This is an ode to the people daring to do things differently. Why use two wheels, when you can use one? Join us as we explore freestyle unicycles, giraffe unicycles and for the adrenaline seekers among you, mountain unicycles.  For those teetering on the edge of curiosity we’re shedding light on the ideal beginner unicycles and breaking down what to look for when starting. Unpacking the wild history of the unicycle, its links to the infamous Penny Farthing and exploring the unicycles reputation today.

WHAT YOU NEED IN A UNICYCLE

Unicycles fall into various categories depending on their intended use. Its important to understand your needs and requirements and what you want to use a unicycle for before buying. Check out our great guide below on the perks of different models and find the right one for you.

Trainer Unicycles

Does exactly what they say on the tin (Or box). Trainer unicycles are ideal models for first time riders and those learning. They are affordable and robust enough to deal with the bumps that inevitably happen during the learning process. Once you’ve nailed the skills on this you may want to branch out to one of the other following unicycles.

Kids Trainer Unicycles

Indy 16″ Trainer Unicycle- For children ages 8 and up as well as smaller adults, made from robust strong steel that can handle even the roughest of practice sessions, very popular model.

Qu-Ax Luxus 12″ Trainer- Ergonomic seat, Chrome silver finish, plastic pedal with safe surface to limit danger, changeable bumpers for personalisation.

Qu-Ax 12″ Balance Trainer Gen 2- Balanced with stabilisers, 12” wheel and chain propulsion system, teaches riders to change direction using their weight

Adult Trainer Unicycles

Qu-Ax Luxus 20″ Trainer Unicycles- Premium, excellent quality, Includes a second seat post for growing riders, seven finishes with contrasting colour details

Club Freestyle Trainer Unicycles- This entry level uni has been designed with the young unicyclist in mind, works great as a trainer and as a freestyle unicycle.

Indy Standard Trainer Unicycle- Most popular model, great basic unicycle at an affordable price, solid construction, slick finishes.

Freestyle unicycles

If skills, stunts and tricks are what you’re hoping to get out of your unicycle then the freestyle is ideal for you. Most models are optimised for indoor use featuring very few metal parts on the exterior that could damage the ground (or laminate, or carpet, maybe find somewhere else to practice). Generally they have a smaller wheel which is perfect for trick usage. These are meant for more agile moves than trial unicycle.

Indy Freestyle 20” Unicycle- Higher specification freestyle model ideal for urban unicycling, double walled alloy rims make it super strong, flat top forks for one legged tricks,

Qu-AX 24″ Professional Freestyle Unicycle- Developed by Qu-Ax in conjunction with a French unicycle basketball team (yup, real sport), Ideal for other unicycle based sports and aggressive stunts and tricks.

Giraffe unicycles

For the entertainers who don’t suffer from vertigo! If there’s one thing you’ll notice about these its there height. On a normal unicycle the pedals are mounted to the wheel shaft but with the giraffe being so tall a chain drives the pedals to the wheels. As these range in height from 3 ft- over 10ft you’d need some seriously long legs were it not for that chain.

Indy 1.5m 20″ tyre Giraffe Unicycle- 1.5m single chain unicycle, Deluxe and comfortable seat, non slip pedals to ensure no accidents.

Qu-Ax 1.5m Giraffe Unicycle 20″ Wheel- Strong and robust performance unicycle, exceptional build quality, anodised aluminium rims.

Trial unicycles

These are designed specifically for unicycle trials, where riders navigate obstacle filled tracks without any part of their body touching the ground. These are stronger than typical unis in order to withstand the various jumps and drops that occur during trials. They’re also fitted with smaller wheels that allow for better manoeuvrability and bigger tyres, ideal for shock absorption.

Indy Trials Unicycle- 19″ Unicycle- Rugged trials unicycle designed for aggressive and experimental use, packed with features reserved for models with a much bigger price tag.

Qu-Ax Muni 20″ Starter Unicycle- This unicycle I deal for riders keen to explore urban unicycling and is equally at home with some very basic off-roading.

Mountain unicycles

Riding a unicycle can be challenging enough but going off road is a whole new challenge. Thankfully there are some fantastic unis that have been developed to handle just that. Mountain unis come with thicker, wider tyres that improve shock absorption and make light work of unsteady terrain. Most models also feature brakes because after going downhill on a mountain you will want to slow down.

