Wednesday 11 April 2018

How To Use A Rebounder Effectively

   As a fitness enthusiast who is always excited to try new things, I was quite keen when I was given a rebounder (mini trampoline) for Christmas. I got BarreAmped Bounce to go with it, since I was intrigued by the fusion of barre and rebounding - after all, Pilates and HIIT worked really well for PIIT28, and HIIT and yoga worked for FitFlow Max - and I was so excited to get started. I mean, who the hell doesn't love bouncing on a trampoline? And don't give me boob nonsense - with Panache's sports bras going up to a J cup, no one has any excuse not to bounce around.
   Well, after a month of use, I was disappointed. I was disappointed on day one. And while it was the DVD I was disappointed with, I realised that it would be very, very easy to mis-use a trampoline when exercising. Everyone knows that jumping is an excellent calorie burner, so you would think that a piece of kit designed for jumping would be even better, right? How could it possibly be used wrong?!
   Turns out, very, very easily.

   Jump training - plyometrics - is one of the best fat-burning activities you can do because it requires a burst of power for every jump. This means you need to put great effort into the leg and glute muscles to thrust yourself upwards and land again safely, more work still to leap straight back up, and even more work when the jumps become more advanced. This applies to all jumps, from jump rope to squat jumps to tuck jumps to box jumps. Power.
   But things get a little foggy when a trampoline is thrown into the mix.
   It's important to realise that, with jump cardio, it isn't the up and down movement that sheds fat, it's the power with which you push yourself up, and while you can certainly jump much higher on a trampoline or rebounder than on firm ground, you only put in around a third of the effort because the elasticity of the trampoline is doing most of the work for you.

Using A Trampoline Correctly
   That's not to say that using a trampoline is ineffective or inefficient exercise, but to get the most out of your trampoline or rebounder, you have to use it right. So rather than seeing it as a tool (or toy) to help you jump, consider it this way instead:
1: trampolines and rebounders emphasise jumps - they give you greater height and a softer surface to land upon. In this case, use it as an opportunity to put focus instead into speed, or into lifting your legs. High knees and tuck jumps are made much easier because you have more height and subsequently more time to lift your knees into your chest. So take advantage of that. Never just bounce up and down - make sure you jump.
2: it's an unstable platform, which means that your balance has to remain dynamic; single leg squats or many barre movements in relevé are made much harder. So if you're proficient at such things, performing the movements on a trampoline (but, obviously, without bouncing) can provide a new challenge.
   Every time you use a rebounder, make sure you put effort into every jump. Never let the trampoline jump for you, or you're truly wasting your time.

Effective Rebounder Workouts
   I've been unable to find any decent rebounding or trampoline workout DVDs. They're all extremely tame and seem to forget that the trampoline cancels out the hard work of jumping. But I have found a few Youtube rebounding workout videos that are, actually, quite effective, which I've listed here:
Cardio & Strength BeFiT workout (20 minutes)
ReboundFit Advanced (25 minutes)
Arnita Champion's Rebounding Workout (30 minutes)
Power Jump Mix (40 minutes)
Arnita Champion's Rebounding Kickbox Workout (45 minutes)

  I have used BarreAmped Bounce, but it felt more like a gimmick to me. The DVD used the trampoline as an unstable platform for all the barre moves, and barre is amazing at creating sleek legs and bum, but it does absolutely nothing for fat burn and neither did the tame jumping that was involved. Again, there was little work put into jumps. You can put it in yourself, of course - you're accountable for your own effort - but none of it was ever even suggested, which means you need to forearm yourself with this knowledge before even beginning, which you shouldn't have to do with a specialised DVD. And sadly this isn't just limited to BarreAmped Bounce. Most rebounding DVDs I've found are the same. Jumping burns fat; trampolines help you jump. Surely the two are connected. That's the conclusion they're relying on you coming to and not thinking beyond. Unfortunately, it isn't that simple.
   But as long as you keep the two above points in mind when using your mini trampoline, you can get an effective trampoline workout it.


Post a Comment

I do read every single comment, and I will try to respond where I can. If you have an important question about my blog or my shop, however, then you might be better off contacting me directly by email. Thanks so much for reading my blog!