A jogging trampoline is a mini-trampoline with a diameter of about 40 inches (1 meter) and which stands about one foot above the ground. Many also have a handle attachment for stability. Jogging trampolines differ from larger, recreational trampolines because they are sized for use by one person at a time and are often stored inside, although outside use on solid ground will also work. Jumping or jogging on these mini-trampolines is often referred to as “rebounding,” and the trampolines themselves are sometimes called and sold as “rebounders.”
Jogging trampolines may be used for recreation, but the most common use is that of low-impact exercise to improve balance, core and leg strength, and cardiovascular health. Other health benefits may include skeletal strength, improvement in vision, stress reduction, increased oxygen flow and lung capacity, and stimulation of the lymphatic system. Rebounding exercises have also been used to aid reasoning and recovery processes, especially in children with learning disabilities or those with physical handicaps, such as cystic fibrosis.
Exercise on jogging trampolines is said to burn calories at a faster rate than normal jumping, jumping rope, or jogging alone, while protecting joints and the spine from the impact of these activities. The rebounding aspect of the trampoline helps the jogger achieve a weightless state at the top of the jump; when the jogger lands on the trampoline again, she lands with twice the normal force of gravity. It is this effect, not accomplished when jumping or jogging on solid ground, that is said to provide all of the added health benefits.
Before beginning an exercise routine on a mini-trampoline, it is recommended that the rebounder remove her shoes and go barefoot or choose a non-slip, rubber-soled shoe. Warming up and stretching are also usually recommended before attempting most workouts.
The specific routines and time spent becoming acquainted with the equipment typically vary from person to person. Some may find that the first step of finding balance when simply standing on the jogging trampoline is difficult. Balance requires multiple senses to work together as well as strong core and leg muscles to find one’s center of gravity. Small bounces, with the use of the trampoline’s handle for stability, should allow beginners to gradually increase core strength and grow comfortable with using the equipment.
Numerous websites and instructional videos offer workouts one can try on the jogging trampoline. However, simple jumping with legs and feet close together, or the motion of jogging wherein one alternates the landing foot, bringing the opposite knee up toward the chest on each bounce, are often enough to achieve the benefits of a workout on a jogging trampoline. As with any exercise, it may be wise to first consult a physician about recommended exercise intensity and safety precautions.