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JAMhoops Laboratory

High quality hoops for the everyday hooper!

Traveling with Hula Hoops

Margaret BrownComment

Whether you're traveling by car, plane, or boat, figuring out how to travel with your hula hoops can be tough. You might be going overseas for a vacation or semester abroad, to a music festival with your festie fam, or just going for a hike. No matter where you're headed, finding the best way to travel with your hula hoops is essential. In this article I'll provide suggestions for a few different ways you can travel with your hoops.

 

Coiling your Hoop

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This is the most basic way to make your hula hoop smaller. When ordering from most hoopsmiths, your hula hoop will be shipped coiled down. This is exactly what your hoop will look like when you coil it down to travel. All you'll need to coil your hula hoop down is a roll of painter's tape, your hula hoop, and your hands! First, you'll need to disconnect your hoop and start to slowly coil it into a smaller circle. Once you have it at a good size—24" OD in diameter for traveling by plane—you'll tape the middle and the sides. JAMhoops recommends taping in at least five spots so the hula hoop doesn't get warped or one spot doesn't have too much pressure exerted on it. You shouldn't leave your hula hoop coiled down for long periods of time. The longer it is coiled down, the more likely it is to warp and lose its shape. When you're traveling, you might not have extra time to let your hoop uncoil. It's very important to keep these things in mind when considering what method of transportation you'll be using to travel with your hula hoops.

 

Sizing

 Different Diameter JAMhoops

Different Diameter JAMhoops

Consider what kind of hooping you'd like to do on your trip and what size hoops you're comfortable using. Also keep in mind the duration of your trip. It might not be wise to bring three different sized hoops on your week-long trip to the Alps. Do you really need to bring your 38" OD 7/8 HDPE from your beginner days? If you normally use bigger hula hoops it's still possible to travel with them. However, I'd suggest using the smallest hula hoop you're comfortable hooping with for traveling.
 

Traveling by Car

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Traveling by car is certainly the most popular method of transportation. However, luggage and people in the car might make it difficult for you to find a place for your hula hoops without them being crushed. The picture above shows how JAMhoops—and many other hula hoopers for that matter—suggests you store your hula hoops for car travel. Strap your uncoiled hula hoops to the ceiling of your car to avoid them being warped and getting in the way of your passengers. Bungee cords are the ideal choice for this type of storage because they can stretch to accommodate any size hoop. Hula hoops can be quickly removed and placed back in store while traveling.

The alternative is to pack your hula hoops in the car last. If you pack your hula hoops last, you can easily place them on top of all the other items in the car. They might shift during travel, but this ensures they will be protected from being bent or crushed during the car ride.

Traveling by Airplane

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From my own personal experience, there are many ways to travel on planes with hula hoops. I HIGHLY recommend traveling with smaller hula hoops as there is limited space in the cabin. However, if you're traveling with a hula hoop (or several hula hoops) over 24" OD, you must coil them down to at least this size to fit through the X-Ray scanner. Traveling the skies with your hula hoops requires confidence and persistence. I have broken this section down into helpful steps:

Step 1: Prepare for security. While in the security line, you should begin prepping your bag to be placed on the conveyor belt and follow all other standard TSA rules (i.e., take out your laptop, take off your shoes, take out your liquids). You don't want to hold people up, and your hula hoops might cause a small disturbance or confusion. Before you go into the body scanner, a TSA agent may ask what your hoop is. You should be courteous and reply calmly: "It's a hula hoop and is my dance/performance prop". The TSA agent may ask you to step aside. This is no cause for alarm.

Step 2: Boarding the Plane. There are two ways to go about this depending on how long your flight will be.

Option 1: Coil your hoop down and attach it to your backpack or carry-on luggage. When you board the plane, store your backpack underneath the seat and your hoop (coiled down to AT LEAST 24" OD to fit through the X-Ray scanner) will fit along with it. Alternatively, at this size your hoop will be able to fit in the overhead storage compartment. If you have a layover, uncoil your hoop and find a spacious area where you can flow while you wait for your next flight! However, be sure you have extra painter's tape or velcro strips to recoil your hoop for the next leg of your journey.

