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Why trampolining could be the most effective at-home exercise

April 16th 2021 / Melanie Macleod / 0 comment


Tired of endless burpees, squats and planks? A rebounder could be the answer to all your home workout woes. Here's why and the online workouts to try

2021 has been the year of the at-home workout and while we loved at-home HIIT and yoga, we were especially excited to remember what a good workout trampolining is. Actress Eva Longoria shared her bouncing workout on Instagram this week, jumping about on the back of a yacht (alright for some).

And even Fearne Cotton got in on the mini-trampoline action back in October last year, bouncing about on her rebounder in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month after charity Coppa Feel challenged people to get bouncing as part of their 'bounce back' campaign be it on your mini trampoline, on a space hopper or even with a simple skipping rope. But why is trampolining such a good workout?

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According to NASA, the key to healthy weight loss and maintenance, killer abs and better flexibility entails essentially getting back onto the bouncy castle of your childhood parties.

NASA knows a thing or two about ideal training regimes. Astronauts in space need to exercise for a whopping two hours a day to prevent muscle wastage and bone loss and while for obvious reasons trampolining isn’t the workout of choice when on a mission, astronauts need to build serious strength and stamina before launch, which is where an earthbound micro liftoff comes in. Here’s how and why trampolining raises fitness gains for us mere ground-based mortals.

It's the perfect at-home workout

You can buy a relatively inexpensive rebounder online (scroll down for our pick), it won’t take up too much space in your front room and you can bounce along to your cringiest playlist in peace, wearing your nightie if you so wish. I would advise a good quality sports bra as part of that package. Also, maybe give your family/ partner/ housemates a heads up that they won’t be able to see the TV for half an hour or so. Rebound UK has online routines and masterclasses you can follow at-home if you feel as if you’re springing along aimlessly.

It's as effective as running and low impact on joints

Once you've run your regular route every lunchtime for a week, it can get a little tiresome. Luckily NASA defines trampolining as 68 per cent more effective than running while Frame, who offer a Rebounding class say that 20 minutes of bouncing is the equivalent of an hour of running. While it’s a high-intensity workout (read: heart-pounding, sweaty, messy, endorphin fuelled), the fact that trampolines and rebounders absorb energy means that it’s low impact on your joints, unlike pounding the pavements.

Springing is slimming

If you’ve got a weight loss goal in mind, trampolining could be just as, if not more, effective than more dreary gym cardio options. After five minutes of trampolining, you’ll be sweating profusely and both breathing and heart rate will be elevated. As cardio goes, it’s a short, sharp effective workout, furnished with the kind of exhilaration that the cross trainer just can’t deliver. Which brings us to...

It doesn’t feel like exercise

Okay, you won’t get a party bag at the end, but the childlike thrill and adrenaline rush of bouncing along to a beat is pure, unadulterated joy, and while you’ll definitely need to pause for water and recovery breaks, you won’t need a pep-talk to get back onto the rebounder. You’ll also feel buzzing for hours afterwards, and as stress-melting goes, the laughter potential combined with the fact that you have to be mindful to avoid getting your trainers caught in the springs means that it’s the perfect way to either wake up or unwind.

Rebounding improves coordination

You will lose control of your legs at some point. You might fall on your bum but a bit of practice will make for more agile limbs and whip-smart brain-body coordination. We’re not necessarily talking synchronised swimmer levels of precision, but you’re likely to notice an improvement in your dancefloor performance at future weddings.

It gets your circulation going

moveyourframe-rebounders.jpgInstagram: @moveyourframe

Connected to the ‘sweating buckets’ side effect, if you’re not flushed after doing your best trampolining cheerleader impression, you’re a reptile. Bouncing gets the blood pumping quicker than almost any other cardio activity, which helps to oxygenise and deliver nutrients to your body’s organs, keeping them functioning optimally.

