Yes, I admit that it does get tiresome to keep reading or hearing about health advice, especially if it involves exercise and workouts, amidst a busy schedule. But what if I said that the exercise that I am about to share is not the kind of workout that you typically would imagine. What if I told you that this method called the ‘Rebounding exercise’ is as simple as rocking a baby? Sounds interesting, right?
After all the research that I did, trust me, and it is indeed as good as it sounds. And which is why I cannot wait to share more about this approach- the rebounding exercise!
What is Rebounding Exercise?
Rebounding exercise or rebound is based on the principle of elasticity of a small trampoline, which involves jumping on it. In simple words, jumping or bouncing, up and down, and along with other variant exercises (optional) on a small trampoline is what this exercise is all about. Rebounding exercise is a low-impact exercise with the bouncing effect, which has minimal to no stress on one’s knee or ankle joints.
Rebounding exercise is known to have a host of health benefits for age groups across. This workout’s key feature is its ability to have uniform impact on the entire body, making it a complete body workout. Like any other exercise, it involves variants based on the intensity starting from beginners to more advanced type of workouts.
Rebounding is not a new concept, but more studies and research have been conducted in the last few decades on this exercise’s health benefits. Suppose you dislike workout regimes or have no time to go to the gym. In that case, rebounding exercise could be the answer you may be looking for, amidst your busy schedule to reap various health benefits.
The invention of trampoline and rebounding
The Trampoline was 1st invented by George Nissen in 1936 to help gymnasts perform their acts of jumping onto their gymnastic equipment and perform. But it was only in 1938, and later that Trampoline became a breakthrough and was used by more than just gymnasts. Albert Carter, a known wrestler, and a gymnast pushed through the typical use of trampolines and used them for performing more spectacular workouts.
With time, Albert had noticed and experienced better health and strength because of the extensive trampoline and bouncing on it. Albert shared about these positive results and created the buzz, on how bouncing can give a host of health benefits. Albert Carter had started the term “rebounding” for using the Trampoline. He was referred to as the Father of rebounding exercise. Later, Ed Russell created the “small trampoline” in 1938 and was later patented by Victor Green in 1975.
What is a rebounder?
A rebounder looks like a trampoline but is much smaller in diameter. A rebounder is not used to perform stunts or backflips but to bounce up and down, vertically, along with variant exercises (which is more advanced). Rebounders absorb 80-90% of the shock and ease the body of any stress while bouncing. On the contrary, on the hard ground surface, the body takes the shock. It absorbs the stress while jumping (even if mild) activity of a workout. That could be why some people complain of backache or knee pain after an intense workout of Zumba or aerobics or jumping jacks (especially if the body is starting on an exercise).
The beauty of a rebounder is that it can fit into small spaces. It could be your homes, offices, outdoors or for a picnic, or anywhere else you would like to carry it along due to its small size.
N.A.S.A Rebounder Study
In 1980, N.A.S.A. conducted a research study that proved the health benefits of working out on a trampoline, rebounding on a trampoline by jumping on it. After the research by N.A.S.A. and discovering the major health benefits of a rebounding exercise, there has been an upsurge in using a rebounder. When astronauts are in space, their bone density is reduced by 15% as there is no gravity, and bone density did not play a role due to lack of gravity.
And on returning to earth, rebounding was explored to restore bone health and revive the loss of bone strength with G-force’s help in a rebounding exercise. G-force is a gravity force. When we are resting, the G-force is at 1. When we act against G-force, the number increases and decreases, especially when rebounding or jumping up and down. There is an experience of mild weightlessness (when jumped up) to being pulled down by weight in the vibration of the bounce. During a bounce, the body’s internal systems, the cells, the lymphatic system vibrate while bouncing, on account of the dense elastic mat of the rebounder and its springs. This vibration boosts immunity, strengthens cells, moves the lymphatic system vertically and lets it do the job of collecting toxins, and enables elimination. Also, the digestive system is activated.
So, the G-force plays a key role in strengthening the body when working against the gravity pull.