Option 2: Hockey players and other sports teams are allowed to bring their equipment aboard planes simply by speaking politely with the flight attendant. This is a great method if you're traveling with more than five hula hoops. When you get to the boarding gate, walk through the jetway and onto the plane. There will be a flight attendant standing right when you walk into the cabin. Explain to her/him what your hula hoops are, and ask if you can place your them in a storage spot. Storage spots on planes are behind the last row of seats in each cabin. There is about a 4-5” wide gap where your hula hoops and other sports equipment can be easily stored.

Option 3: If the first two options aren't ideal for you, this is the option that requires you to be neighborly. Upon walking up to your seat and before you sit in your assigned seat, ask your neighbor in the seat next to you if it's okay to store your hula hoop in between the window and the window seat. Many people don't have a problem with this at all. Some people will even offer you the window seat (but don't bank on that!). A good way to be sure you have enough space for your hoops is to book a window seat when you buy your plane tickets or when you check in for your flight (depending on which airline you're flying with).

Traveling by foot for Hiking, Festivals, Performance, & Workshops.

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Traveling with your hoop on foot is definitely a lot easier than the other forms of travel. However, unless you have a sectional hoop, you'll be carrying your hoop wherever you go. Hiking while holding a hoop is difficult. So I have some hands-free recommendations for you. You can also apply this technique for traveling around festivals, family vacations, or to the beach!

Hoop holders and carabiners are the number one choice for people traveling with their hula hoops on the go. JAMhoop Holders (pictured below) are found on the JAMhoops website on the Shop JAMhoops tab on Add-On page. You can find carabiners at virtually any store near you that has a sports or outdoors section (Walmart, Target, Cabelas, or online at Amazon). The one I have, pictured above, I purchased from Walmart (I found it in the camping section) is more like a bungee cord with two carabiner clips at the end. It's adjustable so I can carry multiple hoops with one clip! You can also find one on Amazon!

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Hoop bags and Hoop Huggies are my favorites for traveling to gigs, workshops, and other places where I need multiple props and hula hoops. JAMhoops recommends wreath bags from Amazon, where you can get a large bag or small bag. These are perfect for protecting your LEDs from inclement weather while also carrying multiple hula hoops (or other props) at once. Ordering your bag a bit larger helps if you want to carry multiple hoops or if you don't want to coil down your larger hula hoops.

I bought my hoop bag from EmzHoopzDesignz. They make beautiful hula hoop bags with pockets. The pockets allow for easy storage of your batteries and other accessories and it has a carrying strap. I bought a 27” bag because I usually hoop with this size or smaller. My bag can usually hold 4 to 5 hoops, plus my minis and my silk veil fans. This is perfect for when I'm busy traveling and have multiple performances in one weekend. The bags are made from stretchy material and won't damage your hoop! Plus you can customize them to your favorite colors.

 EmzHoopzDesignz Hula Hoop Bag

EmzHoopzDesignz Hula Hoop Bag

I really hope this article was helpful for all your travel needs. Be sure to comment below and let me know if these suggestions worked for you or if you have any unique travel tips. We love feedback!

Also if you are interested in a new hula hoop or other flow prop be sure to use my discount code EMILYG10 at the JAMhoops checkout!

Happy Travels & Hooping!!

-Emily Gandolfo

JAMhoops’ Tips, Tricks, and Hints for Beginner Hula Hooping!

Margaret BrownComment

Congratulations on taking the first step into what can be an incredible journey! Hula hooping can change your life if you let it! Remember to be patient with yourself along the way. Here are a few helpful tips that can make learning how to hula hoop a little easier. 

