Remember how much fun bouncing on the bed was as a kid? Exercising on a mini trampoline will have you singing the merits of childhood again. This enjoyable exercise, also referred to as rebounder exercise, is gentle on the joints while still giving a good workout. Your mini trampoline exercise routine can be as intense as you want it to be.
You will need some time to adjust to bouncing on your small rebounder trampoline. One person may need a week to get used to balancing on a mini trampoline, while another may only need a day. You should wear comfortable, non-slip shoes. Some people prefer to just go barefoot. Use caution, though, because exercising without wearing shoes may increase your likelihood of a foot injury.
Starting out, as with any fitness, you should first do a warm-up. As a beginner, rebounding should be done at a slow-to-moderate pace. Only use the mini trampoline for a few minutes at a time to allow your muscles to become used to the exercise. The following five rebounder trampoline exercises will have you smiling and sweating at the same time. (Now, that's what I call a perfect exercise combo.)
- BASIC BOUNCE This exercise can be as difficult as you want, depending on the effort you put into it. Stand in the center of the mini trampoline with feet slightly apart. This will be your basic starting stance for all rebounder exercises. Without lifting your feet off the mini trampoline, lightly bounce. If necessary, situate yourself near a sturdy object or wall that can be held on to for balance. As you become used to bouncing, lift your feet off the trampoline a little. Increase the height of your bounce as you become more comfortable with this basic bounce.
- BASIC WALK This is a good warm-up and cool-down exercise. From a basic starting stance, alternately lift your heels. Do not lift your toes off the trampoline. Swing your arms as you would while walking.
- BASIC JOG This workout is a fun way to raise your heart rate; many consider it a lot more entertaining than other aerobic exercise. From a basic starting stance, alternately lift each foot an inch or two off the mini trampoline. Move your arms as you would while jogging.
- HEEL-TOE BOUNCE This advanced exercise is taken from Billy Blanks' Tae Bo routine. Stand in the center of the mini trampoline with your feet close together. Instead of doing a basic bounce, bring your left foot forward during the bounce, touching your heel to the surface. Briefly raise your left arm up in front of you as your heel touches the surface. Repeat this for the right foot. Doing this for a minute or so is all it takes to get the sweat pouring.
- JUMPING JACK BOUNCE This is another advanced rebounder exercise. From a basic starting stance, bounce up. As you bounce, spread your feet apart (watch your footing!) and bring your hands over your head. Compared to a regular jumping jack done on a hard surface, bouncing on a trampoline makes this exercise easier on the joints.
These five exercises are just the beginning of your lifelong fun with rebounders. Each trampoline exercise can be varied by using different arm motions. To make each exercise more of a challenge, go faster or bounce higher. The basic jog can be jazzed up by adding an alternating side twist (moving only your lower body) to each step you take. As you become more comfortable with rebounding, you will naturally discover new exercises. In addition to the mini trampoline, it's a good idea to invest in some other basic equipment like safety pads.