Additionally, research suggests that the G-force while bouncing on a big trampoline is 8 G or more. But when bouncing on a smaller trampoline, i.e., the rebounder, G-force is at an ideal 3G or 4G. And in 3G-4G, the impact on the body is most optimal while bouncing. The G-force is equally distributed across the body during bouncing, enabling a stress-free full body workout.
The study also indicates that 30 minutes of running on a treadmill is equivalent to 5-10minutes of bouncing on a rebounder.
Further, it inferred that G-force is equally distributed at the ankles, knees, back, and forehead when bouncing. But when running on a treadmill, the G-force stress is more at the foot and ankles, where most of the shock is absorbed. This explains why stress while running could show up in the form of a torn ligament, foot issues, or ankle sprains.
How does rebounding work on the body?
As we understand with bouncing or rebounding, we jump, with either the feet leaving the elastic mat or not. This creates the body to vibrate in a rhythmic movement, vertically.
To further break down the steps:
- As we know, gravity plays a key role in the entire process. When jumping up, the push force is away from gravity, decreasing G-force.
- When jumping down, the rebounding increases G-force closer to the mat.
- Overall, while bouncing, this increase and decrease of the force enables a full-body workout, with vibrational activity and strengthening at a cellular level.
- As per research, equal distribution of G-force across the body occurs while bouncing, and this does an entire body workout.
- The beneficial aspect is that the amounts to lesser shock absorption on the joints due to the mild weightlessness and vibration while bouncing.
- And a vibrational loop is created with continuous bouncing.
The body’s lymphatic system acts as an eliminating system to eliminate toxins from the skin and the kidneys. Unlike the cardiovascular system, which has a biological pump, the lymphatic system does not have a pump to get the toxins out. When the body starts the rebounding exercise or bouncing, the lymphatic system gets kickstarted, and the bounce acts like a pump. For the lymph to get moving, it is key to keep the body moving, rely on muscle contractions and expansions, and gravity pulls/pushes at a cellular level.
Types of Rebounding exercise/Bouncing
Types of bouncing:
Spot bouncing: Bouncing in one spot, gently rocking your feet up and down or back and forth, creates that bounce. The feet do not leave the mat while bouncing. This is a type of bouncing suitable for anyone and helps have better control of their body balance and posture control. This is best for beginners who just started bouncing. Older adults could follow this simple method.
Side to side bouncing: This is bouncing, which is a mild form of aerobics. I.T. helps improve immunity, increases the effectiveness of bouncing.
Aerobic bouncing: This type of bouncing involves mild jogging in a spot on the rebounder. And could also involve the movement of hands with increased bouncing. There could be a pattern or not, but overall, the bouncing activity could be higher than the 1st two types of bouncing. This type of bouncing could be followed by persons who have a hang of the rebounding exercise and can balance well.
They need to have some basic strength to uphold themselves during the activity. This type of bouncing will help in strengthening of stomach muscles, legs, hips, and back.
Strength training bounce: This type of bouncing involves jumping high, with your feet leaving the elastic mat and feet returning in the bouncing course. This type of bouncing focuses on losing abdominal fat and fat on hips faster, with the calorie-burning that has been initiated with the high bounce. This can be done once one has gained more flexibility and is suitable for younger adults and kids.
Top 15 Benefits of Rebounding exercise
Now that we understood how the rebounding exercise works, let us read more about the benefits.
Benefit 01. Rebounding helps the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system aids in cleansing, detoxification of toxins, filtering waste, and enabling elimination. Skin and the kidneys are connected to the lymphatic system. Massaging the skin for a lymphatic massage has the same objective but at a surface level. Rebounding works at a cellular and muscular level which triggers lymphatic waste draining from within. Additionally, the skin eliminates dirt while perspiring, which supports the lymphatic system. So, the more sweat, the better it is.
Benefit 02. Rebounding helps you lose weight.
Rebounding boosts your metabolism, burns more calories like a typical workout. As we understand, running on a treadmill for 30 minutes is equal to bouncing on a rebounder for 10 minutes. Additionally, if the bouncing is done for a reasonable length of time which produces sweat leading to loss of water from the body. And with, fat-burning enables weight loss, especially when bouncing is done until the time of sweating it out, increased absorption of oxygen in the bloodstream, and an improved heart rate. It is observed from other studies, that a reasonable time for rebounding to help in weight loss is a good 30-minute workout. Results have proven loss of belly fat, due to the lower body workout during prolonged bouncing (with feet leaving the mat).
