Having always been fit and active in my youth, I was appalled when the stresses and time pressures of work took its merciless toll on my previously trim and lean body. With little time or inclination to work out, and with hours spent at my desk or in meetings or entertaining, by my mid 40s, I was suffering from weight gain, bloatedness, low energy levels and an overall loss of self-esteem! A stranger stared back at me in the mirror. A stranger I started trying to avoid. In short, I felt I had let myself down and had derailed from the glorious trajectory I had planned for my life.
Read my story here.
Does this sound like where you are? Then read on…
Not a Quick Fix, but A Full Fix!
A former dancer, gymnast and group fitness instructor, I was well aware of, and did not relish, the amount of time and effort shedding 20% of excess weight off my body would take after trading 3 decades of exercise for a decade with almost none! This sparked my search for the best solution that would offer the biggest bang for my limited time availability and budget.
This led me to the discovery of the exercise that would transform my fitness, my body and yes… my life.
Rebounding – for me, truly the best full body workout ever!
Imagine an exercise that works every muscle and every cell in your body. One that improves your muscle tone, balance, core strength, endurance, flexibility, while increasing your bone density and detoxifying your body. All in a safe and low-impact manner that does not harm your joints.
Having rebounded for 4+ years and obtained an international instructor certification in it, I can vouch that it is truly a miracle exercise.
This website is my way of sharing my knowledge and journey with others in search of ways to improve their health and fitness.
What is Rebounding?
Rebounding is simply bouncing or jumping on a mini-trampoline. Do not be confused by various terms in the market such as urban rebounding or cardiolates, as these are usually just brand names.
In essence, rebounding is a full-body workout done on a mini-trampoline (anywhere between 39 to 50 inches in diameter).
The best part about rebounding is its versatility as it can be tailored to suit different ages, health conditions and levels of fitness, ability and interests.
It is easy to tailor workouts for beginner to advanced levels, from home workout enthusiasts to professional athletes.
You can even incorporate dance, martial arts, pilates, yoga, boxing, full body toning, strength training, HIIT, tabata, cardiovascular endurance training……the list goes on…
The possibilities are endless – limited only by your imagination, areas of interests and training/exercise objectives!
How Rebounding Works
In a nutshell, moving while having to maintain your balance on an unstable surface works and strengthens a wide range of muscle groups, including your core and abs, back, pelvic floor, thighs, legs and glutes. You can even add arm movements, arm weights or resistance bands for an upper body workout.
In the words of Albert Carter, investigative journalist, professional trampolinist, and the world’s foremost authority on rebound exercise:
“Rebound exercises utilizes the forces of gravity, as well as the forces of acceleration and deceleration,” Carter said. “When you land on a rebounder, every cell in the body has to adjust to the increased deceleration. When the springs take over and push the body up into the air, then the body has to adjust to a weightless condition for only a moment at a time. But that weightless condition is throughout the entire body regardless of where the cells are.
“We’ve found that the best exercise is rebound exercise, which allows the more than 100 trillion cells of the body to adjust to an environment that it is not used to, which is deceleration at the bottom of the bounce.”
Simply put, you accelerate as you bounce up and after a moment of weightlessness at the top of the bounce, you decelerate at an increased G-force back to the mat. The amount of G-force depends on the height of the bounce.
