately 3inches off my waist!

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Step 1: Picking Out the Right Hoop

If you are new to hula hooping you may not realize that there are different types, sizes, and weights for a hula hoop.

If you do not want to put in a lot of money for a hula hoop then you can purchase one from target or walmart type stores. these hula hoops are lighter because they are meant for children. These will be a little tougher to hula hoop with. Especially if you could not hula hoop as a child yourself.

If you choose to purchase a child's hoop, make sure you get the bigger size as some stores sell tiny sized hoops meant for very little children. Also, if you can, purchase a weighted hoop; one that may be filled with sand or water or something like that.


If you are willing to invest in a good hoop dance hoop, then you can find some great vendors online on amazon that make custom adult hula hoops. These hoops are a little larger and heaver then the ones you can purchase at walmart.


you can also find very heavy fitness hula hoops at your local fitness stores. These are heavy, and can have massaging beads on the hoop. Some people find these a little uncomfortable.

Step 2: How to Hula Hoop

How to hula hoop:

Start by holding the hula hoop against your back. Hold the hoop firmly with both hands and twist. make sure to keep the hula hoop against your body as you twist. Twist opposite the way you want the hula hoop to spin. Once twisted, give the hula hoop a push towards the direction you twisted from. Keep the hula hoop level with the floor as best as possible.

The video below explains two stances for hula hooping, how to stand/move in each stance, and the points the hoop makes contact with your body at in each stance.

For basic hoop tricks, see my next hooping instructable at:

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    5 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks a lot for posting this! I was talking to a friend of mine last summer and we somehow got on the subject of hula hoops (we're both scientists in our 50s - I really have no idea how we ended up talking about hula hoops :)

    I was saying it would be harder to get it started but easier to keep the hoop going if the hoop was heavier; my friend thought it would be the opposite. I was going to get some flexible irrigation tubing from Home Depot and make some hoops, filling one with sand to test out the theory, but I never got that far.

    I want to try it now! But let me ask you - was I right, or was my friend?


    3 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    You were actually correct! The heavier, larger hoops are easier to hoop and learn with. I have met sooo many people who "could never hula hoop as a child" who can magically hula hoop when I let them try my heavy travel hoop with its extender piece in.

    The heavier, larger hoops slow the motion down a little bit. Now you would think that would make it more of a challenge, but it requires less work to keep it up because it makes less rotations per minute then a small lighter one. So you have to exert less energy to keep the hoop in motion!

    If you are interested in learning hooping, then I would say try it out. It is wonderful! It is a great and fun workout for anyone any age! And if you would like to learn some tricks let me know, I'd be happy to help you out!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! I'll try it, and if it works I can make an Instructable on homemade hula-hoops, and will include a video of two 50-something guys hula-hooping (if it's not too embarrassing ;) I'll be sure to credit you for the inspiration...



    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    If you want to learn some basic tricks, or to check out a fun hooping video, check out my youtube channel:


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I just noticed that you were a Stony Brook student. I was a genetics graduate student at Stony Brook and did my research at Cold Spring Harbor Lab. Small World...