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Can I Work My Abs on a Trampoline?

A trampoline isn't just for kids' play in your backyard. These bouncy platforms can make for a solid cardio, flexibility and power workout, as shown by the trampoline fitness centers popping up all over the country. Trampolines get your heart pounding, but are gentle on the joints.

Ab exercises may be part of a comprehensive trampoline fitness program. Of course, you can lie back on the tramp and crunch like you might on solid ground, but creative options on the unstable surface take your ab workout to new levels of intensity.

Warm up before you attempt these moves with just a few minutes of jumping jacks and high knees on the tramp.

U-Crunches

This is similar to a standard crunch, but lifting your legs on the bouncy surface offers just a little extra instability.

  1. Lie on your back in the middle of the trampoline. Reach your legs up toward the ceiling and place your hands behind your head.

  2. Raise your head neck and shoulders toward your legs to create a "U" shape. Release back to the mat. Feel your belly button crunch toward your spine as you lift and resist the urge to rock the backs of your hips off the trampoline.

  3. Repeat for 15 to 20 repetitions.

Power Bounces

  • This uses the bounciness of the trampoline to challenge your stability.

    1. Sit in a cross-legged position in the middle of the trampoline.

    2. Bounce up into a straight up-and-down standing position.

    3. Land back down in a seated position. Bounce for 30 to 60 seconds.

      Tip

      Add more challenge to the power bounce by twisting your body as you bounce up. From the seat, bounce up so you face right, sit down and then bounce up to face left.

    Bicycle Crunches

  • The American Council on Exercise names this move the most effective exercise for training your rectus abdominis -- the front of your abs -- and second only to the captain's chair for training your side obliques. It can be just as effective on a trampoline, as it is on solid ground.

    1. Lie on your back on the middle of the trampoline. Lift your legs up and bend your knees so they are balanced over your hips. Place your hands behind your head.

    2. Extend your left leg and bring your left shoulder and right knee together. Repeat on the other side by extending the right leg and bringing the right shoulder and left knee together.

    3. Continue to alternate 16 times.

    Plank Mix Up

  • This move activates your transverse abdominis, deep inside your abdomen, to help with stabilization, posture and jumping power.

    1. Get into a forearm plank in the middle of the trampoline.

    2. Use control to rise up to a high plank with your hands under your shoulders.

    3. Return to the forearm plank. Alternate for 30 to 60 seconds.

      Tip

      When you're first starting out, the trampoline might feel too unstable for the plank moves. If you have a small home model, do the planks with your hands/forearms on the trampoline and your feet on the floor. This offers more stability, but still builds core strength.

      Read More: The 41 Hardest Ab Exercises

    Tuck Jumps

  • You'll blitz your butt and thighs as you jump, but the tucking action forces stabilization and flexion from your abs.

    1. Start bouncing on the trampoline to get momentum.

    2. Rebound off the surface and pull your knees to your chest and your chest to your knees. You'll resemble a tight ball at the top of the jump.

    3. Release down to rebound again off the surface of the trampoline. Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds.

      Read More: Is Jumping on a Trampoline Good for Exercise?

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    About the Author

    Andrea Cespedes has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. A personal trainer, run coach, group fitness instructor and master yoga teacher, she also holds certifications in holistic and fitness nutrition.

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