How to Get up on the Hoop

The first thing to learn when training with hoop (lyra) is how to actually get up on the apparatus. There’s a number of different ways you can do that with varying difficulty, and the classic ones are described here.

If you’re looking for the easiest way to get up as a beginner, my personal recommendation is delilah, and then straddle using feet. When you’re starting out, it’s okay to jump a bit (instead of lift purely with your strength), use your feet to get all the way over, or get someone else to help you!

If you enjoy this post, feel free to check out other hoop moves and tricks here. If you still have questions or comments, please let me know below! I’d love to help.

Pike

This is the most typical way of getting on the hoop, but not the easiest to do right.

Start standing with your hands shoulder-width on the hoop. Ideally, you use your core strength to tuck and cross your legs, lean back and straighten them under the hoop. Then you bend your knees and hook them over the hoop, which is called hocks. Move your hands higher on the sides of the hoop and pull up to sit. Come down by reversing the moves.

When first starting out, most people don’t have enough strength to properly lift up. You can do a little jump and/or use your feet on the bar to help you invert. Coming down slowly will help you train.

You might struggle with straightening your legs in pike if you lack the hamstring flexibility. You can keep them slightly bent until that is more developed.

This is also done pretty much the same way in static trapeze, except your hands will hold on to the ropes instead of the sides of the hoop. Similar variations are used on silks and other apparatuses.

The full mount and dismount is shown here between 0:15 – 0:40 seconds:

Straddle

Another common way of mounting is called straddle. Start standing with your hands on the hoop, thumbs close to touching. When ready, tuck your knees again, lean back and this time extend the legs wide. Then hocks on, move your hands to the sides and pull up to sit. Come down by reversing the moves.

Like with pike, if you don’t have the strength to lift cleanly, you can use jumping or feet on the bar to get there.

Similar principle applies to static trapeze here too, and you can find variations in silks, pole and elsewhere. Starting grip is the main thing that changes.

The mount and dismount is shown here between 0:40 and 1:05:

Side mount

This one is less common, but still useful. Stand slightly to the side of the hoop, with hands on the bar facing each other, arms bent. Tuck and lift both your legs to the side, hooking them in hocks on the hoop. Move your hands on either side of your legs, then sit up as in previous methods.

If you’re having trouble with this one, start by learning to hook just the inner leg first, then add the other one.

The mount and dismount is shown in full here between 1:07 and 1:25:

Delilah (side straddle)

When starting out, I found this to be the easiest way to get up. It helps if you’re tall, or the hoop is relatively low… Start in a similar position as for side mount. This time, when you lift up, just hook the outer leg on the bar. Then you can add the other leg next to it (maneuvering it between your arms and hooked leg might take a bit of practice), move your hands on either side. and sit up as normal.

The beginning of the move is show in the video below (0:42 – 0:57).

Front balance (pike over)

This is really not a beginner move, and it’s something I’m still working on.

Start in essentially the same position as for pike. This time, keep your legs straight and lift them all the way up over the bar. The bar should end up in your hip crease – it won’t be comfortable, but shouldn’t be excruciating either. You can use your hands on the sides of the hoop to pull your chest up.

Like with the first two moves, you can try this on trapeze as well. You can see it here between 0:50 – 1:10:

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