Bouncing may just be the most enjoyable way to get an adult workout, ever. And it’s having a revival, with trampoline parks opening up around SA. (To find one, visit jumparound.co.za or www.rushsa.co.za).
Want to try it? If you can’t get to a trampoline park, use your children’s trampoline (weight limit permitting – and not with them on board) or invest in a rebounder.
6 REASONS TO BOUNCE
1. BOUNCING BURNS KILOJOULES faster than going for a run. A study by Nasa in the US found that trampolining was 68% more efficient than running. In fact, it’s so intense that ‘it’s hard to sustain an hour of pure bouncing,’ says Dian Nissen, the US trampoline champion whose father invented the prototype in 1934. ‘You need to balance intensity and intervals, and keep moving the whole time.’
2. IT’S LOW-IMPACT The mat absorbs about 80% of the shock when you jump or jog on the spot. So you still get bone-boosting effects, but it’s easy on your joints.
3. YOUR ABS WILL TONE UP FAST ‘You have to learn to move on an unstable surface,’ says Nissen. ‘This makes it great for core muscles, as they have to work constantly.’
4. JUMPING STIMULATES THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM, creating a pump effect, which encourages your body’s detox mechanism.
5. IT MAY EVEN STRENGTHEN YOUR PELVIC FLOOR ‘Check with your doctor, but if your pelvic floor is just weak, empty your bladder before jumping and give it a try,’ suggests Nissen. ‘Just the fact that the surface is unstable [means it] will strengthen your core and pelvic floor. I have clients who worry about leaks, but the more they bounce, the stronger their pelvic floor becomes.’
6. YOU’LL FINISH PUMPED WITH FEEL-GOOD ENDORPHINS ‘Something happens to people when they get on a trampoline,’ says Nissen. ‘They feel that joyous bounce and it overtakes them.’
GET THE BEST OUT OF BOUNCING
BURN KILOJOULES: Do simple bouncing plus star jumps and try running on the spot.
GET TONED: ‘Try lunges and squats,’ says Joanna Edwards, fitness coordinator at Rush UK Trampoline Park. ‘Progress to higher-impact jumping lunges and low squat presses.’
FLATTER ABS: Gently bounce and bring both arms to chest level, elbows bent. Twist your knees to the right as your body twists to the left. Repeat on the other side.