Warming up before you start hooping is essential to get your body and mind ready. It is also super important if you have injuries or pain in your body.
Warm up stretches and other moves also help to keep your body mobile and flexible, giving you more freedom and range of movement in all activities.
Here are 12 activating hula hoop warm-up ideas for you and scroll to the bottom for some video examples of hoop warm-ups.
1. Full body deep breaths
Begin any session with full body, rib and lung expanding breaths. Allow your inhales and exhales to fill your body with oxygen and calm your mind, letting go of any tension in your body and pressure in your mind.
2. Body Fold
While inside your hoop hold your hoop in your hand and drop your arms at full length taking a deep breath, lift you hoop up above your head, then breathing out lower the hoop down around your body until it as close to the ground as you can go. Slowly rise back up, using your breath as a guide and supporting your body to move freely. Repeat 3 or more times, finding a rhythm that flows for you.
3. Body fold and arm stretch
Place your hoop vertically behind your back. Find a comfortable hand grip position. Holding the left side of your hoop with your left hand and holding the right side of the hoop with your right hand. Slowly bend forward and carefully push your hoop toward the ground so you are stretching your arms.
Tip: If this is too much for your shoulder range of movement you can start with the hoop in front of your body and push it out and forward as you bend.
4. Body tilt
Holding your hoop vertically behind your body and tilting your body from side to side to gently open up your sides.
Standing inside your hoop holding it at waist height gently twist your torso, bring your upper body and hoop with you but leaving your feet centred on the ground, left and right. Tip: Lift one heel then the other if it gives you more freedom of movement in your lower back.
6. Cross Over
Leaving your hoop off to the side. Widen your feet to a comfortable distance for you. Place your left arm up high in the air and lower it to make it reach for your right foot. Repeat with the other arm. Alternating sides and finding a rhythm and pace that is comfortable.
7. Shoulder opener
Reach your left arm across your chest, hook your right arm underneath, around your left forearm and gently draw your left arm towards your body. Hold. Release, slowly release and swap arms. Try on both sides.
8. Tricep activator.
With your left arm reach up in the air and fold at the elbow and touch your hand your right shoulder blade. With your right arm gently grab your left elbow and draw it towards your right. Hold. Release, slowly release and swap arms.
9. Prayer hands.
Reach both your hands up into the sky, fold at the elbow and place your hands in between your shoulder blades in a prayer position. Hold. Carefully release.
Once you have released give your arms a swing.
10. Head tilt.
Always be mindful to do what feels best for your body without force or push. Start with a head tilt, gently and comfortably tilt your head to the left and place your hand on your head carefully. Softly pull your head down towards your shoulders. Hold. Carefully release and repeat on the other side.
11. Neck extension.
Gently, with your fingers interlaced behind your head for extra support, tip your head back so you are looking at the sky. Hold. Carefully and calmly release by bringing your head back to the centre. Tip your head forwards so you are looking at the ground. Optional: Lock your fingers together behind your head and gently guide your head down without too much pressure just as an added extension. Hold. Carefully release by taking hands away from the head and bring your head back to centre.
12. Ear to shoulder.
In a slow and gentle motion, tilt your head to the side taking your right ear to your right shoulder and when complete gently tilt left ear to left shoulder. Slowly and calmly try this a few times on each side.
Using these activating movements before and after your hooping sessions will bring more body awareness and freedom in your movement as well as improve your mobility and connection to your hooping skills.
Watch my Hoop Dance stretch videos
Hula Hoop Cool Down
Hoop Warm Up & Hoop Dance Fitness
5 Minute Belly Blast Hoop Dance Workout
5 Minute Ab Workout & Warm Up
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