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For a lot of us, the hula hooping we grew up with is already a bit of a challenge, but adding those extra pounds can take things to the next level in terms of boosting aerobic health. Assembly took probably five minutes and, besides the near-tragic mishap that occurred when I didn’t fully lock one of the bendable poles into its adjacent piece (it slingshotted back at my face before I could even blink), I’d consider it fairly effortless to put together.

After weeks of waiting, I finally had my weighted hula hoop in hand, and I was eager to take it for a spin (literally). Though I would consider myself a prodigy hula hooper (I won a contest at a backyard barbecue in third grade, no big deal), I definitely had to reorient myself on how to use it–especially with the added two pounds that were likely going to throw me for a bit of a loop. Within three minutes, my heart is typically pumping at a speed walk or jog rate (for me, around 130 bpm), and I am sweating. And since I could do it from the comfort of my living room in pretty much whatever attire I wanted, it was really easy to just grab it and start hooping without much effort or planning.

Picking a playlist I love, watching TV, or listening to a podcast definitely helped to pass the time. Another big downside to hula hooping is that while you’re getting your heart rate up and activating your core, you’re missing out on opportunities to practice other functional movements.

I do use hula hooping as an additional way to get some cardio in, but I don’t use it as an excuse to skip other full-body movements like stretching, yoga, or HIIT workouts.

Now that I’m recovered, I use it as a tool to help me get moving on days where I’m feeling particularly unmotivated, as a way to make TV time more efficient, or as a warmup to other forms of working out like yoga, lifting, or running.

I’ve bought plenty of less useful items under the influence of the TikTok, so this solid addition to my workout routine is a 10/10 in my book.

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