Types of Rebounders
Other than in aesthetics and design, rebounders vary in several important ways:
- Springs vs cords
Most rebounders in the market vary between 39 inches to even 50 inches, i.e. 3-4 feet.
Bear in mind that the dimensions you see in the descriptions refer to the overall diameter. So the actual surface or mat area for rebounding will be smaller. How much smaller depends on the particular design.
For instance, the Bellicon 39 inch trampoline offers a 27-inch jumping surface, and the 44-inch rebounder offers 32 inches of space. In contrast, the JumpSport 39-inch trampoline offers a 32.5-35.5 inch jumping surface or jump bed (including the surrounding pad/skirt), and the 44-inch rebounder offers about 38 inches of jumping area.
Traditionally, rebounders used to be round. Nowadays, some rebounders come in a rectangular, octagonal and even oval shapes! Other than aesthetics, does the shape make any difference in the quality of the bounce, safety or in any other way?
For large trampolines, rectangular trampolines are going to offer a higher bounce than a round trampoline as they allow all jumps to rebound equally. Compared to jumping on a round trampoline where the centre of gravity is the middle and so jumping in the centre will provide a higher bounce than jumping on the sides.
In my experience with mini-trampolines, the shape does not matter so much as the quality of the cords or springs and size of the jump bed.
Springs vs Cords
This refers to the shock absorption system of a rebounder and is the most obvious and significant difference for rebounders. Simply put, a spring rebounder is one that uses springs to generate the bounce when jumping while a corded rebounder uses bungee cords.
Generally speaking, spring rebounders offer a harder bounce as there is less elasticity or give with springs than with bungee cords. While a harder bounce is more stressful on the joints as compared to bouncing on a bungee cord rebounder, the stress is still much less than jumping on a hard surface. Spring rebounders also naturally tend to be noisier due to the resulting noise from the springs. In contrast, bungee cord rebounders offer a quieter, smoother, deeper and higher bounce due to the greater elasticity in bungee cords.
However, even within each category of spring vs cord rebounders, the quality and features can vary greatly. Cheaper rebounders often use
cheap and low quality springs which not only offer little support resulting in a harsh bounce, and they may also break easily and require replacement more often. In contrast, there are spring rebounders in the market which are excellent quality and offer a very comfortable bounce.
While rebounders are already considered small in comparison to many other types of fitness equipment, there are still aspects to consider if you wish to be able to move your rebounder easily, or to be able to store or pack it away.
Here I will consider 3 key aspects which may be important:
- Weight – rebounders can vary drastically depending on the size, material used and build quality. The larger the rebounder and the sturdier the build usually means a heftier rebounder.
- Foldability – while some rebounders have fixed frames which cannot be folded, others may come with removable legs (which you can simply unscrew), be foldable in halves or even quarters. Many foldable rebounders will even come with carry bags with straps for even better portability.
- Stackability – some rebounders are designed to be easily stackable> This is often important where there is a space constraint, such as in a gym or group fitness class environment where the space may be shared with other users or other types of classes.
For greater versatility in your workout, there are a range of add-on options that you can consider:
- Stability bar – these are not just suitable for senior rebounders but also anyone suffering from balance or proprioception issues or recovering from injuries. Stability bars have also become a feature in intensive workouts where rebounders use them as a balancing tool to bounce faster and higher and with more complex moves!
- Resistance bands – some rebounders come with bands that you can attach to workout your arms and upper body.
- Plyometric adaption kits – these convert your rebounder into a plyometric training machine allowing you to perform exercises where muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength).
If any of these are important to you, then the rebounder you choose must be a model that is able to accommodate these add-ons.