A year into the coronavirus pandemic, you'd think we would have tried every home workout in the book. But the latest fitness trend to sweep the internet proves most of us have hardly scratched the surface.
Over the past few weeks, videos of weighted hula hoops have raked in millions of likes on TikTok, with users raving about their core-strengthening, waist-snatching capabilities. Unlike most workout equipment fads, the hoops are fairly affordable — we found two types available for under $40 on Amazon.
If you're (understandably) confused by this trend, allow us to explain: Fitness lovers have turned to products like the Better Sense 2-Pound Hoola Hoop as an accessible, low-impact way to combine cardio and strength training. Since the motion of hula hooping is so intuitive, users can skip the muscle memory phase required to acclimate to a piece of complicated equipment. Instead, they move straight into an all-levels workout that raises their heart rate, engages core and back muscles, and burns serious calories.
The Better Sense hoop is a great option for anyone planning to try weighted hula hooping for the first time. It's just heavy enough to challenge your body, and its smooth foam padding eliminates the possibility of bruising. The hoop is made of eight detachable pieces that let you adjust its size, and it even comes with a complimentary jump rope and resistance band.
The hula hoop will be restocked on February 24, so if you buy one now, you can expect it to ship in a few days. Reviewers say it's transformed their approach to working out. "I hate exercise," one wrote. "But I can do this because it's fun!"
Shop now: $39; amazon.com
If you'd prefer to invest in something more high-tech, check out the SFSFE Smart Count Hula Hoop, which is snug at the waist and features a weighted piece that rotates as you perform a hula-hooping motion. The hoop's size is adjustable thanks to several removable pieces, and it has an embedded counter for keeping track of repetitions.
TikTok users who have tried similar smart hoops say they take a few reps to master, but once you do, you'll be having as much fun as you would with a traditional option. This one even lights up like the skip ball toys of our childhood, which is a major win in the nostalgia department.
Shop now: $37; amazon.com