1) In the beginning the amount of hula hoops available can be overwhelming, there are many different types of hula hoop tubing. What tubing is best for beginners?
In my opinion, I have found Polyethylene (more commonly referred to as PE) tubing the best for beginner hula hoopers. It is thick, durable, and heavier than the other hula hoop tubing that is available. The hula hoops with more weight are important for building muscle memory and keeping momentum when first starting. JAMhoops offers gorgeous beginner hula hoops so you can still have that pretty tape you love! (visit the Beginner JAMhoops page) Once you start to advance or just want a lighter hula hoop you can move on to HDPE or Polypro tubing. 

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2) What size hula hoop is best for you?
An important part of getting started is picking the right size diameter of your hula hoop. Some people say the correct way to find your size is to measure from your belly button to your feet. Ultimately, it comes down to your body type to determine the best hula hoop size! In the beginning, I truly believe it is necessary to have a larger hula hoop, if you start too small it can be difficult and ultimately discouraging. I think 34” to 38" is a good starting point for most people. Everyone is built differently so it is hard to give definitive beginner size but JAMhoops is always happy to give advice and help make sure your first hula hoop is everything you need and want it to be! Just shoot JAMhoops Limited an email!

3) It is important to focus on the basics of hula hooping. I know you want to toss that hula hoop around and be a hula hoop ninja from the beginning but to get to ninja status you must start with the basics!
Focus on waist hooping in both directions! I can't stress enough how important it is to learn hula hoop tricks in both currents. Meaning, if you tend to waist hoop clockwise make sure you learn how to waist hoop counter-clockwise as well. It is good to learn tricks with both your dominant and non-dominant hand as well. Once you get farther into your hula hoop journey and begin to combine tricks together you will be thankful you took the time to learn on both sides! It is also very good balance for your body, so one side isn't constantly being neglected. Once you feel you have mastered waist hooping, you can start to walk around while you waist hoop, and from there you can try working on moving the hula hoop up and down your body. You have to unlock the key movements in your chest to move the hula hoop upward. This can be difficult but once you feel it click you will get better and better! Deanne Love's YouTube channel was a HUGE help to me in the beginning of my hula hooping journey and I highly recommend checking her out!
 

4) Once you feel comfortable enough with the basics you can begin to teach yourself some tricks! Hoop Tricks has an amazing list of hula hoop tricks and tutorials to choose from! I recommend starting with basic isolations. They are aesthetically pleasing and once you nail down the basic isolation (often referred to as an iso) you can do many different variations of that hula hoop trick. A few other beginner hula hoop tricks to try are the vortex, the weave, the mandala, the wedgie, and both back and chest rolls. 

5) If you have a local community of flow artists reach out to them!
Take a lesson or a class if that is available to you because watching other hula hoopers is inspiring and you can learn so much by watching. You can also find a friend to hula hoop with! If you don't have any resources like that around and don't have anyone who is interested maybe introduce hula hooping to a friend! You can also stay continuously inspired by watching the numerous videos on YouTube or Infinite Circles Community on Facebook.

That last sentence leads me into my 6th and final tip.... 

6) Do NOT compare yourself or your journey to anyone else. Ever! We are all different, we have different taste in music, we live different lifestyles, we move differently, we feel differently, and most of all we learn differently! A hula hoop trick that took me three months to learn may take you two weeks. Or a hula hoop trick that took you two weeks to learn may take someone else three days. It all depends on how much time and energy you can devote. Some of us can hula hoop all day every day and some of us can't. Some people learn incredibly quickly and can nail a hula hoop trick after seeing it on video two times. Some of us need a more hands on approach to learning. It is important that you be patient with yourself and stay focused and determined. Practice makes progress! Be proud of yourself for every little or big hula hoop trick you accomplish! Don't be afraid to seek out help from the community. People are usually very willing to help out a newbie on their journey! 

I hope I have answered some of your questions as a beginner hula hooper and you feel a little more confident in beginning your journey with hula hoops! Remember to have fun because that's really what it is all about! 

