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The history of the hula hoop is not completely clear, but we can be sure that it is an ancient invention. So, it’s hard to say who exactly invented the hula hoop. That’s why not one single person or company can claim the invention of the hula hoop.


Ancient hula hoopWhat we do know is that the hula hoop was used by the Ancient Greeks as a form of exercise. Proof of this was found on a ancient vaze, dated around 500 BCE. We also know that the ancient Egyptians used the hoop as a child’s toy. These ancient hoops were usually made out of dried grapevine wood.

Origins of the name

We do know that the name “hula hoop” has its origin in Great Britain. Around the 1300′s the hula hoop became a popular children’s toy in Britain. But it wasn’t until the early 19th century that the toy got its current name, and the prefix “hula” was added to its name. British soldiers who came back from the Hawaiian islands witnessed the native hula dancing over there and noticed the resemblance in the hip movements made while hooping.

And today?

Several different names are given to the hoops that are used by adults to work out. All these names have only one goal: distinguish these hoops from the “toy” hula hoops that children play with. However, all these different names also add to the confusion! So here is a short overview of names which basically all mean the same: weighted hoopsports hoopsport hoop (without s), gym hoop and adult hoop. They all refer to the heavier and bigger hoop used for working out in the gym and hoop dancing.

Also the word “hula hoop” gets misspelled on some occasions. Common mistakes are: hoola hoophula huphola hoopholahoop and hulahoop.