QX Series Muni 24″ Black – Disc Brake Unicycle- Features everything you could want in a mountain unicycle, Disc brakes offer more precise and consistent braking across different conditions.

Qu-Ax QX Muni 24″ Disc Brake Unicycle- Q-AXLE system- Disc Brake Unicycle- The latest generation in technical downhill unicycle models, Durable, light and super rigid, precision German engineering.

Touring/Commuter unicycles

Built for serious unicyclists that wish to ride for longer periods commuter unicycles are all about preserving comfort and lessening the toll they can take on your legs. Their large wheels and gear systems allow riders to cover greater distances in less pedal rotation. Definitely a lot less hassle than taking the tube around London!

Qu-Ax QX 36″ ‘Q-Axle’ Profi Disc Unicycle This super light unicycle is fitted with Shimano disc brakes and Qu-Ax’s innovative Q-axle system.

Qu-Ax Luxus 36″ Marathon Unicycle- Built around a huge 36” wheel to get you far in no time, a single turn of the pedals will take you 2.85m forward.

The more unusual side of unicycling

Ultimate/Impossible wheel

This is the most basic form of unicycle, consisting of two pedals attached to a single wheel, no seat, no frame. As the wheel is much smaller faster, tighter pedalling is required which can be quite difficult to master which is why we recommend getting to grips with the motion on a Pedal Go, at four wheels instead of one it’s a lot less daunting but will help you nail the movement in no time.

Twin Unicycle

Never unicycle alone again. A testament to the madcap unicycle riders who fancied another challenge. Each unicycle can turn independently of eachother allowing you to perform a variety of spins and smooth moves. Attracts a lot of smiles and quizzical looks.

If you thought that was very specialist you’ve haven’t seen anything yet.

Kangaroo unicycles

You didn’t think unicycles could get any more inventively eccentric? You thought wrong. How about mounting one of the pedals backward. Instead of the usual method of pedalling, left, right, left, right. These require your feet moving together in a hopping motion hence the name kangaroo. In order to aid this motion, the hub is placed off centre on the wheel causing riders to bob up and down. They have to be seen to be believed.

And for the O.G’s of unicycling. The Penny Farthing. A surreal bike for ladies and gentlemen. Qu- Ax have put together their modern take on the Penny Farthing, that’s as unusual as the original but built with the incredible efficiency and quality we’ve come to know from Qu- Ax.

SO WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?

The unicycles journey began with the invention of the bicycle. The journey towards the creation of the bicycle is a story of triumph in ingenuity, each new version building upon the last. The unicycle however was a journey into the obscure, a testament to the human daring appetite.

In the Late 18th century, the Celerifere, an early precursor of the modern bicycle was invented. Made from wood, it lacked pedals and the ability to steer requiring riders to run with it to propel themselves forward. 

In the early 1800s The Laufmaschine was a new take on the concept, however it added the ability to steer. The next big leap was the addition of pedals and a name change to velocipedes (Latin for fast foot). In 1968 the first company began manufacturing pedal driven velocipedes commercially. Over the next few years more developments were made with rubber tyres and metal wheel spokes.

1871 gave us the Penny Farthing and were it not for this British invention we may have never had unicycles. As the pedals were connected to its huge front wheel, riding the Penny Farthing would cause the back wheel to lift. Riders became accustomed to seeing how long they could ride with the rear wheel in the air. The unicycle was essentially invented by accident… by talented show offs. 

Since the unicycle required incredible skill and balance to ride, many users became entertainers. Today unicycles still have a connection to feats of incredible talent but its reach has grown. Just one sweep of YouTube will reveal how big this once esoteric bit of fun has now become. Whether its being used as ‘alternative transport’ or in the show off spirit of its original inception. It’s celebrated across the globe in various competitions where its daredevil users are lauded as athletes. Just one look at a unicycle would make you question the practical nature of it but one ride of it will make forget why you ever even asked.

NOW HOW DO I DO IT?

Learning to unicycle is just a case of putting mind over matter…and then pedalling your heart out. Looking at it, in all its one wheel glory its easy to question how you’ll ever be able to stay up on it. But confidence, faith and reminding yourself that it’s not impossible will get you very far.