- Rachel Brown

https://www.jamhoopslimited.com/beginner/

10 Ways to Improve Your Hooping and Other Flow Arts!

Margaret BrownComment

10 Ways to Improve Your Hooping and Other Flow Arts!

1. Stretch

Stretching is extremely important to reaching your potential. It increases your range of motion enabling you to do many more tricks with greater ease. It helps to clean up planes, improves your posture and protects you from injury. Not to mention, it allows you to attain some very beautiful poses like the ones linked below.   

                        Romina Micheletty                Lisa Lottie       

2. Explore other props

Do not just be a one-prop stop. The more props that you use, the higher your learning curve will be. All of the flow arts synergize to create a well-rounded flow with a more comprehensive understanding of the technical breakdown of all flow arts. Have you hit a plateau? Try a new prop. It will get you to think outside the groove that you may have become accustomed to. The translatability of the different flow arts allows you to transfer the new movements you have just picked up back to your old prop. Suddenly you will level up! Often igniting a renewed passion for that prop and the flow arts in general. The more props you use, the easier it becomes to learn a new one. You often skip the beginner’s stage entirely. All props are related. Branch out; you’ll thank me later. Here are some props to explore: Poi, 8 Rings, Contact Balls, Staff, Dragon Staff, Buugeng, Fans, Clubs, Devil Sticks

3. Utilize complementary practices

Similar to the synergy created by using multiple props, having other complementary practices can enhance your progress in the flow arts. For instance, dance, yoga and meditation can help improve your body control, fluidity and focus. Often after a good yoga session or a deep meditation, you will find it much easier to get into and stay in the flow state. Your muscles are warmed up and your mind is clear of distractions. 

I highly recommend trying an isolation tank, also known as, floatation tanks or sensory deprivation chambers, and seeing how it facilitates the flow state and enhances your creativity. Isolation tanks are basically large enclosed bathtubs that are filled with extremely dense saltwater that automatically makes you float and feel weightless. The water is the same temperature as your skin so your body loses awareness of its presence. Additionally, it is pitch black and completely silent so your brain does not receive any sensory stimulus.  This allows you to enter into a deep meditative and relaxing state.  You may find that afterwards, you will have a boost in creativity and you will immediately enter the flow state when you pick up your prop. Tricks that may have been eluding you for a long time, suddenly become trouble-free.

4. Drill

Another way to easily access the flow state, and in turn make progress, is to drill. Sometimes drilling even simple things such as spinning the hoop around your hand in different points in space for a minute or two can tighten up your planes tremendously and initiate a flow state. When a trick feels sloppy, drilling is how you clean it up! When you’re having an off day and you keep flinging your hoop, try some drills and then go back to your free flow. I guarantee you will feel an improvement. The muscle memory you get from drilling will help to keep your movements clean and smooth. Precise planes are how illusions are created and your transitions look and feel effortless. I recommend taking the first 10 minutes of each practice to drill and see how much more you get out of every session. 

5. Find Balance

Balance is extremely important to your progression and life in general. If you only hoop or spin in one direction, you will be restricting yourself from many tricks such as fountains and 360’s. Your flow will be missing symmetry, which could even build up uneven musculature and can potentially be harmful to the health of your back. It is very important to do all tricks in both forwards and reverse.  Anything that can be done forwards can be reversed. Once you learn both directions, anything can be done while turning in 360s. One way of learning reverse of any trick is to stall and try and do the exact motion you were doing backwards. Also you can play a video in reverse to get a visual understanding of what you are trying to do.

6. Watch others

Another hugely beneficial thing to do is to watch other hoopers or flow artists for inspiration. The online community has allowed us to freely exchange creative concepts and in turn the collective skill level of the flow community has exponentially increased. Don’t be afraid to incorporate different qualities that you admire in other flow artists into your own expression. We are the sum of our experiences. You are still uniquely you as you combine different aspects of different styles into your own. It is okay to borrow ideas from other artists. That is how we all grow. Just because someone may have a signature trick that associated with them, does not mean it is off limits to you or that you are an imposter by using it. Different tricks and concepts are no one’s to claim. If you do not take the time to watch others, you will miss out on loads of inspiration. 

