Bounce your way to fitness with a trampoline

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Bounce your way to fitness with a trampoline

Remember as a kid or as a parent of kids, running and jumping around on a trampoline, having the time of your life?  Not only was it fun and invigorating, but it also got your heartrate up while you broke out in a sweat.  If you think jumping on a trampoline as only child’s play, think again.  Once a fad of the 1970s and early 1980s, mini trampolines, called rebounders, are seeing a resurgence in the fitness industry with trampoline classes popping up in gyms across the country. 

It seems like fitness enthusiasts are always looking for that next new form of exercise that will meet their needs in obtaining the body they want getting themselves in great shape. And a trampoline workout just might be the one for you too.

Benefits of bouncing

Many individuals are looking for alternative methods of exercise besides walking or jogging.  They want an activity that is effective but also fun. This where a trampoline workout fits the bill – in fact, just spending 8 to 10 minutes jumping around on a mini trampoline is the cardiovascular equivalent to running one mile. 

A study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) finds that bouncing on a mini trampoline for less than 20 minutes is just as good for you as running, but feels better and is a lot more enjoyable.  For this research, a group of 24 physically fit college age students were given a mini trampoline to work out on using a 19-minute exercise video.  Researchers measures the jumpers’ heart rates and oxygen expenditure every minute.  What was found was that a trampoline workout is a moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise with almost the same physical effects as running six miles per hour, biking, or playing football, basketball, or ultimate Frisbee. 

Bouncing on a trampoline is a great cardiovascular workout meeting the requirement of being a vigorous exercise but with substantially less stress on joints. If pounding it out on pavement is wearing on your joints, this low-impact antigravity cardio workout may be your answer. 

Jumping on a trampoline reduces impact by 40 percent.  This allows you to work out harder with a faster recovery since your body won’t be taking a beating as it does when doing impact exercises on the ground.  High-impact exercise such as jumping rope or running on a hard surface can increase the likelihood of injury along with joint wear and tear over time. 

The advantage of a trampoline workout is that the same high-impact movements of regular exercise can be performed on a trampoline for an equivalent or more intense workout without impact.  A person can run, do jumping jacks, jump rope (without the rope) perform high knee lifts, and other movements faster and longer on a trampoline than on a hard surface since the force and resistance are different.  Many people find that muscular pain often associated with high-impact workouts may be reduced when the same exercises are performed on a trampoline.

Precautions to heed when exercising on a trampoline

Even though trampolines can be a great method for getting in shape, always be mindful of safety when using one.  Like with any workout, warming up is important. This helps maximize your workout to get the most benefits from it.  A simple warmup can help reduce pain and keep you from injuring yourself. 

There is the potential that you could injure yourself on a trampoline.  Take great care to avoid getting overly intense when using one and be careful how high and how forceful you jump when using one.  Jumping too high and too hard could vault you off the trampoline, potentially landing you forcefully on the ground or into an object. 

When trampolines are used with safety and common sense in mind, they can be an effective way to meet your fitness goals.