Jump Around: Trampolining Workouts More Fun than Skipping

When was the last time you used a skipping rope? For most of us, we said goodbye to skipping or jumping with a rope as soon as we stopped letting our mums cut our fringes, but does that mean that skipping ropes are just for children? While you may think that something as juvenile as a skipping rope can’t do anything more for your wellbeing than it could for a kid, Marie Claire Beauty & Health Director Erin Flaherty found out the hard way that skipping rope-based workouts are definitely not child’s play.


Flaherty details, ‘I recently found myself in a boot-camp-fitness situation in a sweaty muscle gym (first bad sign) that incorporated the playground staple — and I couldn’t fathom why I had ever found it a recess-worthy activity. Pathetically stumbling and tripping through the workout, I was shocked at how difficult it was, and after, I slunk out, dejected. (Did I just pay for this humiliation?) But at another class I attended later that week, I found myself bouncing around again — this time on a trampoline — and had quite the opposite experience: I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun exercising since, well, grade school.’


The wellness-damaging effects of using a skipping rope, then, are not the fault of jumping in and of itself. In fact, Flaherty is not alone in finding that the simple act of jumping up and down can work wonders for your fitness. You can see the popularity of jumping all over the US, with “trampoline parks,” or fitness/play centres for the whole family, cropping up all over the country. Sky Zone Sports has recently opened 18 such centres, and have 10 more scheduled to roll out in cities like Dallas and Cleveland over the next year. But why is this seemingly juvenile trend is a very, very good thing for everyone involved?


1. Easy on the joints: If you have sports injuries or other issues, the trampoline protects you through the low-impact cushion of the net.


2. Detoxifying: Flaherty explains, ‘Jumping up and down stimulates the lymphatic drainage system, which is why experts at the world-famous We Care fasting spa near Palm Springs — where stars go to drop five to 10 pounds fast — recommend their tony clients jump on mini trampolines throughout their stays.’


3. Accessible: Although there aren’t so many trampoline parks opening up in the UK, anyone can purchase a relatively affordable rebounder and sneak in a few bounces during your TV hour.


4. Efficient: Flaherty points out, ‘Studies show that jumping on a trampoline burns about 20% more calories than jogging at five miles per hour. And according to Parvati Shallow, teacher of ESP Wellness Center’s new trampoline class, six minutes on the rebounder can equal one mile of jogging. And did I mention it’s really, really fun?’


Flaherty enthuses, ‘During the class, we learn dance-y routines that require quick thinking and take us up, down, and all around the trampolines; plus we pull resistance bands hanging from the ceiling, squeeze exercise balls between our legs, and perform interval push-ups and other strength-training exercises off the side of the thing (which makes for some serious core work). It’s exhausting but enjoyable, and you can immediately feel how full-bodied the workout is.’ Bari’s Bounce class, where Flaherty first became hooked on trampolining, is co-owned by Alexandra Perez and Brice Andrew Hall, a trainer who has worked with Madonna. Perez notes, ‘People need cardio [like running] in their workout routines, but we found too many clients were prone to shin splints, foot problems, and other issues that interfere with exercise. For Bounce, we’ve choreographed strategic sequences on the trampoline that activate more muscles — and in different ways — to burn more calories and engage you cognitively, so you also benefit in areas like strength, balance, and coordination.’

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