In 2008, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres got big laughs when she attempted to do her show while sitting in a Hula Chair. The makers of the Hula Chair promise to chisel your abs and shrink your waist by spinning you around like a hula girl dashboard ornament. An exercise professor told ABC News that a person would burn more calories by working while standing [source: Cox].
But while the Hula Chair may be an overhyped punch line, that doesn't mean that you should abandon those sweet hula moves. Hooping, or working out with a hula hoop, is showing up in more and more gyms as a way to break a sweat, burn calories and tone the tummy. According on one hoop instructor, using a hula hoop for 30 continuous minutes is the equivalent of 500 sit-ups [source: Gora]. And you needn't dismiss this workout if you had problems with the hoop as a kid; child-sized hoops are often too small and light to properly control, but if you're working with a hoop made for an adult, hooping is a skill that can be mastered with a little time.