A piece of gymnastic equipment that children use in the backyard has an illustrious history that shows its importance for athletes and fitness-conscious adults. Two gymnasts at the University of Iowa invented the trampoline in 1934, and competitive trampolining allows men and women to compete at the Olympics. The benefits of “jumping for joy” can belong to anyone who uses a trampoline for fun or physical exercise.
Working Out on a Trampoline
While exercise on a rebounder or trampoline may seem easy, it requires more energy than one imagines. The effort that goes into it produces about “70 percent more effectiveness” in fitness than jogging for the same amount of time, according to Live Strong. Each bounce fights the pull of gravity, making it use more energy than walking or jogging. WebMD suggests a basic exercise on the trampoline that starts with a simple bounce that burns “a lot of calories.”
- Stand on a trampoline with your feet comfortably apart at about 6 inches.
- Bend your arms while you keep your elbows close to your sides.
- Bend your knees slightly, and start gently bouncing up and down.
- Continue the exercise for 30 bounces.
As you get familiar with the equipment, you can advance to doing prances that increase your heart rate and let you feel the effect of working out.
- Start with the basic position with your feet about 6 inches apart.
- Place your hands on your hips, and bend your knees slightly.
- Complete your bounces on the balls of your feet.
- Mimic running-in-place by lifting one knee and then the other to hip level.
- Continue the exercise for 30 repetitions for each leg.
Getting an Effective Cardio Workout on a Trampoline
Alternating periods of rest and exercise lets you manage the rate of increase in your heartbeat as you do your workout. Some fitness experts recommend working out for a minute and resting a minute, or you may prefer small increments of 30 seconds of exercise and 30 seconds of rest. The exercises may look simple, but they require a significant amount of exertion.
When you do a cardio workout, you need to prepare for the intensity by calculating your recommended maximum heart rate. Mayo states that it changes with age so that you need to start by subtracting your number of years from 220. Keep your heart beats per minute below the number that results from the calculation.
Considering the Muscles that Trampoline Workouts Affect
As soon as you start exercising on a trampoline, you become aware of its effect on your whole body. Healthy Living enumerates the effects on the muscles that work together to give you a healthy exercise routine.
Jumping up and down on a trampoline creates a high-intensity cardio exercise that increases the blood and oxygen supply to your muscles. The benefits of cardio include keeping your heart healthy, lowering your blood pressure and reducing the risk of blood clots and heart attack.
Without impacting your joints, a trampoline exercise gives your legs an intense workout. The jumps that you do on a rebounder or trampoline involve your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves as they refresh the muscles with vital nutrients. The exercise helps build strength in your knee and ankle joints.
Many muscles in your hip and butt benefit from a trampoline exercise, and they provide the force to lift you up and help you land when you do jumps. The gluteus maximus seems more widely known than the others that work with it. Essential for balance as you jump, they rely on the hip adductors and flexors as well.
The muscles in your abdomen make up the core group that affects your balance and supports your back. As you strengthen them, you can lose belly fat and build the muscles that prevent backache. Cardiovascular exercises help you trim weight from all areas of your body as well as your abdomen.
Deciding How Long to Work Out
Time magazine reported on study findings by the American Council on Exercise that equates 20 minutes on a trampoline to running 6 miles per hour, riding a bike or playing basketball. It qualifies as a “moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise,” but students in the study thought it felt like light-to-moderate. Make sure to include warm up and cool down periods of a few minutes each before and after your workout. Fortune cites recommendations from the Centers for Prevention and Disease Control for adults to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly or 75 minutes of “vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.” The study found that less than 25 percent of Americans get enough exercise.
Comparing Calories Burned
The amount of calories that your body can burn depends on how much you weigh and heavier bodies can burn more than lighter ones. A half-hour on an elliptical trainer burns 335 for a 155-pound body. A period of 30 minutes in a round of golf with a cart burns 130. Mowing a lawn with a push mower for the same time uses 167 calories. If you weigh 150 pounds and work out on a trampoline for 30 minutes, you may burn 125 calories. The amount that you can burn depends on genetic and other factors that you cannot control, but you can increase the intensity of trampolining by holding weights or swinging your arms. Online calculators for calories burned while trampoline jumping can give you a fairly precise estimate.
Determining the Effectiveness of a Trampoline Workout
Almost every kind of exercise produces effective results, but trampolining has benefits that make it a valuable addition to your workout routine. The springs or bungee bands that make a trampoline or a small version called a rebounder to absorb the impact on your joints and the soft tissue that surrounds them. In a NASA study cited by Dr. Axe, he notes that the activity distributes G-forces more evenly to the forehead, back and ankle than running that places most of the pressure on the ankles. The reduction of joint pain and injuries makes trampolining a wise choice.
Significant benefits come from aerobic exercise that strengthens your heart. An increase in oxygen that nourishes the cells seems to produce more effectiveness on a trampoline than on a treadmill.
Exercise on a rebounder may increase the circulation of lymphatic fluids which enhance the immune system by generating more activity in white blood cells. Your body depends on the lymphatic system to flush out toxins, and the gravitational pull that you experience on a trampoline may help influence it.
Exercises on a rebounder or a trampoline improve physical strength and the development of muscles that help you sense the orientation of your body. You may want to check your balance by closing your eyes and standing on one leg, and then try it again after two months of trampoline exercises.
Endorphins that the brain produces when you exercise make you feel good naturally. Bouncing on your rebounder when you get home after a workday increases your blood circulation and helps relax your muscles. The stress of the day can disappear when you clear your mind and escape from tension by bouncing on your workout equipment.