How 15 Minutes on the Trampoline Can Change Your Body
Bouncing on a mini trampoline has amazing all-over toning and body-renewing benefits, says structural integration/alignment specialist Lauren Roxburgh, author of Taller, Slimmer, Younger. Roxburgh says rebounding is incredibly effective—it brought her body back after giving birth to two babies, and she sees its results every day in her roster of clients. Here, she shares the six best things about rebounding (our favorite thing is you only need 15-20 minutes for a solid workout) and a simple bouncing exercise.
Rebounding: The Youth-Boosting Workout
Remember how much fun it was to bounce on a trampoline when you were a kid? (We recently got our three-year-old a trampoline in our backyard—and now we can’t get her off it!) Well, it turns out that bouncing as an adult can be just as good.
One of the best things about rebounding—aside from the fact that it makes you feel like a kid again, so you’re more likely to actually keep doing it—is that it is so efficient that you really only need 15 to 20 minutes to get a good, seriously beneficial workout in.
If you invest in your own rebounder, there’s also the perk of being able to do it at home; there’s a wide range of options that fit a lot of different budgets. My favorite, the Rolls Royce of rebounders, is the bellicon because the bungees make the bounce smoother and gentler on the body, which helps you get the full benefits.
The 6 Best Reasons to Rebound
Just a few minutes of bouncing at the end of your day can make a big difference to your health and happiness. Light bouncing can help increase blood flow to underused muscles and loosen and release overused ones, plus it helps the body release endorphins (your brain’s natural calming aid, they make us feel good). Being in your body and getting out of the business in your head comes naturally as you bounce, and it can help clear your mind and decrease tension.
2. Support the Pelvic Floor for (Sexual) Health
You’ve probably heard of the pelvic floor, but you may not know exactly what it is. In short, the pelvic floor is a group of muscles that effectively form a hammock across the base of your pelvis and support the internal organs above it. Why it’s so important: Having strong and flexible pelvic floor muscles helps control the bladder, enhance orgasms, stabilize the hip joints, and connect to the deep core.
By some estimates, up to one in four women in the US suffers from urinary incontinence, which is a loss of bladder control while coughing, sneezing, or even laughing or having sex. While there can be other medical reasons for this (such as pregnancy, menopause, and stress), often the problem is a weakened pelvic floor, which can be related to sitting too much, and tends to be exacerbated for moms after having kids.
For me, rebounding had a very positive impact on re-building healthy tone in my pelvic floor and core after I had my babies. I’ve also found that many of my clients have had similar results—activating and toning the pelvic floor muscles with 15 to 20 minutes of bouncing a day.
So, if you ever feel like you might pee yourself when someone tells a good joke, or you just want to feel generally more connected, stronger, and toned down there, rebounding can be excellent. Of course, check with your doctor first if you have any serious pelvic floor issues that may affect your ability to exercise. But if you’re cleared, and still have issues with bladder leakage while bouncing, go slowly and build up your time on the rebounder. Empty your bladder before you start the workout, and take a break if you feel the urge. As always: Listen to your body!
3. Keep Your Balance
Rebounding can also be good for improving balance and proprioception, which is the ability to sense the orientation and position of your body. When you stand on one leg with your eyes closed, proprioception is the process by which your body fires messages to your leg to make the continuous micro-adjustments that help you stay upright. Because we’re actively engaging the ocular and inner ear canal as we bounce, we’re working to improve balance, timing, coordination, and reaction time—all things which are important for just about everything we do in life.
4. Build Strength
Bones are made of living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Rebounding produces up to 2-3 times vertical gravitation, which can serve as strengthening resistance for our bones. But unlike most forms of weight-bearing exercise, rebounding is very low impact, so it’s gentler on joints, cartilage, and vertebrae. Because of this, clients who are already experiencing bone mineral loss and some other forms of degenerative health issues, are still able to continue exercising gently on a rebounder without aggravating their conditions.
(While there are not—yet—many academic studies on rebounding, a study in the Journal of Sport and Health Science looked at the bone structure, size, and strength of twenty-nine female trampolinists. Interestingly, they found that these gymnasts had “greater bone density, area, microarchitecture, and estimated bone strength than controls.”)
5 Have fun!
Last but far from least, to underscore: Rebounding is really fun. When something is fun, you’re more likely to do it. I find 15 to 20 minutes of rebounding is a great way to…bounce away the troubles and issues of the day. Within a few minutes, I feel like my three-year-old self. back on that trampoline.
Rebounding couldn’t be easier: You can simply turn up some favorite music, jump on a rebounder, and just start bouncing—you’ll find your flow. If you want some structure while you’re starting out, check out the my combined rolling and rebounding workouts and videos on my site.
Lauren Roxburgh is the author of Taller, Slimmer, Younger: 21 Days to a Foam Roller Physique, and creator of the LoRox Aligned Rollers and the Aligned Life video series.
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.