How to Exercise Using a Mini Trampoline
Jumping on a mini-trampoline is fun and gives you an effective workout. A study published in the "Journal of Applied Physiology" in 1980 and directed by A. Bhattacharya found that jumping on a trampoline was a more effective workout than running. Mini-trampolines are readily available at sporting good and discount retailers, as well as online. Ranging in diameter from 36 to 40 inches, mini-trampolines are portable and easy to store. Jumping regularly builds leg muscles, burns calories and strengthens your cardiovascular system.
Bounce gently with both feet on the trampoline to warm up. This gentle bouncing helps you become accustomed to the feel of bouncing and balancing at the same time. Keep your feet on the trampoline mat as you bounce until you are comfortable lifting your feet off the mat. Bounce for 5 minutes as a warm up, or longer for a simple cardiovascular exercise.
Stand in the center of the mat and begin the mini-trampoline jog. Jog in place by leaning back slightly and raising your knees in front of you as you jog. Be careful to stay centered on the trampoline. According to Albert Carter, author of the book “Rebound Exercise: The Ultimate Exercise for the New Millennium,” the rebound jog can be used by people of all fitness levels. If just beginning, slightly lift your knees off the mat while jogging. As you progress, lift your knees higher until your upper thigh is parallel to the mat.
Jump in place for 1 minute before attempting jumping jacks on the mini-trampoline. Doing jumping jacks on the ground places a great deal of stress on your back and joints. The trampoline mat absorbs much of the impact. If you are unable to coordinate both your arms and legs at the same time, practice the arm motion while jumping with your feet together and then add the leg motion. Your arms should be parallel to the ground when you have your feet spread apart.
Bounce on the trampoline with both feet. Once you have a steady rhythm, perform knee lifts. Bounce one time with both feet together, and then on the next bounce, bring one knee up high as if you are marching. Bounce with your feet together again, and bring the other knee up. Vary this exercise by bringing both knees up together as high as you can on each bounce. Twist your waist as you lift your knees to work your abdominal muscles.
Add hand weights and arm motions to your workout to increase your arm strength. A 1995 study, published in the "Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation" and led by J.F. Smith and colleagues, found that participants who added hand weights to a mini-trampoline workout substantially increased the intensity of the workout.
Jog, run or jump on the trampoline with 2-lb. weights. As you bounce, lift the weights in front, to the side and over your head. Do bicep curls and dumbbell shoulder presses. Increase the weight poundage as you are able. If adding weights is too difficult, simply move your arms as though you are holding weights.
Consider taking a rebounding class at your local gym.
Be sure the trampoline is securely put together and the mat is not worn.
Always jump in an open area to avoid hitting furniture or walls.
Alternate the types of bouncing you perform to work different leg muscles.
Purchase a mini-trampoline with a handlebar attachment if you are concerned about balance.
Supervise children if they bounce on the trampoline.
Stop bouncing if you experience any pain or shortness of breath.
Contact your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
Explore In Depth
- Journal of Applied Physiology: Body Acceleration Distribution and O2 Uptake in Humans During Running and Jumping
- Rebound Exercise: The Ultimate Exercise for the New Millennium; Albert Carter;
- Trampoline Town: 3 Great Rebounder Exercises
- Fitness Health Zone: Mini Trampolines: How Effective Are They For a Workout?
- Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation: Exercise Intensity Increased By Addition of Handheld Weights to Rebounding Exercise
Diane Lynn began writing in 1998 as a guest columnist for the "Tallahassee Democrat." After losing 158 pounds, she wrote her own weight-loss curriculum and now teaches classes on diet and fitness. Lynn also writes for The Oz Blog and her own blog, Fit to the Finish. She has a Bachelor of Science in finance from Florida State University.