7. Watch yourself

Watching others can really boost your progress but watching yourself may be even more beneficial. A mirror or your shadow is a great tool for immediate visual feedback on what you are doing. It can help you to iron out mistakes, clean up tricks and remind you to work on the dreaded flow face. Watching yourself from a 3rd party perspective can greatly improve your understanding and solidify neural pathways enhancing coordination. Additionally, it may help you focus on the little things like pointing your toes and pretty hand movements that really give your flow the final oomph. 

Another way to watch yourself is to watch videos. This allows you to see whether you are moving correctly without becoming too reliant on immediate visual feedback. I recommend recording as much of your practice as possible. Not only will it help you improve, but it will also help you to get used to videotaping yourself and you can overcome camera shyness. 

8. Watch tutorials

I have encountered numerous individuals who have stated that they do not ever watch tutorials and are entirely self-taught. While that is notable, I think it is unwise if you are trying to progress swiftly. Often tutorials help to break down moves in ways that you may have not yet thought of. I suggest even watching tutorials at night before bed without attempting them. Since most of your progress actually occurs during sleep, it gives your brain the chance to process the information. Then you may find yourself able to do the trick the next day without much difficulty. 

Some tutorials that should be apart of every flow artist’s arsenal include:                                    

Drex Factor’s explanation of the Vulcan Tech Gospel: http://www.drexfactor.com/weirdscience/2015/11/25/vulcan_tech_gospel_vtg_explained


Home of Poi’s Learning Section including sections for all flow arts

http://www.homeofpoi.com/us/lessons_all/teach/
     

Hoop Tutorials

http://www.hoop-trix.com

 

9. Use variety

Variety is the spice of life. Similar to varying the directions of your spinning to achieve balance and using a variety of different props to achieve well-roundedness, there are other ways to vary your practice that will do the same. Some things that you should change up include the speed, timing, dimension and level of your spinning and the number, size and weight of your props. These things will help to make your flow more dynamic. You should also vary the type of music you listen to during your practice. Certain genres can help to facilitate certain styles of spinning. For instance, Liquid Dubstep or Chillstep is great for slow flow while Hardstyle is perfect for fast breaks. Likewise, practicing without music can also help you to find the natural rhythms of the movement itself. 

10. Face-to-face skill exchange

Lastly, one of the greatest things you can do to aid your progress is to participate in face-to-face skill exchange. This can be as simple as having flow sessions with other flow friends in your area. Or you may want to travel to a flow festival. Flow festivals can help you to make intense leaps and bounds in your practice. They usually consist of a weekend of intensive training with exposure to the latest and greatest techniques. Not to mention you are able to receive personalized feedback on where you may be going wrong while learning a new trick. This allows you to learn many more tricks or concepts in a time period than if you were trying to learn from a tutorial or on your own. 

We hope that these tips can help take your practice to the next level! Let us know in the comments any tips you may have that we didn’t mention and share this with any friends that you think could benefit. ☺ 

Written by: Crystal Smith

Fitness of Hooping

Margaret BrownComment

Fitness of Hooping

When Wham-0 produced the modern hoop in the 1950s I doubt they had any idea that their new toy would be used for anything but child’s play. What else could such an invention be used for? How about a health craze!

Most adults haven’t picked up hoop since they were kids. When they try it again, they’re surprised how much effort it takes to keep that hoop around their waist. That’s because hooping is a killer cardio workout! Dancing and spinning around in a hula hoop for 30 minutes can burn around 200 calories! The best part is it feels like play instead of work like traditional treadmills can be.

Off body hooping can completely change how ones arms look. Isolating a hoop is like holding and moving a little weight through the air. With each rotation you can feel your arms burn a little more. 5 or 10 minutes of drilling isolations and your arms will be heavy and sore.

