Ever since I can remember I have loved jumping on trampolines – I’d spend hours flying up and down and trying my best to ‘double-bounce’ siblings. Little did I know at the time that this fun, dynamic movement was also super physically beneficial. As I’ll outline below, jumping / bouncing flushes stagnant liquid out of the body, strengthens bones, and improves posture, heart and lung capacity. I truly believe that nearly everyone can benefit from investing in a trampoline or mini-trampoline/rebounder. Old or young, fit or unfit, strong or weak a little bit of bouncing each day will bring health and well-being to so many of our systems.
THE BENEFITS OF BOUNCING:
Cleans the lymphatic system and boosts immunity
Our lymphatic system is the fluid system that runs throughout our body – seeking out, fighting off and detoxing any foreign bodies that may cause harm. Without movement this fluid becomes sluggish and less effective at battling off viruses, toxins and disease (imagine murky swamp water) – this can manifest in anything from cellulite, allergies, fatigue, or hormonal imbalances. Because the lymphatic system runs linearly, when we bounce up and down it affects change in the fluid super effectively. As you jump, imagine the “swamp water” getting diluted and flushed clean with fresh spring water.
As you travel down from your upwards bounce there is an increase in ‘g-force’ (gravitational force), so when you land there’s a greater weight and impact that travels through your bones. This impact helps remineralise and strengthen your bones. The same principle is practiced by astronauts who use rebounders to help rebuild the bone density lost while being in space with zero gravity. Rebounder bouncing also helps build stability and flexibility around your joints, as landing on the elasticated surface limits any jarring and compression which is normally experienced when exercising on hard surfaces.
Improves muscle tone, posture and balance
It is impossible to bounce and not use your abdominal, leg, hip and thigh muscles. Because the rebounder creates an unstable environment we are forced to engage and challenge our deep skeletal and superficial muscles. This instability also stimulates the vestibule in the middle ear (responsible for balance) and is thus great for challenging nervous system function. While bouncing you’re working on reaction speed, core strength, posture, balance and control. It also requires a lot of concentration and focus – great brain gym!
Increases heart and lung capacity – improves cardio fitness!
This one is obvious, but often bouncing is so much fun you don’t actually realise that you’re out of breath! As you’re bouncing your heart is working harder to help circulate blood around at a greater rate and your lungs are pumping harder helping to feed cells with fresh oxygen so they have the energy to keep you going. All this extra blood and oxygen flow is also extremely beneficial in detoxing excess hormones and toxins stored in your body, but to also increase red bone marrow and stimulate tissue repair.
- Wear loose clothing so you can really get everything jiggling and moving!
- Go barefoot
- Start slow but increase each session
- Avoid eating or drinking an hour either side of bouncing (ideally eat afterwards as your metabolism will be increased so can deal more efficiently with what you’re eating)
- Use it as a warm up, cool down or full work out
- Try to keep your vision at eye line
- Start with hands on hips then play with clapping hands above / behind your head
- Stand parallel and simply bounce up and down without taking your feet off the rebounder – keep knees soft and just connect with the up and down elastic nature of the rebounder’s material
- Bounce for 3 minutes 3 times a week; increase the bouncing by one minute each week
- Play with foot positioning – make feet wider /more narrow / shift the weight from side to side
- Stand parallel and bounce up and down catching air each time you bounce
- Bounce for 10 minutes 3 times a week increase the bouncing by one minute each week
- Play with star jumps and jumping from one foot to the other
- Stand parallel and jump high with little down time / then try slow deep jumps with a long down time
- Bounce for 20 minutes 3 times a week
- Play with kicking the legs out in front, to the sides and behind. Bounce on one foot