Mini trampolines add
bounce to boot camp, interval workouts
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[June 16, 2014]
By Dorene Internicola
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Mini
trampolines, the go-to fitness tool for people seeking a
joint-friendly cardio bounce, are also adding spring to
the push-ups, planks and lunges of boot camp and
Deborah Horton, a group fitness instructor at Crunch fitness in New
York City, leads a 60-minute mini trampoline, or rebounder, class
called Urban Rebounding that folds planks, jumping jacks and
hamstring curls into and between cardiovascular intervals.
“Rebounding is a non-impact cardio workout on a surface so soft you
can bounce a raw egg on it and it won’t break,” said Horton.
It offers a softer landing than high-impact cardio workouts, from
running to high intensity interval training on hard ground, which
can also be hard on the body.
To add a resistance component, Horton added, some rebounding classes
incorporate free weights and body bars.
“I do think it (rebounding) is one of most beneficial ways to get
the heart rate up in a safe and healthy way that will allow your
body to last,” she said.
Michele Olson, professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University
in Montgomery, Alabama, said rebounding is a low-to-moderate
intensity form of cardio exercise that burns calories similar to
“The calorie burn and intensity are not as high as jogging or
running,” she said, “so it could be very useful for less-fit
persons, (or) those with orthopedic issues.”
Interspersed with regular weight lifting and more vigorous running
routines, Olson said, rebounding could also supplement the workouts
of fitter individuals seeking more variety and less impact.
But bouncing, she added, is no substitute for walking.
“Good ground-based walking stimulates the bones in the spine more
and is important for preventing osteoporosis,” Olson said. “To
protect the bones the feet need to hit the pavement a few times a
John Hines of Bellicon-USA, a Chicago company that distributes
Bellicon mini trampolines, said while rebounders are popular among
seniors, sales spike among people in their 30s and 40s, and are more
popular than expected among 25- to 30-year olds.
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“I tell people to leave it in the living room next to the
television,” Hines said, adding that initially many people are
afraid they’ll bounce off, but that fear vanishes very quickly.
“It’s interesting how quickly we adapt to bouncing,” he said. “You
can really relearn balance at any age.”
Exercise physiologist Dr. Mark P. Kelly suggests that for seniors
mini trampolines have their ups and downs.
“Many older adults feel the trampoline is perfect for them with the
soft landing. In reality, the older individual may be the worst
candidate for using the bouncy surface due to weak ankles and poor
balance,” said Kelly, who teaches at California State University,
Kelly said mini-trampolines are associated with ankle sprains and
strains. He urges beginners to hold on to a stable object until the
ankles are strengthened and the user gets used to the bouncing
(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Chizu Nomiyama)
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