Hula hooping is the ultimate core workout! The basic pumping of the hoop is a great simple way to focus in on those abs. Practicing moving the hula hoop up and down the body teaches you amazing control of your muscles all while increasing their strength.

Mayo Clinic states that a person should get an average of 30 minutes of exercise a day. Though this is common knowledge, many people can’t keep with an exercise routine because they become bored with it or it’s out of their way; like having to travel to a gym. By choosing hula hooping as an exercise you have the fun of dancing and reminiscing but you can do it right in your own home.

So the next time you’re thinking of how to up your exercise go back to play! Grab a hula hoop and head outside. It will give you a killer workout, sculpt those muscles, and actually be a FUN fitness experience!

By Brittney Isphording

How Hooping Can Help Treat Your Anxiety

Margaret BrownComment

Hooping: A Treatment for Anxiety

Every person knows the feeling of anxiety; that fear before a big test or important interview. But for some it is a serious issue that becomes persistent outside of the normal realm of reactive anxiety, like a broken alarm system. For those people, like me, help is needed to ease the impending doom we feel for no apparent reason. My treatment? My hula hoop!

     Imagine that dry mouth, light head, turning stomach feeling that comes before public speaking or bungee jumping. Imagine that but while you were simply sitting at home, at the grocery store, or in the car and had no idea why. That’s what it’s like to live with anxiety.

    When I fall into an anxiety attack my heart beats fast, I feel like I can’t breathe, and have a general feeling of terror. When in that place I need to find a distraction- fast - and what is better than a hoop!?  It gives the brain an activity to focus on instead of the impending doom. And since this is an physical activity, unlike watching TV, you must put your full focus into it.

    The next hurdle is to convince yourself you’re physically okay. The shortness of breath and fast heartbeat makes a lot of people with panic attacks feel like they are dying. If you hoop for a few minutes your motions begin to catch up to your heartbeat, endorphins are released and you being to feel normal again. 

    Hula hooping also does wonders for social anxiety. Think of your hoop like a protective shield, there is literally a circle created around you so why not use is as protection? A hoop is always a talking point so you don’t have to be left with nothing to say. Also if you start to feel uncomfortable then it’s time to excuse yourself and dance!

    Hula hooping can be a magic potion for those suffering from anxiety. Whether severe or mild, the hoop helps to bring you out of the fear and into the now.  Next time you’re feeling anxious why not give your hoop a spin?

Article written by Brittney Isphording 

Mirror Performance Polypro Series

Margaret Brown2 Comments

We are expanding our mirror tape selection! Currently we have 8 colors in stock and we will be adding at least 3 more! These hoops are perfect for performing as they catch the light very well and are easy to match with any theme! Keep an eye out for all of the new colors as they become available! 

Reflective Tape Hula Hoops

Margaret BrownComment

Green reflective tape will be in stock tomorrow! More colors to follow in the next few weeks! Shoot us a message if you would like to get one at the pre-sale price! Once they hit the website they will be $5 more expensive and there won't be discounted shipping! Check out our Facebook page for videos and photos. www.facebook.com/JAMhoops 

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This is what the tape looks like during the day! 

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The top picture is with natural light at night. The bottom picture is with flash on the camera.

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World Hoop Day

Margaret BrownComment

Please come join us for World Hoop Day this October 4th in Fort Collins! I will have tons of hoops for people to play and learn with! Along with TONS of hoops for sale! I will be donating a hula hoop to the raffle and performing in the showcase along many amazing people, so this is not an event to miss! Contact me to place a custom order to pick up at World Hoop Day and save on shipping costs! Email me at contactJAMhoops@gmail.com 

Welcome to my new website!

Margaret BrownComment

Thank you for checking out my website! I just started this page and I know it is looking barren but please bare with me as I will be adding new listings everyday! Please feel free to give me any ideas on what my site is missing or where I can improve! I really love making hula hoops for the flow community. It is a passion of mine. I strive for high quality hoops and nothing less.