Dubai: Working out while bouncing on a trampoline seems to be the latest way to lose weight and stay fit.
A couple of trampoline parks in Dubai have started the trend by offering reboot fitness programmes that combine rebound training and variable resistance exercises on trampolines that are suitable for all ages.
Though an untraditional form of weight-loss routine, trampolining is 33 per cent more efficient than jogging, Gary Knill, founder and managing partner of Jump Box, told Gulf News.
“Studies showed that an hour of jumping on a trampoline can burn up to 700 calories, and has been proven to be three times more beneficial than a stationary workout,” he said.
Not only is it fun, but it improves your immune system, stability, balance, and posture, supports bone and joint health, is good for your metabolism, and is effective at draining toxins from the body.
“These classes offer the ultimate rebound cardio and resistance workout eliminating excess stress on the heart, muscles and joints by combining cardio, strength, agility and mobility,” he said.
Running like a boot camp, the classes gradually get more challenging every week with additional moves and exercises, carried out on more than 120 interconnected trampolines.
The reboot fitness programme offers sessions for different age groups including reboot junior, reboot fitness, reboot 4 ladies and rippa, a more challenging version of the reboot class. The classes usually include up to 10 people.
“During the exercises, we use equipment like battle rope, Bulgarian bag, gripper, jumping rope, plyo boxes, boxing gloves, power, band, and vert ball,” explained Knill.
He pointed out that National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) studies have found that rebound exercise is the most efficient and effective form of exercise yet advised by man.
However, is trampolining the best method of exercise for everyone?
Dr Venkata Phaniraj, specialist orthopaedic surgeon at iCARE Multi-Speciality Clinics, told Gulf News that trampoline is a good and fun way of exercising particularly when you are young and fit.
“But it is not recommended for elderly and unfit individuals as the chances of injuries are high and will set back whatever their interest in getting fit,” he said.
Dr Phaniraj explained that exercising on a trampoline, also referred to as a rebounder, is an enjoyable low-impact workout that can provide you with numerous cardiovascular, health and fitness benefits. He said a solid trampoline workout can effectively train the muscles in your abdomen, legs, thighs and buttocks.
“Although trampolines provide an intense workout for the muscles and bones, the mat or pad absorbs 80 per cent of the shock from the rebound. Unlike jogging or playing tennis, trampolines provide your body with an all-round workout while reducing the risk of injury to your joints, especially in your ankles and knees,” said Dr Phaniraj.
Don’t try this at home
However, for those who plan to exercise on a trampoline at home with no supervision, it is highly not recommended, said Dr Phaniraj.
Even in the case of professionals who are constantly doing flips and somersaults, one can still seriously injure, particularly the neck and back area.
“The difficulty comes from the softness of the floor and the angle one lands on, and since there is nothing else to support yourself on, you can injure yourself badly.
“Sprains, back pain, neck pain, and torn ligaments and muscles are very common,” he explained.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, collisions between participants can be severe, and may lead to death or permanent paralysis. In 2014, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported nearly 286,000 medically treated injuries from trampolines, including more than 104,000 visits to emergency room.
“Though most of them occur on home trampolines, bounce houses are not far behind. They recommend strict supervision by adults and supervisors when children are active. Most of the bounce houses have strict capacity limits and trainers who keep a watchful eye, so they are reasonably safe, but minor injuries do happen,” said Dr Phaniraj.
He recommends regular trampolining for ages 18-20 as their bodies are supple and can take minor injuries if they are not overweight or obese.
First timers can start with low-key movements, gradually increasing their activity depending on their stamina, advised Dr Phaniraj.
“Even children can be encouraged to exercise on the trampoline as this becomes a fun activity for them with an additional health benefit. However, strict supervision at all times is imperative,” he said.
For individuals who are inactive and above the age of 45, trampolining should be handled with care or avoided as their bodies are stiff and not used to activities of this kind.
“There will be little or no coordination and in turn could cause injuries to the individuals,” he said.
People who have deformities, major arthritis and spinal issues should consult a doctor before carrying out any trampoline-related exercises.
Benefits of trampolining
Coordination and agility: Learning to coordinate the movement of your arms and legs while keeping balance.
Lower cholesterol and blood pressure: Trampoline does not stress the joints and is linked to a decrease in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and triglycerides, weight loss and detoxification through the lymphatic system.
Increased heart strength and efficiency: Trampoline exercise strengthens your whole body inside and out, including cells in the liver, kidneys, bladder, heart and lungs.
Improve both upper- and lower-body strength: Using this form of exercise can develop both your upper and lower body strength just as effectively as weightlifting without straining your muscles or providing the threat of a pulled muscle.
Improved flexibility and posture: Exercising on a trampoline strengthens and lengthens muscles and tones the muscles, therefore also improving your posture.
Source: Dr Venkata Phaniraj, specialist orthopaedic surgeon at iCARE Multi-Speciality Clinics