Jumping on the trampoline is a great workout for your legs, your glutes, and your core.
I wondered how long I should jump each session in order to experience maximum weight loss and muscle toning from the exercise, so I did some research. Here’s what I learned.
Jumping on the trampoline burns more calories than running for the same amount of time. You can replace a 30-minute run with 10-20 minutes of jumping. It burns calories and also increases muscle tone, making it an effective way to get back in shape.
Astronauts Do it?
“A NASA study found that trampoline jumping is 68% more efficient than running or jogging.”-Rainbow Play Systems website
I was really surprised to learn that jumping on the trampoline could be so much more efficient than running.
Why was NASA studying trampoline jumping? You may have heard that astronauts have a big problem when they come back from time spent on the International Space Station. They’ve been nearly weightless in space for months at a time.
As they float, they lose bone mass!
Jumping on the trampoline back on Earth has proven to be a good way for them to regain strength from their muscles to their bones.
If it’s good enough for Neil Armstrong, then it’s certainly good enough for me!
While having strong bones is definitely appealing to me, my real question was about weight loss, so I dug a little deeper.
Better Than Running or Cycling?
I soon learned that jumping on the trampoline is a better, quicker way to burn fat calories than any other exercise.
Victor L. Katch from the University of Michigan, in an article called “Energy Cost of Rebound-Running,” shared the results of a study on mini-trampoline jumping.
For the study, they compared jogging on a mini-trampoline (rebound-running) to using a treadmill or a stationary bicycle for your daily workout.
In twelve minutes of treadmill-running, a person who weighed 150 lbs burned 71 calories. That’s pretty good, but rebound-running on a mini-trampoline, they burned 82 calories!
The study authors suggested that exercising on a trampoline for 10 minutes a day, four days a week, is enough to burn fat and optimize aerobic activity in the human body.
Now we’re talking!
To lose weight while cycling, The American College of Sports Medicine recommends cycling for 30-45 minutes five days a week, according to healthfully.com. That’s a lot longer than it takes to start burning fat on a trampoline!
The Low-Impact Exercise That Wins
Trampoline bouncing is the low-impact exercise that wins because the stretchy mesh of the trampoline mat gives way as your weight falls into it, preventing your knees and other joints from taking the full brunt of gravity’s force.
Running is higher impact on the joints, rocking them every time your foot makes contact with the cement, asphalt, or treadmill.
If you already have a regular running habit, your joints may be stronger and able to withstand the pressure.
However, for those with joint problems already, or extra weight that taxes the joints, trampoline bouncing is a better way to burn that fat and protect your joints in the process.
The Trampoline Wins On Cost, Too
Okay, so buying a full-sized trampoline isn’t cheaper than going for a run, but you can get a mini-trampoline like the one used in the landmark University of Michigan study for $35 at Walmart, less than the cost of a good pair of running shoes!
It also wins in cost compared to a treadmill or an exercise bike, even if you splurge for the full-sized trampoline, $178 at Walmart (including safety net)!
If you were about to spend a thousand dollars on home gym equipment, consider the cost-effectiveness of a trampoline.
Not only are you and your family more likely to use the trampoline more often, but as we’ve already determined, the trampoline workout gives you more bang for your buck.
Best Exercise For Women
If you are a woman you’ve probably heard of a little thing called your pelvic floor. It’s a group of muscles shaped like a hammock from the front of the groin to the back, and it’s responsible for holding up a woman’s uterus, bladder, and colon.
In other words, it’s an important muscle group where weakness can cause problems for many women.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, some degree of uterine prolapse or vault collapse affects half of women between the ages of 50-79 years old. Strengthening the pelvic floor is a big deal for women of all ages!
Guess what! Trampolines are good for that, too. Gisela Schirmer is a physiotherapist and pelvic floor specialist. She says that regular bouncing on a soft trampoline “improves blood flow and responsiveness in the pelvic floor.”
Women who suffer from incontinence, a little urine leaking when they jump or sneeze, can also strengthen those pelvic floor muscles so bladder accidents won’t plague them anymore.
Jumping regularly on the trampoline is good for the pelvic floor, on top of all the other benefits!
But wait, there’s more.
Great Core Workout
Many exercises workout your core muscles, like planks and pushups, belly dancing, sit-ups, tree-climbing, or trying to get out of bed.
Trampoline jumping is also one of the best exercises for your core muscles. As the mat gives way beneath your feet, your body is making hundreds of miniature muscle adjustments to keep your balance on the uneven surface of the trampoline mat.
Add in jumping from side to side, and you’ve got a comprehensive core workout, without needing to learn any fancy workouts.
Here Come the Happy-Making Hormones
You’ve probably heard of endorphins, the happy-making hormones, and how your brain releases them during exercise. This is why runners who run a lot experience something called a runner’s high.
The good news for trampoline-jumpers is that jumping on the trampoline releases even more endorphins (Source). It’s even being touted as an effective therapy for kids with autism and ADHD, thanks to the boost in mental health that comes from a healthy amount of endorphins.
You know how a trampoline makes you feel like you’re flying for a few seconds? That feeling of weightlessness triggers the release of happy-making hormones. It’s a natural high that’s really good for you.
That means that when you jump on the trampoline, you’re doing something that’s good for your whole body, from your bones to your joints, AND you’re improving your mental health, too.
I’m not saying that jumping on a trampoline everyday will make you a nicer person, but… it might.
BONUS: If you jump outside in the sunlight, you can get your vitamin D immune boost for the day, as well.
There’s really no downside. Jumping for 10-20 minutes a day can improve weight loss and so many other things. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Take the leap and get a trampoline for yourself and the whole family.