Is hoola hooping safe/good?

My daughter with HEDS loves to hoola hoop. I've been encouraging this because we are trying to build her core strength. But I recently read an article that a major benefit of hoola hooping is increase flexibility in your spine, which sounds like the last thing we would want. Has anyone ever heard anything about hoola hooping and EDS?

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I'm sure it is fine! I'm not a doctor, but I don't think flexibility of the spine is a bad thing, just too much flexibility. Having those core/back muscles will prevent so many other problems. If it doesn't hurt, go for it!

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I do hula hoop dancing when I can (HEDS/POTS) and had a period of several months where I was hooping almost every day, so I hope my experience can be useful for you!

I found it to be the only exercise that has never injured me. I also have an undiagnosed chronic lower back problem which is sometimes helped by the "massage" of the hoop, and when I've been able to hula hoop dance regularly I've found my muscle tone much improved with far fewer symptoms.

The only thing I've had to be careful of is "throwing" the hoop while doing tricks, since my shoulders like to pop out and that's a motion that can go beyond the circle of the hoop and therefore into hyperextension, but it sounds like your kiddo isn't doing the tricks, just the basic hooping, so that shouldn't be a problem.

I had one doctor express slight concern about my hips with hula hooping (as hip instability is my other major problem), but in my personal experience my hips have never complained about hooping. My core definitely benefited, and during the time when my hooping overlapped with my shoulder PT, my posture improved dramatically.

One thing I will note is that there are LOTS of different kinds of hula hoops these days. There are many choices of tubing as well as diameter and finish. While this is mostly the domain of "dancers" and can be somewhat spendy, I did make one choice based on my EDS once I began hula hooping up and down my body, especially down past my knees: I mainly use polypro hoops for that because they are much lighter and more flexible. Using a "regular" hoop on my shins leaves me bruised to high heaven!!! Polypro is fast and slippery, so it's harder to hoop with, but that might be something to consider to keep your daughter interested once she's mastered the basics.

Hope this helps, and feel free to message me if you're looking for any additional resources on hooping! :)


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Depends on how her hips are. I know when I do the hula hoop exercise on Wii Fit, my left hip "thunks" causing pain. If no problems with hips, and it doesn't seem to cause any issues or pain, I say go for it!

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