Friday, January 21, 2011

The How To's: Basics of Leg Hooping

Leg hooping is a fun and much requested move - but, it can definitely seem daunting at first!

There are lots of great videos to assist you in learning new hoop moves, but everyone's learning style is different. I have always liked written directions in front of me when learning something new. I find my mind can connect to my body much more easily if I have a narrative it can follow.

In case you are like me - here are some detailed directions on how to perform some hoop basics!
Leg Hooping:
  1. First isolate to which direction you naturally hoop. I hoop to the left, meaning that when I launch my hoop I give it a push to the left to begin.
  2. This is important, because once your hoop is down at your legs the leg to which your hoop is moving (in my case, left) will be the ‘propeller leg.” This means that it is the one moving to keep the hoop spinning. Your other leg will stand still acting to steady you as you hoop. 
  3. Begin waist hooping in your natural current. 
  4. Slow your movement down and you will notice the hoop drop to your hips and then to your thighs.
  5. When the hoop is at mid thigh begin moving your propeller leg very rapidly in small circles.

Wait, that’s it? Uhm, Kym, my hoop totally fell...

That’s okay! The move is simple to break down, but there are many ways the body can react to these instructions. Here are a few trouble shooting tips if your hoop keeps dropping:
  • Remember to keep a narrow stance. When you are making circles with your propeller leg, make sure that your knees are close together, even gently grazing each other with each revolution.
  • Tempo is important! If your hoop continues to fall it is most likely due to your speed being too slow. Each time the hoop hits the front of your propeller thigh say the word “now” aloud. Even if you only get it going one or two times, you will notice just how quickly your leg needs to go to maintain the hoop.
  • "Knee hooping” is a misnomer - if you are actually hooping directly on your knee it is very difficult to maintain the spin. It also hurts! Start propelling your leg at mid thigh - start higher than you think you need to until you get the feeling for the move! 
  • Circles people, circles!  Is your leg jutting forward before the hoop has made contact with your propeller thigh? Are you performing a kicking action, more than smooth, small, quick circles? You can notice this if your hoop “jumps” each time it seems to come around. You can hear (and feel) a thud on your leg indicating your movement may be too early.  
  • Glue your foot down - later you can walk while leg hooping, but in the beginning, so that you are not tempted to kick out, envision gluing your propeller foot down while creating the circle. Your foot may be pointed, but your toes should always remain in contact with the ground.

Give it a try! What do you notice? How many times can you get the hoop around without it dropping?

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