Mini Trampoline Fitness
If you are thinking about losing a few pounds or are even a hard-core fitness enthusiast, trampolines are great. However, you might not have either the funds or the space to invest in a larger, outdoor model. So what do you do, Take up (urgh!) jogging? Fear not, what about having a look at a mini trampoline?
The first thing that comes to mind for many people when they think ‘mini’ is one of the toy trampolines that you might buy for a toddler. Whilst these can be great, they clearly aren’t meant for adults and even less for an adult who is intending to use it to work out! Smaller exercise trampolines are what you should be looking at. These are made for indoor use and specifically for fitness. If you pick the right model, you should have absolutely no problems working hard and getting some great results.
So just what can you do with this get in shape? Pretty much anything you want! A couple of things to bear in mind before getting started. The aim here isn’t to bounce as high as possible. If you set this up in your living room (as many people do), think about low ceilings, ceiling fans or furniture that may be nearby. Give yourself plenty of space (at least 6 feet all round.) Your aim is to work hard for an extended period of time, not to smash through the floor or ceiling!
Secondly, think about getting something with a bar or guide rail. This is great when you are starting out and you haven’t go used to the stability required to bounce around. It is also very important when you are tired. It is easy to keep your balance on a smaller trampoline when you are fresh, but when your legs are slowly turning to jelly, things suddenly become a lot tougher. Having something to hang on to at this point is smart, especially for beginners.
So on to our workout. Research has shown that bouncing can actually burn more calories than other popular fat burning workouts. In my opinion (and that of many trampoline enthusiasts too) it is also a lot more fun. If you are just starting out, your best bet is just to get on there and bounce gently for 5 minutes or so. Actually, at first even five minutes can be a long time. Don’t kill yourself straightaway-just do 5 minutes a day for a week or two until you are used to it. In fact even when you are an advanced ‘bouncer’ always start with a few minutes of this to get warmed up and back in the swing of things.
When you want to start to add a little variety to your workout, add in jogging. This can be a little a tricky at first. It feels very different to jogging on a flat surface. It is more like running on a ship’s deck. Make sure that you keep centered so that there is no risk of falling. You aren’t sprinting (at least not yet) so think about balance all the time.
The next step is to move your feet. Start with jumping jacks then alternate one foot forward and one foot back. As you get better and better, you can mix this up even more. For example you can do jumps, jogging, jumping jacks and front/back in quick succession. You can even jump off then on again.
So how do you put all this into a routine? I find that two options work best. Firstly, use a timer. For example, you can start with jumping jacks and then change exercise every minute. When you have been through everything, start again.
The second option that I like is to just mix things up to music. Put the trampoline opposite the television, tune in to your favorite music channel and have at it! As the beat picks up, you can accelerate the rhythm. Working out to music like this keeps things fun and helps you to ignore the fatigue.
So what are the advantages of this type of exercise if you want to get in shape? There are a few, but here are the main ones:
- Variety. Rather than doing the same thing (like when you run) you can mix up the steps from jumping to running to hopping.
- Good for your joints. Pounding the pavements is terrible for your back, ankles and knees, especially if you are carrying a few extra pounds. A trampoline soaks up the shocks and will strengthen your body without breaking it down.
- Practical. Joining a gym is great, but you need to go there, get changed, wait for equipment, respect the opening hours…. None of this is the case with a mini trampoline. You can fold it away under the bed and take it out whenever you have time, even in ten minutes while you are waiting for the washing machine!
- Cheap. Ok, you will need to buy the trampoline and it is worth buying a good-quality model. But compared to gym fees, gas and new sports clothes for the gym, it is a pretty cheap one-time investment.
- Weather proof. I always feel sorry for joggers or bikers who are suffering through a rainstorm. I mean, how dedicated do you have to be to get out there on a freezing evening in the pouring rain? In fact, this is the reason why so many people actually quit exercise! With a mini trampoline, you don’t have this problem and you have just removed another potential roadblock on your fitness journey.