In theory remaining on the unicycle and propelling yourself forward is just a juggling act between staying balanced, leaning and continually pedalling. You mastered it on two wheels when you learnt to cycle so mastering it on one wheel is entirely within reach.

Follow this video below for a great tutorial on how to mount, ride and dismount your unicycle.

The secret, according to vice president of the International Unicycling Federation Scott Wilson is to “Just ride”. Of course he also says that getting to that point requires a lot of falling off first. “It takes a long time to learn, and it takes the willingness to fall down and get back up.”

Finding the right fit.

Once you’re sat on the unicycle, your leg should be almost straight when its sitting on the pedal in its lowest position. If the leg is still bent a lot at this position then you should find a unicycle with a longer seat pole.

Taking precaution.

Although riding a unicycle isn’t considered dangerous as with any activity that could present risk it makes sense to prepare. Especially while you’re learning when the risk of falling is that much higher. Just like you would with a bicycle a helmet is a necessity. We strongly recommend knee and elbow pads and wrist pads while you’re getting used to the unicycle.

Where to learn.

In an ideal world there would exist a smooth uninterrupted hallway with handrails either side available just for would be unicyclists, unfortunately there’s not (If there is please let us know). However, a wall or ledge you can comfortably lean against in a clear and level area is a perfect substitute.

Mounting your uni

Stand behind your unicycle, not to the side like you would a bike. Put the saddle between your legs, put your dominant foot onto its corresponding pedal, ideally with the pedal at the 9 o’clock position. Now bring your other foot off the ground, as you do this allow your weight to go to the dominant foot, the pedal will move and you will roll forward, quickly put your other foot onto the pedal and keep cycling. You did it! Hold onto a wall or someones shoulder for support to make it easier.

Dismounting your uni

It’s the same process for getting on but in reverse. Stepping back like walking down the last rung of a ladder.

Just ride

Counteracting forward movement with backward movement on the pedals will cause you to rock back and forth, which is a great way for getting a feel for the unicycle. In the words of Scott Wilson “It’s gonna feel weird at first, but the longer you spend on it, the easier it will be”. Once you’ve mounted you have to get moving or risk unbalancing yourself. Lean forward and start pedalling. On your first few times don’t be surprised if you lock up or experience stage fright and are unable to pedal. Just keep trying and you’ll crack it in no time.

For more information follow this video below for a great tutorial on how to mount, ride and dismount your unicycle.

WRAP UP

Whether you’re a total beginner or an avid unicyclist, a unicycle window shopper or a fan eager to add another to your collection, here at Flames ‘N Games we have an amazing range of unicycles at a range of prices so there’s bound to be one that’s just right for you. As always follow us online for all the latest in circus equipment and juggling toys and look out for another article very soon.

Diabolo Article


What comes up, must come down…rather fast and hopefully landing onto a string. Playing with the Diabolo dates back over 1,000 years, during that time it has passed through the hands of nobility and peasantry and rolled across seas and channels leaving its mark across the globe.

This child’s toy of wood and bamboo origin has become a precision engineered, perfectly balanced piece of kit that’s revered by many and mastered by some (It takes some practice!). Since its reinvention in the early 1900s as a metal construction with rubber rims, put together with scrap metal and bits of old tyres (True story), companies globally have sought to create the ultimate Diabolo. One that can handle grinds as well as falls, handle extreme speed without wobbling at slow speeds, a diabolo that’s as easy for beginners as it is challenging for experienced users and of course still look great doing it all.

The ever popular Diabolo as seen throughout history.


Getting to grips with a Diabolo (or Diabolos if you’re feeling adventurous) is easy to begin with, mastering the motion of rolling it back and forth to gather speed, understanding how to stop it from tipping, these all come with minimal practice. It’s only when you start trying to learn catches and tricks that the learning curve becomes slightly harder but fear not there’s a wealth of tutorials online and in this very article that’ll help you.

Choosing a Diabolo-
Fixed axle Diabolos.

Most beginners start with a model like the Juggle Dream Jester or Mr. Babache Harlequin, its fixed axle handles low speeds without becoming unstable and can offer inexperienced users a better understanding of the mechanics of a Diabolo. Fixed axle Diabolos are also required for tricks that require tension on the string making these Diabolos more than just for beginners.

