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Catherina Zeta-Jones Hula Hoops For Exercise

Here are 5 reasons you should try hula hooping too.

Catherine Zeta-Jones has a secret fitness weapon: Her hula hoop! The 51-year-old actress showed off her bikini body and mad hula hooping skills on Thursday with a super fun new Instagram video. "In a twist," she captioned the impressive demonstration. What's the backstory with Catherine's exercise of choice and is it effective? Read on to learn all about hula hooping as exercise and see photos that prove it works—and to get beach-ready yourself, don't miss these essential 30 Best-Ever Celebrity Bikini Photos!


Catherine Has Been Hula Hooping for Years

In 2012, Catherine revealed to InStyle that she hula hoops every day. "I'm obsessed with hula-hooping. I do it for 20 minutes a day. I don't use the old-fashioned hollow plastic kind we had when we were kids, but I discovered a new one at Danskin that's smaller and weighted," she explained. 


It's a Great Aerobic Exercise


Dan Bowen, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Philadelphia based HIT Fitness explains that hula hooping is a safe and fun way to burn calories and body fat, improve your balance, coordination, and strengthen your muscles, "and the best part is that it's inexpensive and easy to start, and you can do it anywhere and anytime." 


These Are the Muscles It Works

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Shea McAdoo, CITYROW Go and SLT instructor based in New York City explains that hula hooping is an incredible low impact workout. "The core and obliques will get the most focus, but the legs aren't forgotten," she explains. "Staying low and grounded will fire up your glutes, quads and hamstrings. Adding some fun arms will target the upper body increasing the full body burn."  


It Can Help Scorch Calories

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Per the Mayo Clinic hula hooping offers similar aerobic benefits to salsa, belly, swing, and hula dancing — including salsa, hula, belly and swing dancing. Women can burn about 165 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping and men can burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping.


There Are Different Types of Hula Hoops


There are two types of hula hoops, the one children use and weighted versions a la Catherine. Weighted hula hoops are bigger and heavier and therefore more effective to use as a workout tool. Bowen suggests opting for a weighted hoop if you want to reap the maximum fitness benefits. If there is resistance in the form of weight, "your body has something to fight," he explains. 


It's Also a Fun Workout


Multiple studies have found that people are more likely to exercise if they enjoy it. If hula hooping is something you enjoyed as a kid, you should consider giving it a whirl. Bowen is a big advocate of infusing enjoyment into your workout, especially "something fun and different from weights and kettlebells like using a hula." 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more