Rebounding is said to help fight cellulite

I say this with a LOT of reservation - cellulite is very often genetic, and the much-loathed orange peel affects 95 per cent of women, regardless of weight or fitness levels. Improving circulation is said to help when it comes to preventing the fluid retention and stubborn fat tissue formation associated with cellulite, so there could be something in regular trampolining sessions for smoothing over dimples- one rather anecdotal study reported that women who rebounded regularly saw a 26 per cent reduction in cellulite. While this may indeed be the case for some lucky women, let’s be real, we’re far from discovering a cure for cellulite, and seeing as so many of us have it to some degree, not fixating on it is probably the best course of action.

Rebounding at home

"Before you jump into this, nailing your technique is key," advises Pip Black co-founder of fitness studio Frame, which runs Rebounding classes and will soon be adding rebounding to their newly launched digital platform Frame Online. "It might feel like you want to jump up like a child into the air but it’s quite the opposite when it comes to rebounding. You want to be jumping down into the rebounder keeping your core engaged and the power coming from your legs driving down. The first time you try might leave you feeling like bambi on ice, but you’ll get used to it!

At home rebounder workout

1. Jumping jacks - Step onto the Rebounder, feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees. Jump your feet out and lift your arms overhead at the same time. Aiming to meet your hands together at the top. Then jump your feet back in and bring your arms back by your sides. Make sure you're jumping down into the Rebounder with your core engaged for stability. Repeat ten times.

2. Twists - Bring your feet together and try to keep your legs as close as possible while keeping a bend in the knees. As you jump your feet to the right, twist your arms to the left. Then repeat on the other side, feet to the left and arms to the right. Again engage your core for stability. Repeat ten on each side.

3. Shuffle - Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees. Shuffle your right foot forward and your left foot back, then repeat on the opposite side. Once you've got that part, bring in your arms. With your arms in at a right angle, you can pump opposite arm to leg - like you would do if running. Repeat ten on each side.

4. Let’s ski - Start with your feet together in the centre of the rebounder, zip up your legs so they are locked together with a slight bend in the knees. Keeping everything tight and together jump your feet to the right and then jump immediately to the left. Getting your arms involved will help with the momentum. Have a bend in you arms at the elbows and keep them in at the waist moving them back and forth (like you’re skiing) in line with your feet jumping. Repeat ten times on each side.

To make this a longer workout you can keep going through these back to back for 30 - 45 minutes. Like all exercise getting the right playlist is key. You want to try to find one with a BMP (beats per minute) at about 130. You can search Spotify for these!

The best mini trampolines and rebounders for home workouts

With kettlebells and resistance bands selling out all over the place, we predict mini trampolines won't be far behind. These ones were still in stock at the time of writing - hop to it!

Opti Trampoline, £29.99


Pleny Indoor Mini Fitness Trampoline with Handle, £79


Folding Indoor Trampoline, 45 Inch, £96.90


Megaform Mini Trampoline, £59.17


Best online rebounding workouts

30-minute cardio workout: for experienced bouncers

This video by US certified trampoline fitness instructor Chelsea Rush equires some seriously good coordination and stamina too. It involves star jumps, press-ups and twist jumps packed into 33 high energy minutes.

Cardio & Strength Rebounding Workout - good for beginner bouncers

At 20 minutes long, this video isn't quite so exhausting and high energy. The trainer takes you through some of the simpler trampoline moves like rotating bounces and one-legged squats.

For a quick blast: 15 Minute Trampoline Workout

At only 15-minute this is a lunchbreak worthy workout encompassing leg raises and pulses. She even flips the trampoline onto it side at one point as a support for some pilates-style moves.

The rebounder workout for weight loss and fat burning

This video is led by Goop contributor Lauren Roxburgh, author of foam roller exercise guide Taller, Slimmer, Younger. Even when she's several feet in the air, Lauren makes bouncing about feel zen and if she's good enough for Gwyneth she's good enough for us.

MORE GLOSS: Why at-home Body Pump is the one lockdown habit I'm going to keep up

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