Juggle Dream Jester
  • Great intro diabolo made from tough multicoloured rubber
  • rubber cups, smooth lightweight plastic hubs and a metal axle
  • Available in 9 great designs
Henrys Vision Diabolo - Green
Henry’s Vision
  • The Vision has been a staple of the Henry’s diabolo range for many years .
  • The Vision cups are made front a frosted, opaque urethane, the same material used in skateboard wheels.
Mr. Babache Harlequin
  • The most popular Mr Babache diabolo of the range.
  • Perfectly balanced & its thicker than usual axle makes it accelerate a little faster too!
  • Great for those who like close body moves i.e leg & hand passes
Epic A- Dream
  • Perfect for finger tricks and stick-grinding due to its larger axle
  • Though being a new company, they’ve already gained amazing reviews from diaboloists

One-way axle Diabolos.

As you progress, you’ll want a Diabolo that’s better suited to retaining a high speed and capable of rapid acceleration, key factors in some tricks! For this purpose, you’ll require a one-way axle Diabolo (Also referred to as a Bearing Diabolo or clutch axle Diabolo). These allow users to build momentum more quickly as bearing axles lack the friction fixed axles create which makes them excellent for rapid tricks and tossing, however, they’re less stable at low speeds than a fixed axle.

Juggle Dream Jester Bearing
  • A great medium-sized diabolo perfect for beginners
  • The Jester bearing offers unbeatable performance at this price
Cyclone Quartz 2
  • Beautiful triple bearing clutch one way diabolo with firm see-through cups!
  • Superior stability which will spin for up to twenty times longer than the standard diabolo
The fantastic HyperSpin TC Bearing Diabolo Pink .
Hyperspin TC Bearing
  • Officially the world’s longest spinning diabolo
  • Featuring an extremely fast triple bearing axle system
Juggle Dream Big Top
  • The extra wide axle makes tricks like finger grinds much easier and the Jumbo sized (129mm) cups make it very stable at all speeds.
  • Constructed from tough, scratch-resistant TPE, the Big Top will handle drops from even the highest throws

Diabolo variations.

Modern Diabolos are never understated. As a key part in circus performance and juggling displays, Diabolos have colours and striking looks weaved into their D.N.A. But enough is never enough and now some modern Diabolos are available with eye-catching LEDs, as glow in the dark versions and even more impressive, with Fire!!

Diabolo handsticks

But where would a Diabolo be without Diabolo handsticks? The same place a rocket would be without fuel, on the floor that’s where. As a necessary accompaniment to your Diabolo selecting the right handsticks is an important choice! Traditionally handsticks were wooden with a medium weight rope thread between them. Many varieties still exist of this basic design, in fact, it’s the ideal set for Diabolo beginners. Wooden Diabolo handsticks are light, capable of handling all sorts of light knocks and bumps (expect there to be a few when you’re first starting off), affordable and light.  

Fibreglass Diabolo handsticks are the next step up in quality from wood. They’re equally hard wearing and lightweight but the addition of their slightly flexible shaft lends them well to handling grinds and throwing tricks. Another advantage of fibreglass sticks is their foam silicone handles that ensure comfort for long periods of play. They’re also available in a wide range of striking colours you can match to your diabolo for an eye-grabbing set.

If you’re looking for something that’ll take a bit more of a beating than Fibre sticks, we recommend aluminium Diabolo handsticks. These sleek sticks are the all-around performer that excels across all your requirements. Some varieties are heavier than others so its definitely worth doing your research as the heavier the stick the harder some sticks tricks will be, like ‘Suicides’.

Carbon fibre Diabolo handsticks offer maximum strength in an extraordinary light package. The lower friction on the surface of the carbon sticks offer super long grinds and their slick appearance give them a very premium look. With any type of handsticks, the rope will need replacing eventually. Fixed axle Diabolos tend to cause more friction and therefore degrade the rope quicker than the same amount of use with a one-way axle. But fear not, ropes are easily available and affordable and just like changing the strings on an instrument will bring a fresh feel so will a new rope to your Diabolo.

So with your chosen Diabolo and sticks in hand, we can start looking at mastering the basics. This video covers getting your Diabolo spinning and off the ground. It’s a basic motion of rolling side to side and using your dominant hand to keep spinning the axle.