Benefits of Rebounding
There are so many benefits to rebounding that I will only provide a quick list now:
- Exercises all 638 muscles in your body and improves overall muscle tone
- Increases your metabolism and assists with weight loss
- Boosts lymphatic drainage and immune function, thus detoxifying your entire body
- Strengthens your skeletal system, decrease bone loss and even increase bone mass
- Improves balance by stimulating the vestibule in the middle ear
- Improves coordination and proprioception through the use of moves involving complex movements or choreography
- Improves posture through overall strengthening of muscles throughout the body and a strengthened core
- More than twice as effective as running without the extra stress on the ankles and knees
- Reduces cellulite by increasing the lymphatic flow in your body
- Lowers cholesterol
- Increases endurance on a cellular level by stimulating mitochondrial production for cell energy
- Improves the effects of other exercise – one study found that those who rebounded for 30 seconds between weight lifting sets saw 25% more improvement after 12 weeks than those who did not. This is why many athletes include rebounding as part of their exercise regime
- Helps circulate oxygen throughout the body to increase energy and vitality
- Improves circulation by decreasing blood pooling in veins to improve chronic edema and even lowering blood pressure by aiding blood circulation
- Fun! With so many movement and exercise variations it is difficult to get bored with rebounding. Take it from someone who has literally been rebounding an average of 4 times a week for the past 3 years!
- Relieves stress. Let’s face it, it’s hard to stay stressed when bouncing up and down especially to music you enjoy!
- Convenient. Exercise any time in the comfort of your home or even bedroom. Ronald Reagan used to keep his at the foot of his bed. Anthony Robbins even rebounds during the breaks of his workshops and between his appearances on stage.
- Ultimately, look & feel great!
In future blogs, I will be expanding in detail on some of the key benefits of rebounding using science-based research as well as based on my personal experience.
What You Need to Get Started
All you need to get start with rebounding are:
- a rebounder also known as a mini trampoline,
- some basic movements to perform on it or, as you progress, a workout to follow.
There are many rebounders in the market, including mass produced lower quality units available at hyper-markets and department stores.
Some of the better known brands in the market (listed in alphebtical order) include:
- iBounce (this is a Singapore brand)
- Urban Rebounder
Not all rebounders are made equal. Some are very affordable and others cost hundreds and even a thousand plus dollars. When you start out and are not sure whether you will be sticking with rebounding in the longer term, I would advise that you invest in a moderately priced unit ($100-200). There are rebounders that cost a few tens of dollars but my personal experience is that they do not last long and can be pretty frustrating both in terms of quality and comfort.
If you are serious and remain committed to rebounding, you would naturally want to upgrade to a better rebounder as you progress.
In my case, I started out with a cheaper sub-$100 rebounder which barely lasted me 2 months. As I was hooked on the benefits of rebounding and was using it on a daily basis, I upgraded to a US$250 JumpSport rebounder which remains one of favourite rebounders today.
As I personally have used several brands over the years, in another blog I will share my reviews and recommendations of the best rebounders for different purposes and categories of users.
One Size Fits All?
Once you have purchased a rebounder, you can start very simply with gentle bouncing (e.g. health bounce with both feet not leaving the mat) and then add simple moves like marching and jogging on the spot, slowly adding on different arm and leg movements for an all-round exercise.
As you progress, you should try out workout videos to avoid boredom and also to gain expsoure to different types of moves and workouts to match your exercise preferences and help you meet your exercise goals.
For instance, if you love to dance, you can follow videos that build in dance moves. If you enjoy mind-body-spirit workouts, you can incorporate yoga or pilates or even taichi into your workout. There are also videos that incorporate boxing or martial arts moves. You can even add weights and body weight exercises to firm, tone and strengthen various muscles. I have even tried rebounding (carefully) while watching the news or a movie on TV!
Incorporating a variety of workouts on your rebounder not just introduces excitement into your exercise regime, it also provides for a more well-rounded workout that can allow you to achieve multiple goals.
With a little precaution, rebounding is even recommended for those with health issues such as cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis etc. For seniors and those with balance or proproception issues, just add a stability bar for a safe and supported but still full-body workout.
In another blog, I will share some of my favourite workouts and moves that have proven very fun and effective for me and my clients.
So if you are in the market for an all-round body workout to meet any and many of your exercise goals, you should definitely give rebounding a try. Investing in an entry-level model rebounder for tens of dollars is much more affordable then paying for a gym membership that you may not fully use.
I welcome your questions and comments, and look forward to hearing from you about your views on and experiences with rebounding.