In this guide, we’re diving into the benefits of bouncing on a trampoline. Specifically, the more home-friendly mini-trampolines, or ‘rebounders’. We’ll look at the pros to these training tools, how jumping on a trampoline can improve your health, and what the exercise actually does for you.
It’s more important than ever to look after our health. During lockdown, when gyms and health clubs were closed, many of us began working out at home and discovered the benefits of not being tied to a gym membership. In addition to saving on monthly fees, there’s no time wasted traveling to and from the gym or queueing for equipment.
However, there’s only so many Joe Wicks workouts a person can do! Successful fitness programmes need variety to keep things interesting, otherwise you’ll become bored and de-motivated.
Quick version: Proven benefits of exercising on a mini trampoline
There are many important health plus points to jumping on a trampoline. Don’t let the kinds have all the fun. Even 20 minutes can work wonders. Here’s a quick overview of some benefits of this popular cardiovascular exercise:
- Increase your bone density – recent studies have shown that regular use of a trampoline will make your bones thicker and stronger.
- Good for your joints – Jumping on a trampoline is a low-impact form of exercise
- Jumping improves your mood – Using a mini trampoline is a great way to shake up your home exercise routine and to have fun while working out.
- Shed some calories – using a trampoline is a brilliant way to lose weight. You’ll be surprised how good a workout is possible by just bouncing!
- Improve your balance and coordination – While it takes some getting used to, one of the main benefits you’ll reap is a much better control of your balance.
- Workout your entire body at once – A trampoline doesn’t just tone up your legs, thighs and lower body. You’ll get a full-body exercise using one.
Jumping on a mini trampoline in a controlled and consistent way is known as ‘rebounding’.
What are the benefits to doing your cardio on a rebounder?
So one of the main things people ask about rebounders is whether or not they are capable of giving you a proper cardio workout. It’s easy to look at these things and, if you’ve not tried them, think of them as some kind of novelty or toy. But the truth is that rebounders are capable of giving you a really tough workout.
Even just having a go without any kind of instruction can really take it out of you. I’m reasonably fit most of them time but trampolining just wears me out (in a good way) really quickly.
The main plus points to getting a good workout on a mini-trampoline is that they’re really different to what’s already out there. So, if you’re not a huge treadmill fan, don’t like rowing, and don’t fancy biking your way to your fitness goals, these little trampolines might just be what you’re looking for.
Here’s a stat that might blow your mind:
What’s a good rebounder to buy?
The good news is that mini-trampolines aren’t the most expensive bits of gym gear you can buy. The Maximus Pro Rebounder is about the best one around for home use at the minute as it’s tough, folds up and is easy to use. Find out more about it in our review here.
MaXimus PRO Folding Rebounder
Are there any strength benefits to working out on one of these?
Rebounder workouts combine rebounding with cardio and strength exercises. For example, jogging on the spot, hip thrusts, jumping jacks, leg lifts, and squats. Rebounder workouts increase the intensity and effectiveness of these moves because of the mechanics of body movement while on a trampoline.
The springy trampoline base and disruption to your usual stability forces the muscles in your legs, thighs and core to engage in order to maintain your balance. As your equilibrium is always changing, your muscles have to constantly adapt and a full range of movements are performed in a short space of time. As such, they’re one of the best exercises to do at home.
What are the health benefits of rebounders?
Jumping your way to a better you
Rebounder workouts are also a great way to stimulate your lymphatic system. This is a natural detox process which rids the body of toxins, waste and damaged cells out through the lymphatic nodes.
Rebounding activates your muscles and helps to move the lymphatic fluid, aiding this drainage process. Lymphatic drainage is thought to be beneficial for conditions such as arthritis and swelling disorders, as it is anti-inflammatory.
Rebounding is kind to your joints too
The primary reason people choose trampoline workouts is because they want to lose weight and tone their body.
Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for a range of unpleasant illnesses, not to mention the hindrance is places on everyday life. Simple things like walking up stairs or running for a bus are made much harder by excess pounds. When your everyday movements are restricted, the thought of an exercise regime can seem daunting.
A trampoline at home can help with this because the springy base of the mini-trampoline disperses some of the pressure of the moves, making for a low impact cardio workout which minimises the strain that would otherwise be put on your joints.
This cushioning effect makes rebounding an ideal choice for people who are new to fitness, people who are overweight, people who suffer with joint health problems (like arthritis), and older people whose joints will be more vulnerable to injury.
Is a mini-trampoline good for weight loss?