What you may notice during spinning the Diabolo is at certain speeds it might start to tip or lose balance and require a bit of correction. This skill is a necessity as being able to recover your Diabolo will allow you to have endless fun without having to restart from the ground.

It may see like a bit of a leap but now you can spin your Diabolo, effectively gather speed and bring your diabolo back on course you’re ready to start throwing and (hopefully) catching.  

Now practice, practice, practice and stay tuned for our future article covering beginner Diabolo tricks, covering everything from stick grinds to tension tricks!

Follow us online for even more great Diabolo content.

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Yo-yo beginner to Yo-yo pro

In todays post we unravel the very interesting history of the Yo-yo, help you beginners on your journey to turning pro and explore the different types of Yo-yo available to you. Here at Flames ‘N Games we have a premium selection of professionals Yo-yos and Yo-yo accessories for users of all abilities, so why not take a peek?

Around the world. History of the Yo-yo.

To say the Yo-yo has an interesting past would be an understatement. Its roots lie in Ancient China but since its arrival the Yo-yo’s presence has been felt throughout history in Greece, Egypt, the Philippines, India, France, Germany, England and even in the depths of space. Adopting a new identity everywhere it went. Yo-yos have been a childs toy sacrificed to ancient Greek gods, the must have symbol of the aristocracy, a companion to those running from a peasant uprising, a president’s plaything and a distraction for someone on their way to the guillotine.

L-R: President Nixon 1974, Greek vase from the 5th century BC, General Lafayatte 1780s, an early Greek clay Yo-yo, 1791 illustration, 1862 illustration.

Whilst its origins can’t be pinpointed exactly it’s widely believed that the Yo-yo originated in China and spread from there. Renderings of Yo-yo type toys have even been found in the Egyptian pyramids. The earliest historical mention of a Yo-yo is in Ancient Greek pottery from 500 B.C. Vases depicted these early versions made from clay, wood or metal being played with by children. It was custom that old toys would be offered to gods as a form of growing up ritual. Its thought that the clay versions were for this purpose.

The Yo-yo made its way to France during the French Revolution, by way of the upper classes. It was at this time that many members of the French aristocracy fled the country as their way of life was at threat from peasant uprisings. For the unfortunate nobles who were sent to the guillotine their glass and ivory Yo-yos acted as stress relievers to release the tension of their soon to be end.

In England, the Yo-yo was known by the French term ‘Bandalore’ and eventually as a ‘Quiz’. In 1791 a print depicting a young George IV playing with his Bandalore caught England’s attention and made the yo-yo the must have toy for the gentility and people of fashion. Its popularity akin to the playground crazes of today.

The Yo-yo or Improved Bandalore as it had become known arrived in the United States in the mid 1800’s in the form of a patent for a modernised yo-yo toy with a weighted rim. Over the next 50 years many patents were published for similar toys utilising a new return wheel function that allowed the toy to return to the user. In 1916 an article exploring Filipino toys branded the toy as a Yo-yo, the Filipino word for ‘come, come’ or ‘to return’.

Whilst the yo-yo was travelling the world, the people of the Philippines had been hard at work making refined, intricately carved wooden Yo-yos and becoming rather skilled with them. In the 1920s, native Filipino, a young Pedro Flores travelled to the United States bringing with him a new style of Yo-yo. This new style utilised a loop around the axle instead of a knot which allowed the Yo-yo to be able to ‘sleep’ at the end of its string.

Flores’ invention was extraordinarily popular, he toured with the product entertaining crowds with his skills. In the late 1920’s, businessman Donald F. Duncan Sr. witnessed one of Flores’ shows and so convinced of its popularity he purchased the idea of the Yo-yo and Flores’ company. It was from this moment that the Duncan Toys Company began producing Yo-yo’s, a company that’s has endured till today.  

L-R: Pedro Flores portrait, Restringing Yo-yos

That’s the history lesson done. As you can see the Yo-yo isn’t just a playground toy, by using a Yo-yo you’re joining the long line of people throughout history who have used one.  Now isn’t it about time we got to grips with how to use it?

