Trampolines may be a favorite childhood pastime loaded with fun memories, but, as it turns out, bouncing on one of these devices may actually be a good thing to pick back up as an adult, too. They may benefit both strength and cardiovascular fitness — and they're still fun. And more people than ever are picking them up. Here's why and how to get started.
Yeah, it's fun. But beyond the fun, there are serious benefits and one primary one is that it can allow people to work out who may otherwise not be able to do things like run. The flexibility of the trampoline’s surface reduces the pressure on joints so those with sore knees may really love this. And it may make it easier for people with generalized pain or stiffness to exercise more, too. But those with painful joints aren't the only ones taking up this exercise.
In addition to reducing joint pressure, trampoline workouts burn as many calories as jogging at a pace of 10 minutes per mile. Like jogging, that alone is likely to help with cardiovascular fitness and weight control — and the many benefits that come from both of those. Additionally, a trampoline workout, sometimes called a rebounder workout, may also improve balance and stamina.
When working out on the trampoline, there are some specific exercises to try as you're getting started. Lower body exercises include squat jumps and pelvic floor jumps, along with pike jumps and seat drops. These may all sound really complicated but you can start with running in place, bouncing to strengthen thighs and glutes, and squats which require additional balance may also be good choices. This is one form of exercise that you can start slow and build up to more complicated moves. But don't get to thinking that it's only for the lower body.
The lower body isn’t the only place that may benefit from a rebounder workout. Assisted and hopping push-ups may both improve arm strength. It’s also possible to plank with a trampoline, which may increase the difficulty and add to muscle tone and development. As with running, some may also carry (or strap on) arm weights while running in place to help build arm strength, too. But remember that the trampoline is intended to be a cardio workout and it doesn't necessarily have to build strength. We should probably all be strength training separately, anyway.
Whether trampolining or choosing another activity, be sure to clear any new exercise routine with a healthcare provider. Most trampoline exercises are safe for healthy people, but you may need to make modifications if you have medical conditions. Seeing your doctor first can safely and effectively get you started on your fitness journey for more long-term success.
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