A trampoline makes your workout a little less work and a lot more fun. What's more, jumping on a trampoline, or rebounding, is beneficial for your health. It's an effective. low-impact activity that gets your heart pumping and gets your lymphatic system circulating. And, since jumping is a weight-bearing activity, the trampoline helps to improve your bone density. The trampoline is definitely a great way to jump into fitness.
Plyometrics is a big word for basic motions such as jumping, skipping and leaping. Plyometric exercises work your muscles to the max in an efficient and highly effective way. In fact, plyometric exercises are used by many athletes for strengthening.
Jumping on a trampoline is a plyometric exercise. But, since the trampoline absorbs some of the shock, it's lower impact than other plyometric moves. In addition, the natural instability of jumping on a trampoline means your body is constantly adjusting and balancing itself, which adds to the workout's efficacy. Essentially, when you jump on a trampoline, you're throwing your muscles a curve ball.
While a trampoline is tremendous fun, it's no workout slouch; jumping on a trampoline burns about 230 calories per hour (based on a 145-pound person).
A backyard trampoline isn't just fun for kids, it's a great fitness tool for you. Start out slowly by walking on the trampoline to get used to the motion. Then take small jumps until you have your balance. Once you're warmed up, start bending at the knees and catch some air. Mix up the motion by jogging in place, bounding from side to side, taking leaps forward and backward, making cross-country ski-like motions, and doing jumping jacks and full circle jumps.
A mini-trampoline has all the fitness benefits of its larger cousin, but can be used in the privacy of your own living room. Plus, a mini-trampoline is ready and waiting even in rainy or snowy weather. You can make up your own routine, follow along with fitness DVDs such as the Urban Rebounding series, or look for a gym that offers rebounding classes.
Trampolines are fun and fitness-friendly, but they're also an injury magnet. So take safety precautions such as setting up the trampoline on a flat surface, checking the mat and springs regularly, using a safety net enclosure on large trampolines, making sure all bars and supportive pieces are properly padded, and purchasing a mini-trampoline with an attached bar for balance. It's also a good practice to have only one person jump at a time
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