Calories Burned Hula Hooping

Photo of author
Published On

Hula hooping is a well-known activity but sometimes gets underestimated. The number of calories burned when hula hooping is decent.

Swinging a big ring around your waist is definitely more active than just sitting still.

The average person can expect to burn around 133 – 229+ calories per 30 minutes of hula hooping. This number will vary from individual to individual due to a variety of factors.

For example, a 125-pound (56 kg) individual will burn around 133 calories during 30 minutes of hula hooping. On the other hand, a 215-pound (97 kg) individual will burn around 229 calories during 30 minutes of hula hooping.

If you hula hoop regularly, these numbers can add up nicely. One thing to keep in mind is that there are also plenty of hula hoop alternatives that can burn more calories.

On the other hand, personal preference still plays an important role in a good workout plan.

This article will also show you a more detailed chart that takes multiple factors into account, how long you have to hula hoop to burn certain calorie counts, how to burn more calories with hula hooping, and more.

Biggest influences on calories burned

A fact that many people find annoying is that the number of calories you burn while doing something like hula hooping is hard to predict and measure correctly.

This fact can make things like weight loss feel like a guessing game when you are trying to balance these numbers with the calories in food.

Even so, good estimations for the number of calories burned with hula hooping can be a helpful starting point. By taking a few important factors into account you can make your estimations more accurate.

Some of the biggest factors that influence how many calories you burn with hula hooping include:

  • Weight: To move around your body needs energy, measured in calories. The more you weigh, the more energy your body needs to fuel its movements.
  • Body composition: Body composition is how much of your body weight is made up of different tissue. Two people can weigh the same but for one individual most of the weight can come from fat while the second individual has a lot of muscle. The reason that is important is that the same weight of muscle requires more energy than that weight in fat.
  • Intensity: If you’re looking at calories burned per minute of hula hooping this can vary a lot by moving your body at a fast vs slow speed. Additionally, there are hula hoop routines that engage the rest of your body too.
  • Weight hula hoop: There are different types of hula hoops. Some of them intentionally weigh more to make it so hula hooping burns more calories and engages your muscles more.

Hidden calorie burning from hula hooping

There are many other aspects that make it even harder to put how many calories you burn by hula hooping into an exact number. This includes the fact that the calorie-burning effects of hula hooping are not limited to during the workout.

As mentioned, how much you weigh plays a relatively big role in how many calories you burn. This doesn’t just apply to your workout, this is also the case during everyday activities.

Some people also build or preserve a small amount of muscle mass by hula hooping, especially with weighted hoops. This amount of muscle mass will definitely not be as much as something like weight lifting but it does help you burn more calories day in, day out.

It is however extremely hard to put this amount into a number since this muscle mass will be so different from person to person. Individuals more experienced with resistance training will likely not build any muscle by hula hooping.

Next, doing an activity at high intensities can also cause something called “afterburn”. This is basically having an increased metabolism for a while after you stop doing the exercise.

Lastly, by moving more you influence the levels of certain hormones that in turn can benefit your metabolism.

Estimations for calories burned from hula hooping usually don’t take these effects into account.

Estimations calories burned with hula hooping

Most people know what hula hooping is but the exact number of calories burned with this activity is not the most studied subject.

That being said, the intensity of hula hooping is comparable to certain styles of dancing like belly, hula, swing, and salsa dancing.

This comparison allows you to make more precise estimations. To calculate calories burned during certain exercises more specifically you can use a formula with MET values.

A MET value is an exercise-specific value to indicate how intense a specific type of workout is. This number represents how many times more intense the activity is compared to sitting still.

You can use this in the following formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute

With the exercise comparison above, the estimation for the MET while doing the different dances above, and thus hula hooping, is 4.5 (1).

You can look at the number of calories burned with hula hooping from different perspectives. The first table will show the calories burned with the MET estimation of hula hooping for different weights and time intervals.

The second table will show you how long you should hula hoop to burn 100 calories depending on how heavy you are.

Again keep in mind that these are estimations. This formula doesn’t take into account certain important factors that do influence the number of calories burned with hula hooping.

Additionally, to put these estimations into perspective, 100 grams of boiled potatoes contains about 87 calories (2).

