What is Rebounding?
Rebounding is a form of aerobic exercise that uses a mini trampoline. Its designed for fitness (at any level) and can be very enjoyable. Jumps can be fast or slow, high or low, and mixed with aerobic or cardiovascular workouts or any kind of workout from yoga stretches to dance-based cardio to strength training jump sessions.
Its basically jumping on a mini trampoline either in gentle bounces where your feet don’t leave the trampoline or in complete jumps where you can rise 6 inches from the surface.
How Does Rebounding Improve Health?
Rebounding is an excellent and enjoyable way to work out every muscle and organ of your body (even every cell) and burn calories without stressing your joints. It provides at least four types of workouts:
- Steady-state cardio – keeping your heart rate high consistently
- HIIT – spiking your heart rate up with spurts of activity followed by periods of recovery
- Strength training – using your rebounder for step-ups or incline planks to build specific muscles
- Cellular – increasing biomechanical stimuli and mitochondrial count in each cell which increases cell energy and your body’s capacity for using that energy.
Full workouts are great, but even as as little as 10 minutes of rebounding a day can make a big difference. Read on to find out 10 top benefits of rebounding. Although these benefits are ordered from one to ten, your most important benefits may be lower on the list. Since everyone’s health needs are different, you’ll need to decide for yourself what your top reason for rebounding is:
1. Rebounders work and strengthen muscles all at once
Rebounding works every single muscle group in your body. The large exercises that get toned are the abdominals (core muscles), as well as the leg, buttock, and deep back muscles, but nearly all smaller muscles are also exercised and toned, including the pelvic floor muscles – helping prevent urinary incontinence and stabilizing hip joints. By involving your arms in your exercises, the arm muscles get worked out as well, which in turn strengthens the heart and shoulders. Studies show that rebounding develops upper and lower body strength better than weight lifting, without the strain!
And if you coordinate your jumping with breathing deeply and rhythmically, you get the added benefits of more oxygen to your heart, body and brain as well as exercising your diaphragm and lungs to keep their capacity up. Adding weights is optional, but can give you targeted exercise, if desired. The amazing thing is, all this happens at once in a beautifully synergistic way!
Jumping vigorously can work up a good sweat in just 30 minutes, but jumping less vigorously is still highly beneficial.
2. Increases oxygen circulation and increases cell energy
The up and down cycle of repeatedly jumping and landing and jumping again increases oxygen intake in cells and tissues as well as overall circulation. This increases breathing capacity and the ability of the body to supply greater amounts of oxygen to all the cells and tissues. It also generates signals (biomechanical stimuli) that increase cell energy and stimulate cell growth in muscles and bones. Its so effective that NASA uses trampoline exercises to recondition astronauts after space walks. A NASA study from 1980 found that the increased g-force of rebounding increases oxygen uptake more than running. This benefits the body on a cellular level far more than other methods of exercising.
NASA’s Journal of Applied Physiology (Journal of Applied Physiology 49(5): 881-887, 1980) states that rebounding exercise can increase oxygen intake as much as 68% and is more efficient than jogging.
3. Rebounding improves balance and core strength
The fact of the matter is that the action of jumping up and down in rebounding requires balance and core strength to begin with. The more you rebound, the more your balance and core strength improves. Its also an excellent way to develop balance and core strength if they are very weak.
Jumping on a mini-trampoline also stimulates the vestibule in the middle ear, which is important to proper balance. And again, if weak, the jumping movements of the rebounder help improve the the middle ear’s capacity to balance properly. If you’re older, recovering from illness or just beginning to exercise again, you may need to start slowly. Ten to 15 minutes is plenty, or possibly even five to seven at first.
4. Rebounding helps increase bone density
Bones need proper stress to grow and stay strong. Without weight-bearing exercise, bones grow weak. Jumping and dancing are proven methods to increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis. The small amount of pressure on the bones during jumping helps them grow stronger. A rebounder removes the joint strain from jumping, allowing safer exercise. Jumping on a rebounder is especially effective in preventing osteoporosis, supporting good bone density, and improving bone strength and bone formation, while decreasing bone resorption.
