If your home workouts are starting to feel stale after a year of repeating the same exercises over and over, then you might be on the hunt for an activity to refresh your fitness routine. Enter rebounding, a mini-trampoline exercise that is equal parts fun and sweat-inducing. These bouncy workouts come in all shapes and sizes, from dance-based cardio to strength training jump sessions. "Rebounding workouts provide a high-intensity but extremely low-impact cardio option," says obé rebounding instructor Melody Davi. "While you are able to increase stamina, endurance, and cardiovascular output via the trampoline, it's also extremely gentle on the joints."
Rebounding even has options for when you're not in the cardio mood, like barre or yoga classes that use the trampoline as a prop to add a new twist on those old favorites. So regardless of your fitness preferences, trampolining has something for everyone. Read on to learn all about the workout, its benefits, and whether you should try it.
Meet the Expert
What Is Rebounding?
Rebounding is a workout that takes place on a mini-trampoline. But although all rebounding sessions revolve around the same piece of equipment, no two workouts are alike, says Obé rebounding instructor Spencer Jones. There are high-intensity interval training (HIIT), dance, strength training, Pilates, and even yoga-based rebounding classes to pick from. So while you'll be sure to get some solid bouncing in, you can pick your favorite genre of rebounding based on your fitness preferences.
Best For: Low-Impact Cardio
If you love getting your heart rate up, but your joints are starting to feel the wear and tear from all that cardio, then rebounding is the workout for you, says Jones. "The trampoline absorbs most of the hard impact you would experience on the ground, thus protecting your precious joints while still getting in a really great high-intensity, sweat-dripping workout," he tells Byrdie.
But if you don't love cardio every day of the week, no problem, he adds — rebounding is versatile. Though many workouts incorporate a lot of bouncing to crank up your heart rate and boost cardio endurance, Jones says that trampoline workouts aren't all jumping, all the time. "Add some light hand or ankle weights, and you have a strength and toning workout. Pull out that stopwatch, and you have your HIIT workout," he says. "The trampoline can also be used as a prop for doing tricep dips, squats, push-ups, core work, or turn it on its side to use as a barre for some leg sculpting." Moral of the story? With a little creativity, rebounding can be whatever you want it to be, cardio or otherwise.
What to Expect During a Rebounding Workout
Since there are so many types of rebounding workouts, there's likewise no typical trampolining session. Instead, you can find classes online from rebounding-specific studios, general fitness platforms like Obé or YouTube. The workouts range anywhere from a few minutes to an hour-long, spanning fitness modalities from HIIT to yoga. Of course, you can also bounce on your own and build a custom workout using interval timing, your favorite bodyweight exercises, and more.
In general, though, Davi says most rebounding workouts fall into one of three categories. First, there's steady-state cardio, which keeps your heart rate high through consistent bouncing, dancing, or other activity on the trampoline. Next, there's HIIT, which spikes your heart rate up through maximum-effort spurts of activity followed by periods of recovery. And then there's strength training, where the rebounder is used as a prop to help you perform muscle-building moves like step-ups or incline planks, she says. In general, Jones says you can expect to get breathless and sweaty no matter the type of workout since each kind challenges your body in unique ways.
Benefits of Rebounding
There's no doubt that bouncing on a mini-trampoline is a good time. But there are more benefits to rebounding workouts than just having fun. From going easy on your joints to boosting your balance, here are some of those perks.
- It's low-impact: Want to get your heart pumping without having to pound the pavement? Rebounding can help, says Davi. Of course, all that bouncing will leave you breathless, but the trampoline will absorb each bounce so that the entire workout is gentle on your joints, she explains.
- Boosts endurance: Speaking of getting your heart pumping, these mini-trampoline workouts can do just that, adds Jones. Whether you're doing a HIIT or dance rebounding class, the constant activity will drive your heart rate up, which builds your endurance over time.
- Builds strength: It takes some muscle to bounce, according to Davi. So your legs and core are constantly engaged to help you stay upright and stable as you leap, says Jones. And that's not to mention the additional work your muscles have to put in if you're doing a strength training rebounding class, which might incorporate exercises like squats or deadlifts right on your trampoline.
- Improves coordination and balance: If you've ever tried to stand still on a trampoline surface, you know it's no easy feat. So it's no surprise that staying upright on that pliable surface while exercising can enhance your balance and coordination, says Jones.
For starters, Davi says to make sure that you mount and dismount your trampoline safely to avoid tipping it over. Then, she advises stepping onto the rebounder from the back and stepping off from the back or sides. And when it comes to safety considerations during your workout, there's one obvious risk: falling off. She recommends clearing the surrounding area of any hard or pointy objects so that if you leap off of your rebounder, you'll have a smooth landing. Jones also suggests placing some yoga mats or other cushioned surfaces around your trampoline to play it safe if you're prone to losing your balance.
To minimize the risk of falling off, Jones emphasizes focusing on your form. While you might be used to striving for the highest jump possible on a normal trampoline, rebounding form focuses more on staying low to encourage control and muscle engagement, he explains. "Think about three points of flexion (or bending): at your hips, your knees, and your ankles," Davi tells Byrdie. "Drive down into the rebounder through your heels. Then imagine there's a low ceiling overhead, so you keep your bounce small while you build up comfort and confidence."
Beyond that, the low-impact workout is safe for most everyone, they say. However, if you have any conditions that affect your balance or coordination, check in with your doctor before starting a rebounding regimen to make sure it's the right choice for you.
Rebounding vs. Similar Workouts
Whether you're into HIIT, dance, or another type of rebounding, the main difference is that the workout happens on a trampoline (or using the trampoline as a prop) instead of the floor. And the bouncy version of your favorite sweat session means that the activity is much easier on your joints than when you're exercising on hard ground, even though many of the moves are the same. "I love dance cardio, but it does get into your joints a lot," says Jones. "Doing the same exact dance moves on the trampoline takes away that impact."
What to Wear to Rebounding
You'll be catching a lot of air during a rebounding session, so Davi says it's best to wear athletic clothing that allows you to move comfortably. Some people prefer to jump barefoot, but she recommends lacing up your favorite pair of gym sneakers for these workouts since the trampoline surface can become sweaty and slippery. You can also keep a water bottle and towel on hand to hydrate and wipe off sweat while you bounce.
Rebounding workouts span exercise categories, covering everything from cardio to strength training to barre. The main difference? Rebounding happens atop a mini-trampoline rather than on solid ground. These workouts are great for low-impact cardio and can also improve your balance, coordination, and strength while you bounce. Just be sure to prioritize form while you jump to avoid any falls.
Ito S. High-intensity Interval Training for Health Benefits and Care of Cardiac Diseases - the Key to an Efficient Exercise Protocol. World J Cardiol. 2019;11(7):171-188. doi:10.4330/wjc.v11.i7.171