Getting Started

Once you have your Yo-yo you’re ready to start learning some tricks. The basic motion of up and down is easy and intuitive enough thanks to gravity so out first step is finding a move/trick to learn that uses this motion. However our first priority is learning how to launch the Yo-yo. Check out this great video below which covers all the important steps you need to cover as a beginner, everything from how to hold it, winding the Yo-yo string, how to make the Yo-yo return and dealing with twisted string.

Get to grips with First Yo-yo’s beginner guide

You can learn tricks from multiple places. As the Yo-yo has a huge following its community is very welcoming to new users and fortunately provide countless tutorials across the internet. One of our favourite resources is https://yoyotricks.com/, which covers everything from beginner to the most advanced tricks. There are also a wide variety of books to buy on the sport, produced by some of the biggest brands in Yo-yooing. Now you’ve got the moves locked down its time to explore the different types of Yo-yos available.

Types of Yo-yo

Yo-yos today can be broken into five different ‘play styles’ relating to their abilities and strengths. Outside of these styles you can find them made from multiple materials and in different shapes.

Classification of play  

Before choosing a Yo-yo its important to decide whether it’ll suit the play style you prefer. Some Yo-yos can be used for multiple styles.  

1A Yo-yo

1A Yo- yo Advanced Yo-Yo– These are the next step in Yo-yos. They’re made from high quality materials and are able to out perform more basic Yo-yos, perfect for those looking to step up their Yo-yo game. A great model would be the Infinity Blaze Pro Ball Bearing Yo Yo.

2A Yo-yo

2A Yo- yo Looping- This technique emphasizes keeping the body of the Yo-yo in constant motion, without the Yo-yo sleeping. The weight is concentrated in the Yo-yos centre so it can easily rotate around the axis without its mass creating resistance. A great choice would be the Henry’s Tiger Snake Yo-Yo.

3A Yo-yo

3A Yo- yo Two handed- This style of play uses two Yo-yos, one in each hand. This allows the user to operate an incredible array of mesmerising tricks. The Duncan Strix Yo-Yo is an excellent 3a Yo-yo.

4A Yo-yo

4A Yo- yo Offstring Yo-yo– These Yo-yo’s don’t have attached string, instead of an up and down movement they are able to move freely, being manipulated by bounces or rolls off the string thats held between the fingers of the user. They are utilised in a similar way to Diabolos but as they’re much smaller they can do a wide range of up close tricks, balances and spins. These require an incredible amount of dexterity and skill to master but look fantastic. Suitable for this would be the Infinity Atlas Moth Yo-Yo.

5A Yo-yo

5A Yo- yo Counterweight or Freehand Yo-yo– 5A style involves using the finger loop of the string in the tricks, the finger loop will usually have some form of counterweight instead of being tied to the users hand. This allows the string loop to be swung beneath the Yo-yo and thrown, adding a whole new dimension to your play. Our recommendation is the Duncan Metal Drifter Yo-Yo.

Yo-yo shape


Butterfly The wide, flared shape allows users to land string tricks easier. Within Butterfly there are many variations that offer different benefits.

Classic (Imperial)- This traditional shape is the classic Yo-yo most people know and love. The elliptical shape is separated by a thin gap.

Raider- The most popular shape for 2A styles of play. Raiders can also be used for string tricks making them an all rounder.

Wrapping up

Whether you’re a seasoned Yo-yoer or you’re yet to take your first spin its easy to see why the Yo-yo has such enduring popularity. Its embraced people in the furthest reaches of the globe and been passed through countless time periods and now it comes to you. So go out there and make history.

Hula wants to Hoops

HISTORY: The craze that went crazy.

The modern hoops we use today were invented back in 1958 but spinning hoops around parts of the body has been going on for much longer, all around the world.

Although its exact origins can’t be pinpointed, the movements of Hula hooping and using a hoop in dance were present in cultures around the world including the Native Americans and 18th century Hawaii. In fact, the name Hula comes from the Hawaiian dance.

FACT: In 14th century England Hula hooping was utilised by Doctors to treat patients suffering from various pains, dislocated backs and even heart complaints.

The Hula hoop has had its fair share of dislikes throughout its journey. It was vilified in Indonesia by toy companies who disliked its power to ‘awaken sensuality’. In Japan it was outlawed in the street after it was believed to lead to traffic accidents. However despite its opposers the Hula hoop remained strong.

