Does Trampolining Tone Your Thighs?

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Trampolining classes are rapidly gaining popularity as a way of maintaining fitness. Instead of pounding your joints on pavement in a running or jogging workout, you can achieve a low-impact aerobic workout on a trampoline. Rebounding on a trampoline will not only tone your thighs, but also condition your abdominals, lower back and buttocks. Because it involves jumping, first perform an adequate warm-up of five to 10 minutes of light cardio and do dynamic stretches for your upper and lower body.

Jumping

  • Because the form of a trampoline jump mirrors that of a jump you would do on the floor, a trampoline session is an effective workout for your thighs. To bounce on a trampoline, begin by bending your knees and using your feet to push your body up vertically into the air. Your arms should swing in front of you and finish the arc of movement over your head. Maintain an erect posture as you jump up and land. When you land, slightly bend your knees and then immediately spring up again. Avoid an excessive knee bend on landing, which will use up all your power, recommends John Beer, the Olympic coach for the British trampolining team, in Lisa Buckingham’s article “All You Need to Know About: Trampolining” on “The Guardian” website.

Equipment and Use

  • In contrast to a child’s trampoline on a playground, a mini trampoline is typically used for a fitness workout. Instead of trying to jump as high as possible, you push your feet into the mesh -- loading down -- with rapid forceful bursts, according to “A Woman’s Guide to Muscle and Strength: Programs You Need for the Body You Want” by Irene Lewis-McCormick. You can modify your workout in various ways, such as altering the depth or intensity of your jumps or changing the position of your feet. Among the many movements you can perform on a trampoline are jumping jacks, high-knee jogging, one-legged hops or scissor kicks. Begin exercises by doing small bounces so you grow comfortable with and steady on the trampoline.

Benefits

  • A male trampolinist’s legs are subject to a tremendous amount of force -- about 12 times the weight of his body -- when fully pushing down on the trampoline in competition, according to Beer. Similar to how jumping rope tones your thighs, a jumping workout will strengthen your lower body. Because you have to maintain your balance while jumping, trampolining will engage your core musculature. Swinging your arms up on every jump boosts the mobility of your shoulder joints as well as conditioning your upper extremities.

Tips and Considerations

  • If you take a trampolining class, make sure the trampoline has padding on its perimeter and is also encircled by padding on the floor. According to Beer, you should have at least four spotters who can help to cushion your fall if you bounce off the trampoline. Wear comfortable clothing, such as a sweat suit or T-shirt and leggings, and socks. While the risk of injury is minimal in a supervised environment, the greater number of injuries occurs on outdoor trampolines or when two people simultaneously jump on the trampoline. If you’re using a mini trampoline at home, clear the area of obstacles.

References

  • Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
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