Trampoline for Fitness: What’s Good, What’s Bad

I’m a big fan of mini trampoline workouts.  They’re fun, energizing, and a great way to spice up your overall workout routine.  You just need high enough ceilings and good instruction to stay safe and get a great workout.

What to Look For in a Mini Tramp Class

Lots of health clubs offer mini tramp classes; I used to go to one regularly.  You want to look for an instructor who safely motivates.  You want to hear a lot of cues about landing safely and about how high to bounce.  It’s also good to alternate between periods of high intensity (like jumping on and off the tramp) and periods of lower intensity (like doing a killer ab routine on the tramp with no bouncing).

The soft surface makes jumping a lot safer because the energy is being transferred into the trampoline instead of your joints.  Because the landing surface isn’t stable, you’ll be using a lot more core strength than you’d be doing on the floor.

One quick warning: I found that I’d really get into the workout and would start bounding around (despite my instructor’s warnings!) causing me to sometimes come home with cranky knees.  I’m prone to cranky knees, so just watch yourself and make sure you’re doing the right amount for you.  Trampoline work can also be a bit challenging for people with feet and ankle issues because of the soft surface and unstable landing area.  Be sure to start slowly and test things out to make sure you’re okay.

Buying a Trampoline for Exercise

Maybe you’re committed and you want your own trampoline at home.  If you’re buying one, I recommend a few things:

  • The fold-up ones are great and they save a lot of space, but they aren’t quite as sturdy.  If you have the space, get a full-framed one.
  • If you’re buying one with springs, make sure the springs are covered with padding so you don’t snag clothing (or skin!) during the workout.
  • The more legs, the better.  Four legs is sturdy, six legs even more so.
  • Consider buying one with cords. There are no springs to get snagged on, they’re a lot quieter, and a little easier on the joints than springs.  If you live in an apartment like I do, the downstairs neighbors won’t be glaring at the ceiling during your workouts.  The corded ones tend to be a little more expensive, but I think they’re worth it.

By the way, I’m a fan of JumpSport.  I’ve tried out their products at a few fitness conventions and I like the company and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable.  (Amazon affiliate link)

Trampoline DVDs

I’m friends with the girls at Pilates on 5th and have experienced their Cardiolates program, which blends Pilates and cardio, and can definitely recommend it.  I know Keli Roberts (affiliate link) always makes good, safe videos and she has one that uses HIIT training with the tramp (a natural for this fitness prop), but I haven’t done that one personally.

Hopefully this has given you a better idea of how to get your tramp on and what a fun workout it can be.  Let me know if you’ve done trampoline workouts and what you think of them.   And by the way, there are now fitness centers that are huge trampoline parks that are a total blast and I live near one.  The cardio boost is amazingly sweat dripping!