One of the best investments I ever made in exercise equipment was purchasing my mini-trampoline. It looks just like a standard backyard or gym trampoline except that it is smaller in width and in height. Although my favorite exercise is taking a long walk and/or golfing, these are both outdoor activities and I needed something to do on those rainy/snowy days in Michigan. I always enjoyed bouncing on the trampoline as a child, so I thought I just might enjoy it as an adult as well, and I was right.
Jumping on the trampoline is lots of fun and a good workout. It is also good for all ages and levels of fitness. You can do a variety of exercises on the mini-trampoline and add to the intensity by adding weights and/or added movements. Experts state that trampoline workouts (also referred to as rebounding) can help especially in the toning/firming of the buttocks, legs, hips and thighs, but it is also aerobic because it gets your heart rate up and helps you work up a good sweat. Unlike running or jogging, jumping on the trampoline is not hazardous to the knees or to the joints. Here are some guidelines/suggestions for a good “mini-trampoline” workout plan.
Warm-Up (5 to 10 minutes)
As with any other exercise, be sure to warm up to minimize your chances of injury.
Option # 1 – Begin with a little walk on your trampoline, but don’t lift your feet off of the trampoline, just do the movement. Now slowly begin to lift your feet and legs, lifting higher and moving faster as you go along. You’ll start to feel yourself bouncing a little bit and getting into an aerobic pace.
Option # 2 – Begin your workout with a gentle bounce. With legs apart (adjust to a point in which you feel secure and stable) and knees bent just a little, begin to gently bounce on the trampoline. Increase your height gradually.
The Workout (10 to 20 minutes)
Option # 1 – Now graduate to jogging in place. To get more aerobic movement, increase height and speed. Add arm movements also for more impact. As you gain better balance and comfort with your trampoline, you can graduate to using small hand weights (or canned goods) to add intensity to your workout.
Option # 2 – Increase the impact in your bounce by bending your knees more and using other parts of your body to get more height. You can also vary this workout by doing jumping jacks and/or body twists.
Cool Down (5 to 10 minutes)
You might be tempted to skip the cool down process, but don’t as it is very important to let your heart rate slow down gradually. Cool down by slowly returning to your warm up program. If jogging, gradually slow to your walking pace. If bouncing slowly return to your gentle bounce.
Before you purchase a mini-trampoline, be sure to find out it’s weight capacity. I’ve seen some with a maximum weight capacity of 230 lbs and others can accomodate all the way up to 300 lbs.
I have just a basic mini-trampoline that I paid less than $30 for. Many experts now recommend one of the “rebounders” because of their safety features. These come with a handle/bar for stability if needed and with some you can adjust the tension of the trampoline mat. Nevertheless, rebounders typically run about $100, and the same effect might be accomplished by placing a high back, sturdy chair in front of you for support if needed.
Start out very slowly. Initially I had trouble going more than 5 minutes. Begin with just a few minutes and then work your way up to a full workout program.
Be sure to wear clothes that are not restricting. It’s best to wear snug, but not restricting shorts and/or ankle length pants. I prefer working out in my bare feet, if you prefer to wear shoes you should choose a running shoe.
Try to stay in the center of the trampoline – this is especially true for beginners.
If you have not been actively exercising, and/or have inuries, be sure to check with your medical professional before beginning this workout.