Hula Hooping for Pregnancy
I had a wonderful and joyful pregnancy. A huge factor in feeling great was keeping active. Early on it was easy to hike, walk, and dance but as I progressed in my pregnancy, and especially during the last month, I did not have the same energy to keep moving. It was hot and hiking was too much to manage. Even a good walk would wipe me out. The one activity I was able to do, and actually still feel graceful, fluid, and strong, was hula hooping. It was something I could do that raised my heart rate, made me sweat, was low impact, and just plain old fun.
Of course, traditional hula hooping around the waist was not so easy with my increased circumference but having practiced for many years using my whole body to move the hoop around, I was able to keep it going on my thighs, chest, arms, and below my belly.
I found that days that I had back pain or stiffness were quickly remedied from a good 20 minute hooping session. The circular motion that my body had become accustomed to was useful during labor. During difficult contractions, rotating my hips as if hula hooping, helped me release tension and encourage my body to open up and progress. Hooping kept me feeling good and loving my body throughout my pregnancy.
If you are pregnant and would like to give “Hooping” a try, there are a few things to consider before starting. Firstly, choose a hoop that is large enough. A child’s hoop that you would find at a drug store won’t do. I used an adult size hoop made with 3/4″ tubing in a circumference large enough to easily rotate around my belly. The larger hoop moved more slowly which was essential since it was more work to move my body and my belly. With the changes in a pregnant body you need to avoid movements like jumping, very fast hooping, or moving from kneeling to standing quickly. Focus more on slow sweeping movements that open up chest and hips.
Melissa Ramaekers is a bodyworker serving the Pasadena area and an avid hula hooper. She specializes in deep tissue and prenatal massage, with over 12 years of diverse experience in structural and holistic healing. Her work leaves clients feeling lighter, peaceful, and free of pain. She works with men, women, and children ranging from age 3 to 98 and continues to explore new techniques by researching, experimenting, and working regularly with other bodyworkers and healers. And, you can certainly catch her daily spinning a hula hoop on her hips.