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Hooping has evolved into a blend of dance and aerobics.
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Children have used some form of hoop as a toy for centuries. According to вЂњHooping: A Revolutionary Fitness ProgramвЂќ by Christabel Zamor and Ariane Conrad, Egyptian children swung stiff grass hoops around their waists in 1000 B.C. In 1958, Americans bought 25 million plastic вЂњHula HoopsвЂќ when the toy was put on the market. Modern hooping has transformed into a cardiovascular workout that involves the entire body. In contrast, situps are a body-weight exercise that targets your abdominals for strengthening.
Type of Exercise
Hooping can be compared to other types of aerobic activities that provide a total-body workout, such as cardio boxing, step aerobics or boot-camp fitness programs, according to the American Council on Exercise. For a 30-minute session, you can expect to burn about 210 calories. Situps are a type of calisthenics exercise for which you use your own body weight to strengthen your abs. If you weigh 120 pounds, you can expect to burn about 135 calories per 30 minutes doing moderate calisthenics, according to the Harvard Medical School website. If you weigh 155 pounds, that calorie burn increases to 167 calories. The calorie burn for hooping is higher than that of situps, and it's also difficult to perform situps for an extended period of time.
A situp not only strengthens your abdominal muscles, but also the hip flexors and lower back. In contrast to a crunch, the situp requires you to lift your lower back off the floor, which puts stress on your hip flexors and activates the core stabilizing muscles along the lower spine. According to вЂњEffective Hooping -- Workout or Child's Play?вЂќ by the American Council on Exercise, when you perform a hooping workout, you'll typically use a large hoop, ranging from 37 to 45 inches in diameter, and weighing between 1 and 4 pounds. Because these hoops are heavier than the plastic ones of the 1950s, you can keep them rotating around your torso for longer periods. The rhythmic swaying movements of hooping can condition your arms, back, abdomen and legs.
While you can add resistance to a situp, such as holding a weight plate, the movements of the exercise are fixed. To balance your abdominal workout, you'll typically add other types of exercises, such as crunches, leg lifts or twists, involving different movements. Hooping involves a single piece of equipment that can be used for a range of movements. You can shimmy the hoop up and down your torso, or push the hoop out to your right and left sides at shoulder level to work your arms. As the hoop revolves around your waist, you can perform dance steps, such as step touches or pivoting on one foot, according to Zamor and Conrad.
Similar to skipping rope, hooping improves your motor skills, hand-eye coordination, flexibility and balance. You also have to develop a sense of rhythm to keep the hoop rotating around your body. In contrast to rope-jumping, hooping doesn't put as much stress on your joints. According to Dr. Edward R. Laskowski on MayoClinic.com, if you can keep the hoop moving for at least 10 minutes, it can qualify as part of your weekly aerobics regimen. Situps can build your core muscles, so you have greater stability and more power for various sports, such as running, swimming or tennis. Because you're also strengthening your lower back, situps can help to relieve back problems, according to the University of California, Berkeley's вЂњThe New Wellness Encyclopedia.вЂќ