Benefit 03. Rebounding improves digestion.
The bouncing and the weightlessness in the vibrational loop eases the gut and helps in strengthening it, regulates bowels with rhythmic activity. Also, the bouncing improves blood circulation to the entire body, including the stomach and intestines. This enhances the metabolic activity and helps improve digestion.
Benefit 04. Rebounding improves immunity.
The bouncing activates immune cells and strengthens the organs with increased metabolism. This also helps in fighting off infections and free radicals, reduces cortisol (stress). The improved cellular activity is nourished and boosted due to the rebounding exercise.
Benefit 05. Rebounding reduces cellulite.
With bouncing the skin tends to get tightened. And since cellulite lies under the skin, and so is the lymphatic system, cellular activity and motion with equal force tend to reduce cellulite.
For additional help to reduce the cellulite, regular dry brushing on the skin can also, add results.
Benefit 06. Rebounding gives radiant skin.
As we know, blood circulation and cleansing are boosted with the Rebounding exercise. And the activity of bouncing burns calories and triggers eliminating toxins through the skin, in the form of sweat and dirt as well. On repeated rebounding, the skin’s radiance shines through with regular cellular scrubbing, skin nourishment by blood circulation, and eliminating of the toxins, giving way to radiant skin (and lots of compliments!).
Benefit 07. Rebounding tones the body.
With bouncing, the entire body is at work due to the muscular contractions and expansions. The balance is stabilized by using the core muscles. This helps in toning the muscles and shedding the flabby fat off.
In Aerobic bouncing, the focus of toning is more lower body centric which involves toning of the belly, thighs, hips and legs.
Benefit 08. Rebounding helps maintain the body’s agility and improves posture.
The body’s balance and muscle strength can be weakened with age or lack of physical activity, which explains why older adults tend to lose their balance more than in their younger years. The muscles, skin, and tendons have proprioceptors. These proprioceptors help balance and position our body by knowing when to take a step further or how long a step is it or which side is it or if there is a need to take a step back. It involves the use of arms and legs while balancing the body. With rebounding, the vertical bouncing boosts the kinesthetic sense of the body’s movement. The body’s balance is strengthened with the help of the middle ear’s vestibule stimulation.
Benefit 09. Rebounding builds bone Strength and Density
As per N.A.S.A. studies, rebounding exercise helped reverse and restore lost bone strength in astronauts. The optimal G-force that occurs while rebounding plays a key role in the strengthening of the bones density, at a cellular level.
Benefit 10. Rebounding reduces stress and uplifts mood
Bouncing reduces cortisol and boosts energy. Say goodbye to fatigue, welcome more energy and increased endorphins (feel good factor!). Also, serotonin is released or reduced with rebounding, which is a primary factor to feeling low or depressed.
So, we know what to do, any time we feel a bit low.
Get on that rebounder!
Benefit 11. Rebounding aids in improved sleep
In case of difficulty with falling asleep, simply bouncing for 1-3 minutes or your preferred duration, in a gentle way, helps relax the body, regulate blood circulation, and bring down stress. It is like rocking the baby to sleep gently. Try sleeping after a quick bounce.
The same factor of reducing stress and muscle relaxation plus endorphins improves sleep. Lack of good sleep leads to weight gain.
Benefit 12. Rebounding lowers cholesterol
With improved cardiovascular activity, the energy used up in bouncing is from the glucose fuel and the stored fat, visceral fat. This regulates cholesterol levels and leads to an improved cardiovascular system.
Benefit 13. Rebounding promotes healing
With the deep cellular strengthening and repair during a bounce, healing is promoted and supported by rebounding.
And with improved immunity, the infections and free radicals are fought back.
Benefit 14. Rebounding soothes out varicose veins
Bouncing helps with improved circulation. There is accelerating, and decelerating cellular activity, vertically with the aid of G-force.
This activity in the vibration of bouncing enables clearing up cloggy veins, and inflammation and reduces pain.