Calories burned with hula hooping

One of the most convenient ways to see how many calories you burned while hula hooping is by looking at how much time you spent doing it.

Weight Person
1 Minute15 Minutes30 Minutes45 Minutes60 Minutes
125 Pounds (56 kg)4 calories66 calories133 calories199 calories266 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)5 calories82 calories165 calories247 calories330 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)7 calories98 calories197 calories295 calories393 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)8 calories114 calories229 calories343 calories457 calories
Chart of calories burned with hula hooping

How long to burn calorie counts with hula hooping

It is also possible that you have a specific goal in terms of how many calories you want to burn with hula hooping. Below you can find estimations for different calorie counts and different weights.

Calorie Count
Weight Person
100 Calories300 Calories500 Calories
125 Pounds (56 kg)23 minutes68 minutes113 minutes
155 Pounds (70 kg)18 minutes55 minutes91 minutes
185 Pounds (83 kg)15 minutes46 minutes76 minutes
215 Pounds (97 kg)13 minutes39 minutes66 minutes
How long to burn calorie counts with hula hooping

How to burn more calories with hula hooping

The number of calories burned with hula hooping is certainly not something set in stone. There are a few ways you can increase this amount per time interval.

The challenge for most people is fitting in activities in their busy schedules. They want to burn as many calories in the least amount of time, which means burning more calories per minute of hula hooping.

If you do have more time, spending more time hula hooping will generally burn more calories although at some point overtraining may cause the reverse. This risk is not that high with hula hooping but it is possible.

A more obvious way to burn more calories while hula hooping is doing this activity at higher intensities and doing routines that engage multiple body parts. At some intensity point, you also get the added afterburn effect.

The second way to burn more calories with hula hooping is by using weighted hula hoops.

Lastly, you can also build extra muscle mass with resistance training. This will increase your body weight in a healthy way and in turn, help you burn more calories while hula hooping.

Can you lose weight from hula hooping?

One pound of body fat is about 3500 calories (one kg +-8000 calories). How long it takes to see weight loss results from hula hooping will also depend on the number of calories in your diet.

One person might eat more than the other. This might make it so they need to exercise longer or more intensely to see the same weight loss results. You can even lose weight without exercising so there are many factors that influence it.

15 minutes of hula hooping a day could help you burn an extra 820 calories in 10 days which is about 0.23 pounds of body fat. 30 days 2460 calories (= +- 0.7 pounds of body fat) and so on…

Keep in mind that losing weight too fast can be suboptimal. In general, a 500 calorie deficit per day is considered to be a healthy weight loss rate.

Hula hoop weight loss studies

The number of studies about hula hooping and its weight loss effects is small. That being said, these studies do show a few interesting findings.

One small study with 16 participants tried to measure exactly how many calories were burned with hula hooping. The average of their results was about 7 calories per minute or about 210 calories during a 30-minute workout (3).

The obvious limitations of this study are the small number of participants and the lack of distinction between different weights, body compositions, intensities, etc.

Two small studies with in total 66 participants both observed that a 6-week training program with weighted hula hoops was effective for reducing waist circumference and other health benefits (4, 5).

Muscles worked by hula hooping

Hula hooping mainly work muscles like your obliques, abs, glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings, and lower back.

If you are relatively inexperienced when it comes to resistance training, hula hooping could help you grow and strengthen these muscles a tiny amount. Especially if you use a weighted hula hoop.

For individuals more experienced with resistance training, hula hooping is likely not enough to build a lot of muscle mass.

Both groups of people generally benefit from giving their bodies enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow their muscles after an intense hula hooping session.

Should you hula hoop to burn calories?

As you can see, hula hooping is an activity that can burn a nice amount of calories. That being said, there are plenty of other activities that can help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.

Due to personal preferences, you can choose hula hooping anyway. Consistency is an important factor in a good workout plan.

If calorie burning is your main goal and you hula hoop regularly, implementing some exercises in your schedule specifically for building muscle can be helpful.

The extra muscle mass will help you burn more calories day in, day out, including during your hula hooping sessions.

Also keep in mind that the things you eat stay important no matter what exercise routine you’re following. It’s hard to out-exercise a bad diet.

Photo of author


Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.