For the same reason, rebounding can be a great way to perform strengthening exercises. Lower impact means you can do more sets without the same risk of injury or post-workout aches and pains. However, the results from strengthening exercises are as impactful – if not more so – when performed on a mini-trampoline because the fluctuations in equilibrium engage your muscles in a novel and dynamic way.
Strengthening exercises are essential for a successful weight loss regime because the muscles that they build require more energy for maintenance than fat. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. A more muscular physique means you will literally burn more calories when stood still!
Toning your body brings obvious aesthetic benefits, but it also improves bone health and helps you to lose weight. Bones are living tissue and they’ll change in response to how you treat them, just like muscles. Strong bones are maintained through exercise. This is very important for all of us, especially for older people as bone health tends to deteriorate with age.
Are trampolines good for your organs?
Here’s a little known fact about rebounders. One hidden benefit is that repetitive jumping is good for your bowels too.
The motion helps to ‘get things moving’, providing relief from the discomfort of constipation. This is good for your overall health as bodily waste contains harmful toxins that can cause long-term health problems.
Sluggish bowels are a common complaint for older people, as our bodies become less efficient at eliminating waste as we age. Rebounding is a safe and effective way to treat constipation that doesn’t involve resorting to medication, which can disturb the body’s digestive system. The advantages of a rebound workouts for bone health and constipation relief, as well as its low impact on the joints, make it an ideal exercise for seniors.
Can rebounders help with cellulite?
Another huge reason to start using a rebounder is its ability to reduce the cellulite on your body. Cellulite is the appearance of ridges or waves of fat, sometimes called ‘orange peel skin’ or ‘cottage cheese skin’. It’s caused by the protrusion of fat cells through the skin tissue holding structure into the upper layer of skin. Trampoline exercise can help reduce it.
It’s more common in women than men due to differences in skin structure (women have a lateral holding structure whereas men have a more effective criss-cross design). Cellulite affects the vast majority of the population and, unfortunately, there is no way to entirely rid yourself of it.
However, you can greatly reduce its prominence with rebounding. As mentioned earlier, rebounding stimulates the lymphatic system. Part of this process involves getting oxygen-rich blood to circulate around the body, promoting collagen production.
Collagen is vital for connective tissue health which, in turn, helps to hold back the fat cells from the upper layer of the skin. Rebounding is also good for burning fat. Fewer fat cells mean fewer fat cells protruding through, therefore reducing the appearance of cellulite.
Folding rebounders take up very little space and are easily stored
We’ve already covered just how awesome a job rebounders do at burning calories and keeping you fit, but one of the best things about this form of fitness is how little space you need for one.
While they might look like they take up a fair chunk of floor space, they can normally be folded down ad carried into another room easily.
We know that storage space is precious and that most people don’t have room in their house for a permanent home gym. When your trampoline isn’t in use, you can easily store it by folding it up. The compact design makes it ideal for sliding under the bed, resting against a wall or putting inside a cupboard. Compared to going to the gym or waiting in line for equipment while you’re there, the setup and dismantling of your mini-trampoline is a major time-saver.
Several models are designed to fit in your car boot but they’re a seriously good option if you’re short on space or just don’t want something like a treadmill hogging all your room.
Another huge benefit: Trampoline exercise is FUN!
With all these health benefits, such as increased bone density, weight loss, and all the positive things rebounders can do for your body. There’s something for everyone to gain from a rebounding workout. However, there’s one final reason why it’s so popular – it’s fun!
Trampline exercise make you feel like a kid again. The opportunity to let go on a mini-trampoline and enjoy yourself is why so many people have fallen in love with this exercise. Not only does this turbo-power your motivation, but it’s a great way to boost your mental health too.
Getting started with trampoline exercise at home
If you’re ready to take a leap of faith and start your rebounding journey, the great news is that it’s really easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Beginners are advised to take a ‘little and often’ approach. Build up the height of your rebounds, starting with small hops and progressing to full jumps, by using your mini-trampoline for as little as 10 minutes a day.
Users of all fitness levels will be able to find free instructional videos on YouTube to suit their fitness goals. These guided sessions mimic being in a fitness class and will help you to discover new ways to move on your mini-trampoline and the safest ways to perform exercises. The variety of videos is great for keeping your fitness sessions fresh and new, which will help to keep your motivation high.
References and further reading
- Find out more about how rebounders are used in physical therapy on the Rebound Therapy website.
- Read more about the NASA rebounder research and study on the rebounder Wiki page
- Find out how to do a basic bounce on your Maximus Pro here
- Full details on NASA’s study into rebounding exercise can be found here