Should you try trampoline exercise to get in shape? (Pros & Cons)

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A trampoline fitness class in action
Photo by Marco Verch

You probably loved using the trampoline as a kid. But did you know all that bouncing you did was a fantastic workout?

Jumping on a mini trampoline, which is also called rebounding, burns just as many calories as running a 10-minute mile. But it doesn’t feel nearly as strenuous because it’s so much fun.

Studies have also shown that rebounding burns more fat and increases your endurance more than running.

Astronauts have even used trampolines to regain bone and muscle mass after returning home from space. How cool is that?

If you want to train like an astronaut, keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of rebounding.

On the positive side, rebounding can improve your balance, aid in weight loss, improve your circulation, and increase your strength without putting stress on your joints. A lot of people find it’s the easiest form of cardio to stick to because it’s so enjoyable!

However, even though rebounding is great cardio, it won’t replace your strength training routine.  It doesn’t target your arms or provide enough resistance to continue to challenge your muscles over time.

Trampolines can also be expensive, especially if you want a full-size model. They can also be pretty dangerous when used improperly — but don’t worry, it’s easy to learn proper form.

If you’re careful, rebounding is a fun, beginner-friendly workout that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of regular trampoline exercise.

(And P.S. — My favorite rebounder for anyone looking to get started at home is the JumpSport 350. Check it out by hitting the link.)


Pros of trampoline exercise

Rebounding is a fantastic workout that can help you lose weight, improve your balance, increase your endurance, and more.

Read on for the full list of benefits.

Improves balance

Working out on the trampoline is an excellent way to improve your balance.

Rebounding trains you to find your center of gravity quickly.

Every time you jump up, you’ll land at a different angle. This forces you to readjust your body to stick the landing, improving your coordination in the process.

Studies have shown that rebounders can significantly improve balance in a matter of weeks, so you’ll see results quickly.

Increases endurance

Research suggests that exercising on the trampoline may increase your endurance more than running.

In a recent study, one group of people ran for eight weeks and another worked out on the trampoline.

The trampoline group showed a 7.82% increase in their VO2 max, which is one of the best indicators of cardiovascular endurance.

The running group, on the other hand, only experienced a 3.05% increase in VO2 max.

So if you want to condition your body and become a better, more fit athlete, trampoline exercise can help you get there.

Low-impact

Another benefit of trampolines is that they’re low-impact.

Although it seems like jumping up and down would be hard on your joints, trampolines absorb much of the shock, reducing the impact on your feet and legs.

The shock absorption that trampolines provide may also make you feel like you’re putting less effort into your workout than you actually are.

In a recent study, a group of college students exercised on a trampoline for twenty minutes while researchers measured their heart rates and oxygen expenditures.

Based on their vitals, the researchers determined that rebounding is a form of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise.

But when they asked the participants to rate how intense their workout had been, they consistently chose light to moderate.

This means that you may not feel the full impact of your workout and be able to push yourself harder on the trampoline than you would on other exercise equipment.

You may also be more likely to stick with your workouts because they’ll feel easier and more fun than similar forms of exercise like running or biking.

Burns body fat and torches calories

Did you know that bouncing on the trampoline can burn just as many calories as running?

A recent study showed that men burn an average of 12.4 calories per minute on the rebounder, while women burn 9.4 per minute.

That’s about as many calories as you’d burn running at a pace of 6 miles per hour or biking at 14 miles per hour.

But because the perceived effort of jumping on a trampoline is less than running or biking, you won’t feel like you’re working that hard.

Trampolining also burns more body fat than running, so it may help you achieve your ideal body composition faster.

The same study that measured VO2 max also tracked the participants’ body fat percentages.

After eight weeks of training, the trampoline group’s body fat percentage decreased by an average of 31.61%, while the running group’s had only decreased by 20.3%.

Although trampolining feels easier than running, it will still get you comparable, if not better results, so it’s worth trying out.

Increases strength

Believe it or not, trampoline workouts can increase your leg strength just as much as a traditional resistance training program.

In a recent study, one group of participants trained at a trampoline park, while another completed resistance training at the gym by doing exercises like leg presses and lunges.

After six weeks, participants from both groups showed similar gains in leg strength and dynamic balance.

And yet again, the rebounding group rated their exercise as less intense, showing that you can get the same results on a trampoline while feeling like you’re putting in less effort.