Benefit 15. Rebounding exercise better than running on a treadmill
As per the research done by N.A.S.A., it was found that running for miles is equivalent to performing a rebounding exercise on a small trampoline or rebounder, for some duration- in other words, bouncing is equal to running! N.A.S.A. study suggests that running on a treadmill for 30 minutes is equal to bouncing on a rebounder for 10 minutes. And why is rebounding better? Because the strain on the bone joints is ignorant in rebounding compared to the pressure on the bone joints in running. So, burning calories, without a straining impact on the bones is a sure win. Hence, rebounding exercise is better than running on a treadmill.
How long does rebounding need to be done?
It depends. The duration of how long rebounding exercise needs to be done depends on the fitness goals you may have.
For Beginners and Older adults
Beginner -If you are starting as a Beginner, try gentle spot bouncing without the feet leaving the elastic mat for 1-3 minutes and slowly extend the time. If comfortable to do more sessions, the bouncing sessions can be done intermittently, adding up to a minimum of 20 minutes per day.
This may be suitable for older adults, too, with a variation in the number of sessions.
For Active individuals
A beginner who is used to rebounding exercise or one who is habituated to minimum physical activity can move to an advanced level. Gradually increase the duration per session to 10-15 minutes by adding an element movement, like a back-and-forth arm moving with every rebound, stepping sideways, or mild jogging.
Advanced-If you are at an advanced stage, depending on your comfort, balance, and confidence, you may move onto the aerobic rebounding exercise with jogging in a spot.
Do consult an expert or explore more instructional videos to do an advanced level of rebounding exercises.
Very Advanced-If you have been doing rebounding exercise for a considerable time, you may consider moving to the Very Advanced stage. This may involve a series of exercises with the help of props, like dumbbells, kettles and the like. It can be more to boost strength.
This level requires step-by-step workout modules taught by professionals, to make the most of every workout and to minimize injuries.
How to stay safe on a rebounder: Quick tips
Before getting on to the rebounder:
Consult a doctor, if you have any long-term health issues. Based on your bio-profile and medical history, the doctor may advise you against it or customize the approach to bouncing accordingly.
It is good to note that the bouncing experience may vary depending on the body weight, individual height, and related health conditions. Also, the body’s level of fitness or flexibility could add to the unique experience.
It is always advisable to go for mild spot bouncing to go slow and steady to reap benefits.
Check if all the legs of the rebounder are intact, steady, and strong.
Make sure the rebounder does not move while bouncing. If it moves, then replacing it would be recommended, to avoid any fall or injury.
Make sure the elastic mat of the rebounder is intact and is not torn or compromised.
Make sure you have something to hold on to if you lose balance or need to step off the rebounder. This would be important, especially for beginners.
Keep the rebounder in a spacious place, without any clutter around and any sharp, hard objects near it.
When just starting off bouncing on a rebounder, be under supervision should you need any help or support.
Always observe kids using the rebounder, as injuries could happen if used for doing high flips, as done on big trampolines.
Personal care and precautions
Do not bounce immediately, after a meal or a heavy smoothie drink. Give at least 45 minutes before getting on to a rebounder.
Make sure you visit the toilet and empty your bladder, before bouncing to avoid strain on the pelvic floor.
Do not bounce if you have a hernia or have done a recent surgery.
Also, avoid aggressive bouncing or workouts, if there are any bone related issues or bone joint weaknesses.
In case of any other immediate health concern or long-term health concern, do not bounce without consulting a medical expert or your doctor.
The safest tip is to go for slow bouncing without the feet leaving the mat and make the sessions into mini-1-minute bounces, spread across the day.
Remember to warm up and cool down, before and after every bounce session. Try doing a few stretching exercises, before and after the session.
In case you feel dizzy or feel a headache, it could be because of the blood rush to the head. Usually it settles down, but if you feel discomfort continuing, then take a break. Talk to your doctor.
Time to get started!
You wanted to know about rebounding and we gave you an extensive insight on it, backed by research. We hope you’ll benefit from it as much as possible by getting into action!
Now that we have every bit laid out here- it’s time to hop your way to good health and to stay fit!
Share your thoughts, experiences and let us know your story!