The Hula hoop has now become a gold standard in displaying acrobatic prowess the world over. These days it’s not unusual to see someone using multiple hoops all across their body or combining this with forms of juggling or balancing activities. Health and fitness groups use hooping as an accessible exercise that’s fun and physically rewarding.

It’s gone through many resurgences in popularity since its worldwide spread in the 1950’s but the Hula hoop is very firmly here to stay.

HEALTH: Mind and Body benefits

Did you know 30 minutes of hooping can burn 210 calories!

The health benefits of regular Hula hooping include losing weight, toning and sculpting your abdominal muscles, improving your coordination, increasing your fitness level and improving the flexibility of your spine.

And the benefits of hooping don’t just stop at your body. There are numerous mental advantages that come with hooping. In today’s world we’re bombarded with distractions so putting your phone down and focusing intensely on hooping to the exclusion of everything else is a meditative activity that’s been shown to elevate mood levels and reduce stress.

As a low impact form of cardio exercise, hula hooping can be practiced by almost anyone and due to its minimal equipment requirements, it can be practiced almost anywhere!

GETTING STARTED: Finding your hoop

Spinning a hoop around your body, sounds easy, looks easy and after a few tries, it is, but following our guide might get you there just a little bit quicker.

First things first, the hula hoop. We cover all the options available below but for now let’s cover the basic model and the most important thing- finding the right size. Stand up straight and measure the distance from the floor to your belly button- this measurement is the diameter of the hoop you require.

PRO TIP: Most adults begin with a hula hoop between 39 and 44 inches. Hoops that are larger and heavier are easier for beginners due to the momentum keeping them up.

GETTING STARTED: Time to get moving

You’ve got your hoop, it fits, its round, you’re ready to go.

Once you’re stood in your hoop. Put one foot in front of the other to give yourself more stability. Hold the hoop just above your hips and relax it against one side of your torso. Spin the hoop- if you’re right handed firmly spin the hoop anti clockwise and if you’re left handed spin it in a clockwise direction.

Naturally you’ll want to react to the hoop by moving your waist in a circular motion but you should just move your torso back and forward. Push your stomach forward as the hoop moves across your stomach and push the hoop back when it moves across your back.

Now you’ve mastered the movement keep spinning and allow your body to learn how to react to the hoops changing tempo and pressure.

Don’t let a few drops and slips break your confidence, this is bound to happen when you’re starting off. As you get more used to the feeling of it slowing down, you’ll learn how to counter it and bring it back up to your hips.

Check out the video below for a more detailed breakdown on how to start Hooping.

TYPES OF HOOPS

Classic Hula Hoops

Available in a huge range of colour combinations these are the classic Hula Hoop. The different diameter and tube thickness options make them accessible for all body types and ages. Typically, the smaller diameter and thinner hoops are for kids however adults looking for a lighter hoop may choose a thinner Hoop in a large diameter. Due to demand a majority of these are now manufactured in a travel version that fold up to half the diameter ensuring easier transport but retaining the strength of a fixed hoop. 

Weighted hoops

These hoops are available in multiple Hula hoop weights to increase the challenge on your abs and strengthen your core. More weight builds up more momentum but it takes more strength to get them spinning. If you’re looking to get fit through Hula hoop then this is the type you’re after however we would recommend getting to grips with a lighter model first to learn the technique.

LED hoops

The 21st Century evolution adds light displays to the affair. Available in a range of multiple modes and effects, rechargeable and battery operated, remote controlled and button operated. These hoops add another dimension to any performance.

Isolation hoops

These smaller hoops are for creating mesmerising displays of manipulation outside the body. Similar to contact ball manipulations they can be moved in ways to look as if they’re hovering in the air. They can be found in multiple colours or in a very polished metal perfect for stage performances.

Fire hoops

These add an element of danger and intrigue to your spins. Fire hoops can be used for conventional spins and manipulations. Although the fire wicks are on the outside of the Hula hoop there is still a very real element of danger so these should only be used by people well trained in the use of fire props.

INSPIRATION

Now we don’t expect you to have this mastered in one afternoon as learning to Hula hoop takes time but have a look at this mind-blowing example of what’s possible!

The Guinness world record for the largest hoop spun is held by Yuya Yamada known to his friends as ‘Hoopman’. The hoop measured a whopping 16 foot 10 inches in diameter!

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