The Hula Hoop is one of the best old-school activities to get your pulse racing, writes Rebecca Long.

Hula hoop your way to fitness

A 50s favourite, the hula hoop has shed its Hills Hoist association for a role in Hollywood, where celebs including Zooey Deschanel and Marisa Tomei are going gaga over decidedly lo-tech coloured rings. (Don’t forget first lady with the mostest Michelle Obama’s circle work on the White House lawn.)

Choose it

Whether you see your hoop as a health aid and spring for one studded with therapeutic magnets or stick with a basic ring, your hoop should be about hip height, according to Melbourne’s The Singing Whale, which sells metallic, weighted and personalised hand made Coola Hoops and supplies Circus Oz. The bigger you are, the bigger the hoop should be. “Larger hoops will rotate a little more slowly, making it a little easier.”

Use it

Sure, the who’s who are swivelling and thrusting in glammed up hula halls and hoop-specific and circus classes are fuelling local hype, but you needn’t leave your backyard to get an incredible ab workout. Swivelling your hips to maintain the hoop’s momentum and altitude activates all your abdominals, which would ordinarily require at least three different exercises. As a cardio workout, circle work can churn through some 200 calories (two pieces of fairy bread in the old language) per 30 minutes.

Buy it

Christmas wrap-esque hoops from Coola Hoops start at $22 (regular) and $34 (weighted) and increase in price according to size and design options.


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