Aug 28, 2013

    Bounce for fun and fitness

    TRAMPOLINING, said to have begun when Eskimos bounced each other on walrus skins for fun, is putting a feel-good cardiovascular spring into group fitness classes, from body sculpting to dance, fitness experts said.

    Also known as rebounding, it delivers a low-impact, calorie-burning workout that swops the tedium of a treadmill for a feeling of child-like euphoria.

    At Chelsea Piers Connecticut, an adult fitness class twins trampolining with rock climbing.

    "I wanted to do something fun. Everybody liked to climb as kids, everybody loves the bounce of the trampoline," said Mr Byron Knox, a director and instructor at the Stamford-based facility.

    "The trampoline is predominantly leg-based, although we do core exercises on it. The rock climbing is predominantly upper-body based, although you do use your legs," he said.

    He compared it to working a leg press followed by using upper-body equipment, but said that it is more entertaining.

    "Most people wouldn't think of trampolines as workout equipment, but (jumping on) it takes a lot of energy," he said. "It could be equal (in cardiovascular intensity) to jumping rope. And part of the beauty is that the exerciser is in control."

    However, Ms Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise, said that while the impact is low, the surface of a trampoline is still unstable and people who have lower-extremity instability must be made aware of this.