5. Rebounding is safer and lower-impact than other exercises
The risk of injuring muscles, fibers, ligaments, and tendons is reduced with rebound exercise because most of the impact is absorbed by the mat. In addition, NASA reports that the gravitational force (G-force) in the body is equally distributed when bouncing, removing pressure off the ankles and feet other forms of exercise (like running, dancing, jumping on a hard surface) generate.
6. Rebounding stimulates the lymphatic system
To stay healthy, our lymphatic fluids need to move. Yet, our lymphatic system has no pump of its own. Our body depends upon our movements to flush the lymphatic fluids and remove cellular waste. Physical exercise has long been understood to be the primary way to get the lymphatic system pumping and detoxing (along with drinking plenty of water and eating adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables).
Many people don’t get enough of the right kind of movement to pump the lymphatic fluids. Rebounding takes the physical pumping motions that are so needed by the lymphatic system up a notch. The up-and-down jumping movements and muscle contractions of rebounding increase the circulation of lymphatic fluids. These are just the kind of movements that help your lymphatic system flush out toxins, dead cells, and other waste products more efficiently than other types of movements.
7. Improves the cardiovascular system
Rebounding stimulates the cardiovascular system in a similar way to the lymphatic system. Jumping in this low-impact way also reduces blood pooling in the veins, which helps prevent chronic edema. According to NASA, 10 minutes of jumping on a mini-trampoline does more for your heart and is a better cardiovascular workout than 33 minutes of running (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebound_exercise#NASA_study_and_scientific_support_generally).
8. Rebounding is good for your brain
Rebounding improves improves blood circulation to the brain, which helps improve your memory and general brain function. It also helps foster deeper sleep and easier relaxation. There is also that wonderful feeling of weightlessness (even if short-lived) at the top of the bounce just before starting to go down again which is very relaxing and refreshing to the brain.
9. Rebounding burns calories
Lets not forget the weight-loss benefits! Rebounding provides both a cardio workout and muscle strengthening at the same time, burning more calories than one or the other. It also fosters lymphatic, cellular and cardiovascular drainage, all of which help reduce edema and flush toxins and stagnant fluids out – and the more efficiently your body can move waste products out, the less its apt to store extra fat cells.
Rebounding also increases your body’s capacity for using energy – it actually conditions your body to burn more calories. A 10 minute mini-trampoline session can burn the same amount of fat as a 33 minute run. That could be as much as 1,000 calories.
10. Rebounding protects against fractures and osteoporosis
After midlife, bone can be lost because remodelling (bone replacement) becomes unbalanced. Each remodelling event removes more bone than deposited, eroding and thinning the cortex from the inside out, increasing porosity, bone fragility, and the risk of non-vertebral fractures.(Growth and Age-Related Abnormalities in Cortical Structure and Fracture Risk, Ego Seeman)
Rebounding help build up cortical bone density, the outer bone that makes up 80% of your skeletal mass that holds you up and bears weight. Good cortical bone density keeps your bones protected against fractures and injuries and helps prevent osteoporosis. It also allows you to build more muscle. By strengthening joints, tendons and ligaments, it may help reduce certain forms of arthritis.
Rebounding also helps relieve stress and anxiety, improve sleep, reduce cellulite, fight damaged cells, tone muscles and improve co-ordination. That’s a remarkable combination all in one simple and fun form of exercise.
 Bhattacharya, A., Mccutcheon, E. P., Shvartz, E., and Greenleaf, J. E. (1 November 1980). NASA: NASA Technical Reports Server. Retrieved July 27, 2020 from https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=19810029519&qs=Ns%3DNASA-Center%7C0%26N%3D4294779280
And: Body acceleration distribution and O2 uptake in humans during running and jumping
A Bhattacharya, E P McCutcheon, E Shvartz, J E Greenleaf
PMID: 7429911 DOI: 10.1152/jappl.19188.8.131.521