Rebounder workouts are a fun, effective, and safe way to lose weight and build a better body. Yes, these mini trampolines may look like child's toys, but don't let their playful, innocent appearance fool you. When used right, they can be merciless task masters that will whip you into tip top shape.
They can make you sweat. They can make your heart pound. They can make your muscles burn. And, they can deliver some pretty amazing results. Any activity that forces your body to work against gravity is very beneficial. That's why weight bearing exercises are so effective.
Rebounding actually multiplies these rewards while also being gentle on your joints. So, you will have zero gravity at the top of the bounce, BUT there will be a greater than normal gravitational pull (2-3 times the force of gravity) at the bottom of the bounce. That means you will get a better workout – without all the pounding, stress, and pressure associated with jumping or running on a hard surface.
Here's a General Guideline to Get You Started
Begin with some stretches. Rebounding challenges your muscles, particularly your calves, thighs, and hamstrings, so stretching will help prevent injury.
Next, move on to some warm-up bouncing – sometimes called the “health bounce”. This involves bouncing up and down without your feet leaving the rebounder.
Once you are comfortable with this move, begin to lift your heels (one at a time) off the mat and come up on your toes (alternating feet). This move will warm up and loosen the muscles in your knees, ankles and feet.
Increase the intensity to some light jogging.
Once you have established a steady pace, begin to mix in some sprints or short intervals of more intense running.
Add in other aerobic moves such as jumping jacks, high knees, twisting, hopping on one foot, jumping side-to-side, or kick backs (allowing your heels to “kick your butt”).
Add in some strength jumps (strength bounces). This involves jumping as high as you can. The higher you jump, the more demanding and rewarding the move will be. If you have balance issues or are recovering from an injury, you may want to start with lower jumps or hold onto a stability bar.
Add an upper body workout. Use light dumbbells to do bicep curls, tricep kick-backs, shoulder presses, or boxing “punches”. Or, simply just hold the weights while performing your other exercises.
Recover by returning to light jogging, then the Health Bounce.
Finish with some post-workout stretches.
The length and intensity of your rebounder workout will really depend on your fitness goals.
For lymphatic benefits, aim for 10 minutes a day (even two 5 minute sessions). For muscle toning, cardio challenge, or weight loss, a 20-30 minute workout would be more ideal.
The specific exercise you choose can vary, and of course, there is always room for creativity!
Tips for Rebounder Workouts
Change locations. Rebounders are fairly portable, so stave off boredom by changing locations. Move it outside in nice weather, or put it in front of the television or window.
Check your rebounder regularly. For safety, you want to make sure that there aren't any tears, loose stitching, or broken springs. Although all rebounders are quite inexpensive, higher quality ones will cost you a bit more – but they are also more durable.
Begin with a lower priced rebounder, and if you find that you really enjoy it, you might want to invest in a better quality one. It will last longer, especially if you use it a lot.
Don't exercise too close to meals. Since there is a lot of jumping involved, you will probably want to make sure that your stomach (and bladder) are empty.
Know your limits. You don't want to lose your balance or hurt yourself (or both), so start out slow until you know how your body responds to the various exercises. As with any type of workout, there are risks involved, so check with your doctor if you have any health issues or concerns.
Get the family involved. Kids love the trampoline and it's a great way to help them stay active. One mother said she has 2 rebounders, and she and her daughter take turns deciding which exercises to do. By making a game of it, working out becomes fun so it's easier to engage the entire family.
Benefits of Rebounder Workouts
Increases lymphatic flow. Your lymphatic system is essential for strong immunity because it carries toxins and wastes out of your body. Rebounding increases lymphatic circulation or drainage, which improves the detoxification of all your organs, glands, and tissues. You'll feel better, you won't get sick as often, and you will recover faster.
Low Impact Cardio. Rebounding is often recommended for seniors, people with mobility or co-ordination issues, and those recovering from injuries or suffering with joint pain.
But, it can also be challenging for even the most accomplished athlete. The impact of bouncing on a hard surface can lead to a multitude of problems, but exercising on a rebounder will reduce the shock to your joints by 80-95%, while still providing an excellent cardio workout.
Tones Muscles. Rebounding will strengthen and tone your calves, thighs, abs, hips, and even your arms if you add in some dumbbells. When your feet leave the mat, your abs are automatically engaged to help you maintain your balance, and the increased gravitational force when landing provides the resistance needed to build muscles in your lower body. Add in a few bicep, tricep, and shoulder exercises, and you have a complete body workout.
Improves Bone Density. Several organizations (including NASA) have shown that rebounding can help remineralize bones to prevent or reduce the severity of osteoporosis.
Weight Loss. Many scientists and fitness experts claim that rebounder workouts will increase metabolism to help you meet your weight loss goals faster. In fact, minute-for-minute, it burns more calories than running or power walking.
Improves Balance. While jumping on a trampoline will help both balance and posture, it is important that you use caution if you suffer from vertigo or other balance issues. If this is a concern, you can purchase stability bars that attach to your rebounder so you can still reap the benefits without the risk of injury.
Improves the Cardiovascular System. Rebounding increases circulation and gets the blood flowing, which in turn, lowers cholesterol and improves heart health.
Reduces Stress and Tension. Bouncing on a trampoline is a great way to release both mental and physical stress and help your body re-energize.
Improves Digestion. Since your body is able to detoxify effectively, you may notice an improvement in digestive issues such as acid reflux, indigestion, and constipation.
Versatility. A rebounder can be used for a wide range of exercises – from jumps, to running, stretches, and even weights. Plus, since they are very portable, you can exercise just about anywhere.
Research has shown that 10 minutes on the rebounder can equal a 30 minute jog. Of course, that depends on the intensity of your workout....but it's still a pretty impressive finding. It seems like a “win-win”, right?
All the benefits of a cardio workout with the effectiveness of weight-bearing or resistance training. And, who doesn't love to jump and bounce and have fun on a trampoline?
I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or ideas you would like to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum