Many moons ago, I was a professional cleaner (I used to live in a super touristy area that people from all over the world travel to, one of the most beautiful places in the world). During that time, I got to see (and play with) a lot of different things that I would have otherwise never had the opportunity to see.
Many homes and cottages had home gyms in them, and one of the items that seemed to be in just about every one of them was these mini trampolines. At first, I thought they were just adorable (I hadn’t been on a trampoline since elementary school, after all), but as time passed and I kept seeing them pop up everywhere, I became intrigued. What’s the big deal? I thought. So one time, I asked one of my clients what the little trampoline really did in a home gym. It lets me do all kinds of exercises I wouldn’t normally be able to do by taking the stress off my joints she replied. And we left it at that.
Months later, I found myself in the home gym section of a sports store. At the back corner of the store – On a display that was so big it made me think someone read their fax wrong and put it there instead of front and center – were boxes upon boxes of mini-trampolines. I can’t exactly recall what time of year it was, but I’m guessing it was around this time – the time in which all outdoor exercisers in the northern hemisphere need to figure out a way to bring their intense regimens indoors. Either that or somebody really screwed up the order sheet and they were stuck with a superabundance of miniature bouncers.
Either way, a decent model was coming in at just under a hundred bucks. I had been looking for something to do while nursing a sciatica flare-up (from overworking my body) and a subsequent knee (re)injury (an old childhood injury that flares up every now and again) from favoring the one side of my body. Long story short, I left said sports store with a new mini trampoline in tow, determined to find out what all the fuss was about.
Now this was quite a few years ago, I wasn’t eating very well back then; I wasn’t taking care of my body very well at all, actually. I’m also a habitual hobbyist (I take and give up hobbies fairly quickly. Basically, it means I have a whole lot of little – completely useless – talents), so this is basically how my time on the trampoline went:
Me: Yay! Trampoline
Spend a week or so playing around on it, bouncing, running, etc.
I moved a couple of years ago, and that trampoline never made the move. Shame because a couple of days ago, I was randomly browsing on the internet when an ad for rebounding came up. Now, I’d never heard of rebounding before, but right there in the ad was a mini trampoline not too unlike the one I’d left collecting dust for months before finally abandoning it in the move. In addition to being a chronic hobbyist, I also happen to have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge (as long as I’m interested in the subject). Obviously, seeing that adorable little trampoline in the ad rekindled something deep inside of me because I spent the next few hours figuring out what this rebounding thing was all about.
And let me tell you. My Christmas wish list now involves a rebounder.
Why You Should Also Add A Rebounder (Or A Trampoline) To Your Christmas Wish List
Remember when we told you that you should jump every day if you want to build bone density? If you had knee, back, hip, and/or ankle problems, you probably wouldn’t be able to perform the exercise properly? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t still consult with your healthcare professional (you absolutely should), but this contraption builds bone density and does it better than jumping alone. It’s actually a perfect rehab tool for anyone that can’t take impact on their joints – Jogging, walking, running, jumping, etc., on the mini trampoline, you can effectively exercise for hours without getting tired. Here’s what happens when you jump on a rebounder:
- You jump off of it.
- You accelerate as you bounce upwards.
- There’s a split-second zero-gravity pause as you reach the top of your bounce.
- You decelerate at an increased G-force.
- You impact on the mini trampoline.
Doesn’t sound too interesting, does it? But it is! Here’s why:
How does rebounding work
When you’re bouncing on a rebounder, you’re effectively working every single cell in your body in a positive way by increasing your cell activity and mitochondrial function. Your skeletal system is positively impacted as well – The increased G-force that your body takes on when you jump on a rebounder helps build bone mass at an increased rate as well. As far as your muscles go, the rebounder allows them to be able to go through their full range of motion at equal force. Not only can that help align your spine and teach you to distribute your weight evenly, but it can also help improve your overall balance. Long story short, this adorable little bouncing machine is absolutely fantastic for your entire body (inside and out, but we’ll get to more about that in just a minute)!
How to do a proper trampoline workout
If you’re new to rebounding, you’ll want to start just bouncing without letting your feet leave the trampoline. Once you’re more comfortable with the bouncing and your body is used to the movement, you can slowly work your way up to bouncing about six inches up and down. It’s best to bounce in bare feet as (much like barefoot running) the impact and use of the muscles will help strengthen them over time. 15 minutes a day is ideal – split up over three five-minute periods if that’s all you have time for – but if you’re unable to accomplish that at first, feel free to do whatever your body will allow you to and work your way up to the recommended amount.
Here’s a good video guide by Michelle Briehler on how to do a proper trampoline workout. It’s pretty great!
Purchasing a rebounder is one of those cases in which you’ll get precisely what you pay for. If you spend forty bucks, you’ll probably end up with a rebounder with absolutely no give that will end up hurting you more than it will help you. If you’re serious about rebounding (especially if you’re someone who has an injury or is prone to getting injured with exercise), get a good quality rebounder. This folding mini-rebounder is great (a friend has it) and it’s the one I’m considering investing in – Slightly pricey, sure. But we’re talking about your body here – Quality should be priority number one!
The Benefits of a Rebounder
Boosting Your Lymphatic Drainage
We recently wrote about dry skin brushing, and we told you that it was great for helping you detox/boost your immunity via lymphatic drainage. Add rebounding to your morning routine, and you’ll probably never get sick again (just kidding, but you will probably get sick less often). Since the lymphatic system runs in a vertical direction anyway, the up and down motion of bouncing or jumping helps activate it, which helps to transfer cells throughout your body and support the proper functioning of your immune system. That means that with every bounce or jump you do, you’re effectively detoxing your system and fighting off sickness and infection.
It Gives You Energy!
If you’re one of those people who think they feel more energetic after a good run, you’re going to absolutely love the way you feel after a 20-minute rebounding session! When you bounce or jump, oxygen can circulate throughout your body more freely. Extra oxygen in the bloodstream = You have a heck of a lot more energy to get done whatever it is you need to throughout the day.
It Improves Your Balance
When you jump on a rebounder, your body is forced to bounce at a pace that puts the same amount of (increased and decreased) pressure on your joints. The more regularly and longer you jump, the more your balance and posture can improve tenfold over time. This one little benefit is probably the main reason for my (re)obsession with the mini trampoline – Even though I do yoga regularly, my posture still isn’t the greatest. I’m not getting any younger either, so I will start doing everything I can to make sure my spine stays strong.
And Your Digestion
Just as rebounding regularly gets your lymphatic system in proper working order, it does the very same with your digestive system. If you’re someone who suffers from IBS or a similar condition, you might very well find that rebounding every day could help to ease, if not completely you of your symptoms.
Rebounding makes you feel great
Because jumping or bouncing daily is such a great workout, it won’t be long before you start to notice your body becoming trim and thin (You can easily work your arms into your workout by raising them up and down as though you’re doing a jumping jack). On top of that, your mood is sure to improve as well – How could it not when you’re bouncing around like a five-year-old at your best friend’s birthday party?
Basically, what I’m saying is that I need to invest in one of these things pronto and that you totally should too.