Mini Trampoline Exercises
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The mini trampoline, or rebounder, is a small version of a trampoline, generally 38 to 44 inches in diameter. You can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your legs and develop stronger abdominal muscles by working out for 30 minutes three times a week. Mini trampolines are inexpensive and available at retailers nationwide.
Walk and Jog
Wear athletic shoes when you use a mini-trampoline to avoid slipping. Begin your workout by walking on the trampoline. You will need to raise your knees higher than when you walk on the pavement. Set a good pace for yourself, and walk for several minutes, swinging your arms as you move. As you become more comfortable walking on the trampoline, begin jogging. Keep your balance and start slowly. You can increase your pace and time as your fitness level increases. Alternate walking and jogging for a higher intensity workout.
Bounce and Jump
Jumping on the floor puts great stress on your joints. Jumping and bouncing on the mini trampoline reduces the stress on your joints but still works your heart and your legs. Begin bouncing very close to the trampoline mat and only increase your bounce distance as you become more confident in your ability to stay centered. Add arm movements, or hold light weights as you increase your proficiency.
A variation on simple bouncing, is to bounce with one leg straight down and the other leg slightly extended in front of you, touching the heel of your extended leg to the trampoline mat. Alternate heel touches as you bounce.
A more advanced set of exercises uses a twisting motion while you bounce. Start by gently bouncing on the trampoline. To perform a jump twist, touch your opposite knee and elbow to each other as you bounce, twisting your waist as you move. This exercise takes practice and you should first perform the movement on the ground before attempting it on the trampoline. Another twisting exercise is the side twist. Jump on the trampoline, but instead of keeping your knees in alignment with your body, as your knees come up in the air, twist them from side to side, alternating sides for each jump.
Jumping jacks are easily performed on the mini trampoline. Just as on the ground, begin the jumping jack by standing still on the trampoline. At first, just move your legs until you become accustomed to the feel of bouncing while spreading your feet apart. Once you are comfortable with the leg movement, move your arms above your head. A variation on a jumping jack is to move your arms in front of you, crossing them like scissors. This exercise works your back, chest and leg muscles.
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.