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How to Become a Hula Hoop Champion

In April of 1987, Roxann Rose of the United States hula hooped for 90 hours straight. Bao Zongyao of China set the record for the largest hoop used in hula-hooping in November of 2008. The hoop was 51.5 ft in circumference. Also in November 2008, Xia Tao of China received the record for getting 211 hula hoop revolutions in a one minute time limit. A year after that, Paul “Dizzy Hips” Blair of the United States set the record of the most hula hoops rotating at one time at 132 hula hoops. Paul Blair didn’t stop there; instead he ran a mile in seven minutes, forty seven seconds while simultaneously using a hula hoop and preventing it from falling. As is made apparent by the previously listed world records; the sport of hula hooping is competitive, intense, and addictively fun!
Unfortunately, the sport of hula hooping is often overlooked by many people. However, the process of swinging a large hoop around your body is more than meets the eye. The hula hooping heroes who have set those amazing world records did not reach their dream by simply picking up a hula hoop one day and trying it out. These artists of the hoop went through years of training, technique, and competition. A lot of people are easily discouraged when they struggle on their first hula hooping attempt, but do not give up! The key to success is one of simplicity, just practice.
The first step in becoming hula hoop champion material is to find the hoop that is right for you. Hoops are relatively easy to find, try your local Wal-Mart for example. Wal-Mart’s hoop selection varies according to size and weight. The hoops are usually located on a rack in the children’s bike section. I would encourage you to first try a hoop that is, or resembles, your favorite color. If the hoop seems to fall past your hips the very moment you begin swaying, perhaps try a smaller hoop. Hoops come in all different sizes so be picky about which size circumference works best for your body shape. When you find the hoop that best fits you, sway it around your hips for a while. If you haven’t yet mastered using your hips, you can try your arm, neck, or leg. As you’re swaying the hoop, think about your hips (or other body part). Are they getting tired to quickly? If the answer is yes, then try a different hoop weight. Some hoops contain liquid, others a grainy substance, some are hollow, and others are completely solid plastic all the way around.

After finding that special hoop that will serve as your constant companion, it’s time to begin your training. According to numerous studies, music composed by Mozart and Beethoven is proven to increase the intellectual learning process and stimulate the mind. So, to make your training a complete success, turn on one of your mom’s classical cd’s and mentally prepare yourself for the approaching task.

When your brain is well prepared, it’s time to start stretching. Take your stretches seriously because physical injury, whether it be a sprained ankle or a pulled muscle in your rear end, is very painful. When your entire body feels nice and limber, you need to begin the hula hoop interaction activities. These activities consist of “walking the dog” (rolling the hoop away from you and catching it as is rolls back), throwing the hoop high in the air and catching it before it hits the ground, using the hoop as a jump rope, and any other constructive bonding activities you can think of.

Following at least 43 minutes of interactive activity with your hoop, begin swinging the hoop around your neck. Eventually, you can work your way from your neck to your arm, then to your hips, and finally, to your leg. It may take practice to conquer each area but, after time, you will get it! When you can easily hula hoop with one hoop for at least 5 consecutive minutes, you can try adding another hoop or hula hooping with both your hips and arm simultaneously. The trick to advancing in the hula hoop world is creativity, so be creative with your hoop!

When you feel comfortable with your hoop(s), try some hooping competitions with your friends or community. Challenge yourself often, never run out of ideas, keep practicing and you too can become a hula hoop world record champion! Good luck in your hula hoop endeavors and most importantly, have fun!



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