The trampoline targets a wide range of muscles including your core, back, thighs, glutes, and hamstrings.

But unless you incorporate wrist weights or medicine balls, your rebounding workouts won’t really strengthen your arms, so keep that in mind.

If that all sounds good, you should think about picking up a good fitness trampoline to use at home. Browse the selection at JumpSport — they’re the best in the game right now.

And for more on the benefits of rebounding, check out the results you can expect from trampoline exercise.


Cons of trampoline exercise

Despite all of the benefits of trampoline exercise, there are a few risks and drawbacks you should know about.

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons, but rebounding isn’t for everyone.

Keep reading to learn more.

Risk of injury

More than 100,000 trampoline injuries are treated in the US every year. About 85% of these injuries happen to children, and 15% occur in adults.

Ankle and wrist sprains are the most common injuries, although serious accidents do happen. You could rupture your ACL, get a concussion, or fracture your lower leg or skull.

Severe injuries are more common on regular trampolines because they’re so far off the ground.

But you still have to practice trampoline safety whether you’re using a mini, inground, or regular trampoline.

If you have a mini trampoline with a bar, it’s a good idea to hold onto it while you’re jumping to prevent you from losing your balance. You should also keep your rebounder away from furniture and other objects while it’s in use.

If you have a full-size, above ground trampoline, always keep the netting zipped up to protect you from falls. Only one person should jump at a time and you should never attempt an exercise that you’re not comfortable with.

One of the biggest causes of injuries is getting overconfident and doing a flip that you’re not ready for. Make sure you really know your way around your trampoline before you start doing tricks.

You should also maintain proper form during your workout to lower your chances of getting hurt.

When jumping, try to push down into the trampoline rather than up and keep your core engaged.

You only need to get about one or two inches off the ground to strengthen your muscles and get your heart pumping. So don’t feel pressure to bounce high or do complicated tricks—it’s not necessary for a good workout.

Can be expensive

Buying a trampoline can get expensive.

You can find sturdy mini trampolines for around $100 or $200. But if you want to do flips and tricks, you’re going to have to invest in a bigger trampoline.

Full-size trampolines with protective netting can cost $600 or more, which isn’t cheap. And if you want to install a safer inground trampoline, you’ll pay even more—usually a few thousand dollars.

Plus, owning a trampoline may cause your homeowner’s insurance to go up.

Many insurance companies will charge you more if you have a trampoline because it increases the risk that someone will get hurt on your property. Some companies won’t even insure your home if you have one.

So before you buy a trampoline, make sure you consider all of the costs and check with your insurance company to see if it will affect your coverage.

Your best bet is to go with a mini-trampoline built specifically for fitness like the JumpSport 350.

Doesn’t replace strength training

Although trampolines provide similar results to traditional resistance training in the short run, they may not continue to increase your strength over the long term.

When you work out on a leg press machine at the gym, you can keep adding more weight as your strength increases to continue to challenge your body.

But on the trampoline, there aren’t a lot of ways to increase the resistance.

While you can wear ankle weights while rebounding, experts don’t really recommend it as it can increase your risk of injury.

You can also try switching to a mini trampoline, which provides more resistance than larger models.

But at the end of the day, these little tweaks still won’t challenge your body enough to increase your muscle strength once you reach a certain level of fitness.

Eventually, you’re going to have to add traditional strength training to your fitness routine to continue to tone and strengthen your leg muscles.

(Although you’ll always get an excellent calorie burn from a rebounding session if that’s your goal.)


Wrapping Up

Trampolining is a fun workout that feels less strenuous than other forms of exercise like running and cycling.

But even though it feels less intense, it provides similar results. You’ll burn just as many calories bouncing on the trampoline as you would running a 10-minute mile.

You’ll also burn more fat and increase your endurance more by rebounding.

But trampoline exercise has a few drawbacks, like risk of injury and cost.

And although it provides similar results to traditional resistance training results at first, strength gains may eventually plateau if you don’t add weights into your fitness routine.

Still, trampoline exercise is a fun, effective alternative to more standard workouts like running and cycling.

If you think recumbent bikes and treadmills are too boring, pick up a rebounder—you’ll feel like a kid again and achieve your fitness goals.

And if you’re still not sure if rebounding is for you, check out more of my pros and cons guides like:

Hope this helps!

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