A guide to hooping: What type and sized hoop do I need?
When it comes to your Hoop, size really does matter!
You have different sizes for different kinds of hooping.
To excite us even more and add to our collections we have different types of hoops.
First let us look at what size hoop is best for on body waist hooping.
The stock standard answer is a hoop that stands approximately hip/belly button height is the correct size for you. Sometimes this is the case but often it isn’t.
Many people believe a smaller hoop is easier to use. Not so!
The bigger the hoop and heavier the hoop the easier it is. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule! A super duper heavy hoop can be harder because your natural rhythm wants to make faster circles and a big hoop is going to make you slow down.
In life when we try something new, sometimes we take naturally to it like we’ve done this before. At other times new things require a lot more effort. Hula hooping is no different.
For me when I picked up the hoop for waist hooping in my natural direction, it was easy, in the other direction though it was like when I tried to brush my teeth with my left hand. Toothpaste was smeared from my mouth across my face to my ear. It took some practice to be able to brush my teeth with my left hand just like getting that hoop spinning in my other direction. Why was I brushing my teeth with my left hand… well another story for another day but my right arm was outta action for 6 weeks and I tell you what brushing my teeth with my left hand was not the only thing in the bathroom that was difficult to do with my left hand!
This brings me to the whole left and right-handed hooper. I’m going off course a little but if you know me you know I do this a lot. Many of us have a preferred hand that we write with and do other stuff with. A preferred side that we carry our bag on etc. With hooping it is common that a right-handed person will hoop to the left and a left handed person to the right. Of course the exceptions to the rules apply here too; some people are ambidextrous, some people are “Goofy” hoopers (so they are right handed but naturally hoop in the other direction – this just means for many moves where they would normally use their right hand, they need to use their left).
In hooping we do advocate to learn everything in both directions and both hands.
So back to hoop sizes…
To give you an idea I’m 150cm tall & my hip height is about 85cm (I just went to measure up), so I actually do use 85cm hoops so this statement for me is true. Due to hooping for such a long time I can use smaller hoops on the body but I have to move a lot faster! The 85cm hoop seems to flow well for me…although I have a range of hoops.
What will you find in my hoop bag?
- 10 x Mini-hoops 48cm x 16mm (blue lined poly pipe): for some hand hooping and Native American Indian animal shapes
- 6 x 72cm x 16mm (blue lined poly pipe): mostly for hand hooping but I can still do a on body 3 split with these but struggle with an on body 4 split. I find this size easier when I foot hoop & roll around?
- 4 x 72cm x 20mm (Gymnastic hoops): before I discovered 16mm so I rarely use these ones now. I got them originally to do double heli-hands whilst doing a 3 split on body… something I’ve not managed as yet… due to the fact I do not practice it! (Whoops did I actually say that to the general public? Oh no my secret is out! Of course I practice but just not regularly and definitely not enough)
- 10 x 85cm x 20mm (Gymnastic hoops): for everything on body, off body, hand hooping pretty much this is my “GO-TO” hoop size! Most practical. Are harder then blue line poly pipe! I must say I am steering away from my babies a little and going for lighter weight hoops)
- 20 x 85cm x 16mm (blue lined poly pipe): I also use this size like I use the 20mm but these are nicer weigh for multiple arm hooping 2 & 3 on the arm. Or for stack hoops, getting the audience to throw these nice light weighted hoops. (These are the ones I am steering towards but I need a little tape on the inside for that little but of extra weight)
- 10 x 85cm x 19mm (Feather Light polypro from the USA): Travel styled super duper light – 4 UV hot pink & 6 other colours to make a kind of rainbow range.
- 1 x Fire Hoop
- 4 x LED Hoops
- Crazy Proud Mary Cyclone Hoop – looks like 3 hoops but it’s one!
- Recently made Squoops – square hoops!
Don’t let me get started on my workshop/party hoops:
- 40 x 16mm mini-hoops
- 4 x 72cm x 16mm (blue lined poly pipe) hoops
- 4 x 90cm x 16mm (blue lined poly pipe) hoops
- 10 x 75cm x 20mm (blue lined poly pipe) hoops
- 10 x 85cm x 20mm (blue lined poly pipe) hoops
- 10 x 90cm x 20mm (blue lined poly pipe) hoops
- 12 x 95cm x 20mm (blue lined poly pipe) hoops
- 4 x 100cm x 20mm (blue lined poly pipe) hoops
- 1 x 85cm x 25mm (blue lined poly pipe) FAB Ab Hoop
- 5 x 90cm x 25mm (blue lined poly pipe) FAB Ab Hoop
- 4 x 95cm x 25mm (blue lined poly pipe) FAB Ab Hoop
- 2 x 100cm x 25mm (blue lined poly pipe) FAB Ab Hoop
- 3 x 25mm Travel Hoops from Pretty Sticky (2 x 6 piece & 1 x 5 piece)
- 1 massive big whammy HOOP – haven’t measured it!
- 9 x LED Hoops to use for classes & parties
My, my, my….that’s a lotta hoops!!!
As you can see by my workshop hoops lots of various hoops & what are they used for?
Mini hoops are great for kids, especially pre-schoolers, for hand hooping.
Good for the adults to practice hand hooping too, less bruising & once you start doing arm work less stress on the shoulders.
Great for stack hoops!
20mm pipe (can also be 19mm) – generally we call this circus style:
This is the all round good for on & off body, hand hooping and multi-hoop hooping.
That’s why this variety is the bulk of my workshop hoops.
Pre-school kids use any of the sizes but in general little kids will go for the 75cm hoop.
Like I said “Bigger the hoop, easier it is!”
There are lots of little kids that also use the 90 & 95cm hoops.
They say an average adult sized hoop is 90cm. But how many of us are average?
25mm pipe – some call this a dance hoop, I call it the Fab Ab Hoop (my HoopFit O’Clock hoop):
I personally prefer to dance with the smaller, lighter hoop but everyone is different.
I use this pipe for my fitness classes/workshops as they are heavier. Although using multiple 20mm pipes is even better for a workout. I find these hoops hard on the hands but there are people out there that like this size for on & off body moves.
Great for hoop walking & out in windy weather!
And great for Hooptation – hooping meditation!
So what size hoop do you need?
Really it depends on how tall you are, how curvy you are and your co-ordination.
Are you a beginner? Do you still have that muscle memory in the body from when you were a child? This is why I have a variety of hoops so that I can usually accommodate the most adamant of person who says, “I just can’t do it!”
Or the person who says, “I used to be able to hoop when I was a child but I went to the shop and bought a hoop and I just can’t get it to move like I used to, it just falls down!”
Well, size does matter doesn’t it! The cheap hoops sold in the shops even kids have trouble hooping with them. They are usually light as and not very well made. They are good for hand hooping & for little kids.
And when you used to hoop as a kid, how tall were you? How big were you? What was it made of? Was it a bamboo hoop? A scratch and sniff hoop? (I wish I had one of them, I don’t recall them).
My recommendation to you is that you find a hoopologist, like Jewelz A Hoopz, and go test drive a hoop and see what size & type you really do need.
And remember even if you do need to start on a bigger, heavier hoop once you get into a regular spin practice you will find you can come down to a smaller size.
One of my very good hoop friends, who is an amazing trick hooper and does awesome stuff and teaches all around the world, rarely hoops on body. She told me that she started out with a 120cm fitness hoop. I have seen her body hoop a little & she uses feather light polypro in a 90cm diameter, admittedly it’s not sustained but she can do it!
So the old saying practice makes perfect is exactly that!