Like many who are on the hunt for new ways to exercise, trampoline workouts have piqued our interest as of late. Bridging the gap between recreation and exercise, these rebounding workouts are perfectly suited to life indoors and make working out easy for those of us who would prefer not to traverse outside our homes to burn calories. It’s far from a stand-in for other types of exercise—it’s a robust alternative; one that astronauts have used to help regain bone density and muscle mass after returning from space. Further proof of its effectiveness was a NASA study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology that found rebounding 68% more efficient than jogging. Even legendary actor Goldie Hawn shared her love for this form of exercising, writing: “Dance, jump, and twirl like nobody’s watching!” in the caption of one of her rebounding videos. (And, in Hawn, we always trust.)
Here, Colette Dong, cofounder of Tribeca trampoline-cardio studio The Ness, and Dr. Melissa Leber, MD, director of emergency department sports medicine at Mount Sinai Health System help explain the ins and outs of a safe and energy-boosting trampoline workout. Read on to learn more.
What is a rebounding workout?
Rebounding is a cardiovascular exercise typically performed on a mini trampoline. “Rebounders are usually smaller and firmer, which allows for a better bounce when compared to a larger trampoline you might see outdoors,” explains Dong, who insists that even though a trampoline is low-impact cardio, it’s not lacking in intensity. “It covers every single part of your body, and you can work up a massive sweat in just 30 minutes,” she says. “It’s efficient—but mainly, it’s fun.”
JumpSport 230F Folding In-Home Cardio Fitness Rebounder
What are the full-body rebounding benefits?
Rebounding offers a multitude of health benefits. “In just a short time, you can burn a lot of calories and get a good cardiovascular and strength-building workout,” says Dr. Leber. “[It’s also a] great way to change up your workout routine to avoid overuse injuries from the sport or workout you love.”
She goes on to explain that rebounding can improve your athleticism because it targets multiple areas. On the surface, it works to keep the entire body—particularly the core, legs, glutes, and back muscles—toned and strong, making it an ideal form of strength training.
“Although it does wonders for weight loss, the benefits you can’t see are the most valuable,” adds Dong. Rebounding motions not only stimulate the lymphatic system—which helps flush out toxins and fight disease—but they also improve balance and coordination. “It enhances motor skills and provides a mental release, and can help relieve symptoms of anxiety,” she says.
Why is it easier on the joints?
According to Dong, the soft mat and cords of a mini trampoline allow it to have “give,” so that acceleration and deceleration are essentially absorbed, making it gentler on your lower body and eliminating up to 80% of the shock of landing on a jump. “Moving on hard surfaces like roads and sidewalks don’t have a lot of give, so they have higher impact on the joints,” explains Dong. “Low impact is great because it protects your joints without sacrificing the work for your muscles.” Because of this, you can do it at any age!
Are there any downsides?
While a rebounding exercise can be easier on your joints, it doesn’t mean it’s completely foolproof. Dr. Leber says that those with a history of ankle sprains, knee injuries, and other lower-extremity joint issues could actually aggravate those pains.