How to Do a Hula Hoop Isolations

Learn how to do hula hoop isolations from hula hooping expert Natalie "McFancy" Wise in this Howcast video.

Isolation is probably everyone’s favorite trick to watch, and I’m going to teach you how to do it.

Okay. So you’re going to start with the hoop in front of you, in the vertical plane. You want the top of the hoop to be slightly above the top of your head, and the bottom of the hoop to be about your belly button height. If you have a hoop that’s much, much larger than mine, mine is about 32 inches in diameter, which is pretty small for waist hooping, but really great for learning isolations, and you might want to try a smaller hoop just for this trick, to learn it, and then graduate to your larger hoop once you get the motion of it. So I’ve got the top of my hoop slightly above the top of my head, bottom of the hoop bellybutton height, and it’s centered with my chest. So the center of the hoop, notice where the center of your hoop is, should be right in front of your heart, or right below, right below your chin, depending on your height, and then just put your hand there to kind of get an idea of where the center of your hoop is.

From there I would like you to focus on keeping your shoulder about at that center point. What I want you to imagine is that your shoulder is the center point of this wheel, and that your arm is the spoke turning the wheel around. Okay, so we’ll start here, hoop in this position, hand at 6:00, the bottom of your hoop, keeping your shoulder at the center point, begin to rotate the hoop, or rotate your hand, rather, on the inside of the hoop, without allowing it to drop, keeping that center point nice and stationary. I have a pretty strong grip on the hoop with my hand to keep that position. So practicing just the bottom part of this isolation to start.

Then once you feel comfortable with that, you’re going to see where your hand meets, 10:00 and 2:00, 10:00, 2:00. Obviously your shoulder flexibility has a lot to do with how high up you can go. When your hand reaches that 10:00 point, you’re leading with my thumb, I’m going to hold the hoop here so just to show you this motion, you’re going to release the hoop, allow it to roll across the back of your hand, and then grab at 2:00 with the pinky side of your hand. Continue the circle down, release at 10:00, roll across the 12:00, grab at 2:00, and then continue the circle. You can reverse the direction. It’s really difficult to do this slowly, so don’t be discouraged if this is not working right away. Once you start building momentum, it will be a little bit easier to keep that floaty motion.

Now if you notice that the hoop is doing this whenever you’re rolling, what’s happening is your hand is now at your center point, and the hoop is rotating around it, so it’s more and more motivation to really crank your arm all the way around the edge of your circle. Practice both directions, switch hands, like this both hands, starting with that bottom part motion.

And that’s how you do a basic hula hoop isolation.