Jumping isn’t the only way to bounce your body into shape.
Adults are jumping on a workout craze that combines these childhood favorites with intense workouts that are so much fun they barely seem like work. Research by the American Council of Exercise found that exercising on a trampoline can burn your goal calories in two-thirds the time, but feels 10 percent less strenuous than equivalent activities like running. In plain English, that means you can cram the benefits of a 30-minute workout into 20 minutes, and the trampoline’s cushioning effect plus the fun factor makes you feel like you can do even more because it doesn’t feel too hard or put so much pressure on your feet and legs.
Fitness experts tout a lengthy list of benefits that include weight loss, improved balance, better bone density, decreased cellulite, boosts to your cardio health, and increased flow in the lymphatic system that detoxes your body. Even NASA is jumping on the trend, using trampoline fitness to help astronauts get their bodies back in shape after they return from space. Not too shabby for a workout that feels like a throwback to the carefree days of your childhood.
But don’t let those fun childhood memories trick you into thinking that jumping toward the sky is the only way to get in shape on a trampoline. Read on for some other ideas for calorie-blasting workouts that are just way more fun with a little bounce.
Balance – Trampolines add a new level to this ab-toning exercise. Stand in the middle of the trampoline and balance on one leg with your other foot raised to your knee. You can start with your arms out, but you can take it up a notch by holding your balance with your arms at your sides. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. Want an even greater challenge? Stand on your left leg in the middle of the trampoline with a slight bend in your knee. Rest your right leg on the right edge of the trampoline, then lift it to about hip height while stretching your arms out to the side. Keeping that leg lifted, tilt your upper body slightly forward and move your leg behind you while extending your arms out in front of you. Make sure that leg stays straight and about hip height! Slowly swing your leg back out to the side and return your arms to the sides as well. Gently lower your right foot to tap the side of the trampoline and bring your arms down. Repeat at least 10 times, and then switch sides.
Running – Reap the intense benefits without the jarring impact to your knees and feet. Run with feet flat on the trampoline and body weight slightly forward. To add a fun factor to this workout, try a sequence that alternates jogging with forward and side kicks. Jog on the trampoline by bringing your right knee up to your chest, followed by your left knee. Now kick your right leg straight out in front of you, followed by your left leg. Kick high enough that it takes work, but don’t throw yourself off balance! Make sure you keep your shoulders over your hips so you don’t lean back. Repeat the run-kick moves, but this time kick your legs out to the sides. Move your arms back and forth and out to the side in the same pattern as your legs. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Lunges with a hop – Start with one foot on the trampoline and one foot on the floor. Sink into a low lunge with both knees at a 90-degree angle. Push off the toes of your back foot to burst upward while raising your arms over your head. Make sure to engage your core and keep your shoulders over your hips. Lower gently back down into the low lunge. Repeat at least 10 times, then switch sides.
Push-ups – Lower your body into plank position, with your feet on the trampoline and your hands on the floor. You are guaranteed a great core workout as you try to keep your body in position as the trampoline moves.
Yoga – The bouncing motion of the trampoline can add deeper stretches and a greater range of motion to traditional yoga poses. Classes are popping up at studios across the country that often start with seated poses and end with jumping sequences.
Ab crunch – Holding your position while your trampoline moves intensifies the toning benefits of your sit-up routine. Sit in the middle of the trampoline, bend your knees up and bend your body back slightly. Stretch your legs out to a 45-degree angle and lower your arms to your sides. Return to start, then repeat for 30 seconds. Still wanting more? Lie with your back in the middle of the trampoline and your feet planted on the floor. Clasp your fingers behind your head to support your neck and make sure your head is slightly forward with your eyes looking over your knees. Lift for 30 seconds.
Squats with a bounce – Trampolines make this traditional exercise feel like play. Stand next to the trampoline with your right leg bent on top and your left leg on the floor. Squat with hands on knees, keeping your weight pushed back as if you were about to sit on a chair. Straighten your right leg and lift your left leg off the floor. Now jump sideways and land so that your right leg is on the floor and your left leg is bent on the trampoline. Repeat back and forth for 30 seconds.
Planks – Once again, holding your body in position on a moving surface take this core exercise to the next level. Lower your body into plank position with your feet on the trampoline and your hands on the floor. Make sure your body is in a straight line and your shoulders are over your wrists. Move your right knee toward your elbow and then tap your foot back on the trampoline. Repeat at least 10 times and then switch to the other side. For an even more advanced workout, try adding donkey kicks. Get in plank position and raise onto your toes. Press your feet down on the trampoline, and then kick your heels toward your bum. Repeat for 30 seconds.
These are just a few of the countless ways to transform boring workouts by incorporating a trampoline. Check out jumpsport.com for more ideas and exercise regimens guaranteed to get your blood pumping while making you feel like a kid again.