Trampoline Exercise: Pros and Cons of Rebounding

published by: Debbie Luna
Last Updated:
October 6, 2022

Trampoline-based exercise, also known as “rebounding” exercise, is a form of aerobic endurance workout most often performed for the purposes of inducing caloric expenditure, or what is otherwise referred to as weight loss.

However, like any other training modality, there is a certain set of advantages and disadvantages that can come with the usage of trampoline exercise - requiring that the exerciser assess whether such a type of training is suitable for their needs.

To put the pros and cons of trampoline exercise in a nutshell - regularly performing such workouts is excellent for training your sports-specific skills, as well as for the purposes of body recomposition. On the other hand, trampoline exercise is entirely ineffective at muscle building, and also carries quite a significant risk of injury when used improperly. 

What is Trampoline Exercise?

Trampoline exercise or “rebounding” is a form of aerobic exercise that (surprisingly) makes use of a trampoline in order to induce training stimulus upon the cardiovascular system and musculature of the core.

rebounding exercise

It is particularly popular among physical rehabilitation patients and individuals seeking a more entertaining method of achieving weight loss while also placing little to no impact on the joints of the body.

Trampoline exercise will usually range in intensity between low to moderate levels, and is not known to place any significant resistance on the musculature of the body - that is, apart from the legs and core to a lesser extent. This means that trampoline exercise is quite a poor modality for bodybuilding or strength-development purposes.

Who Should Perform Trampoline Exercise?

Trampoline exercise was famously used by astronauts in order to recondition their body for the gravity of our planet. While this may be an interesting tidbit, it should also be noted that trampoline exercise is suitable for more than just spacefarers.

Notably, trampoline exercise is especially useful for individuals seeking out a unique method of burning fat - with certain studies showing trampoline exercise matching running when performed at the higher levels of intensity.

Trampoline exercise can also be quite useful in the rather niche case of an athlete requiring additional training of their balance and similar skills, as the unpredictable and rapid tempo of trampoline exercise training can condition them quite well to these aspects of fitness.

Pros of Trampoline Exercise

Excellent for Balance

trampoline core engagement

The unpredictability of the trampoline, coupled with the high level of core muscle engagement with each landing can result in participants honing their sense of balance - something that a surprisingly large number of individuals are not quite adept at.

This is especially a useful perk of trampoline exercise for athletes or other individuals that regularly require unconscious balance in tense scenarios, even when fatigued.

Excellent for Aerobic Endurance

Unsurprisingly, repeatedly bounding upwards only to land once more in rapid succession can result in significant stress of the cardiovascular system. 

trampoline aerobic endurance

This, in turn, will result in improvements in the many facets of aerobic performance - with the most significant being that of aerobic endurance, a major asset for practically any type of exerciser.

In particular however, the combination of high caloric expenditure that is characteristic of trampoline exercise, as well as the benefit of aerobic endurance development make this particular training modality well suited for distance swimmers or marathon runners, both of whom require these exact benefits to excel.

High Rate of Caloric Expenditure

In clinical studies, trampoline exercise was found to burn a comparative amount of calories to running at an intermediate pace - enough to result in as much as 1,000+ calories expended within the course of an hour, if your endurance can keep up.

This makes trampoline exercise among one of the best weight loss methods available, surpassing treadmill running in terms of joint impact and swimming in terms of convenience.

Low Impact Cardio

The term “impact” in regards to exercise means the amount of acute stress that is placed on the structures of the body during regular performance of said exercise. 

trampoline low impact

Running, for example, is considered a high impact exercise due to the feet repeatedly striking the hard surface of the ground throughout each workout session. Over time, this can result in chronic injuries or weaknesses, especially in those that are rather susceptible to such problems.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are low impact exercises, of which place little to no stress on the joints and bones of the body and are thereby less likely to result in injuries of a chronic nature.

Trampoline exercise is somewhere on the lower end of this range, causing the body to suffer little to no impact at all - so long as the exerciser lands properly, with their knees bent and feet pointed outwards.

This means that individuals with a history of lower body injuries or those that are more likely to develop chronic injuries will be well suited to trampoline exercise.

Coordination, Agility and Stability Training

Though trampoline exercise does not quite excel in developing all the aforementioned skills, it does indeed provide a unique environment that can refine them in a manner that other types of exercise cannot. 

The need to balance oneself throughout each and every movement, the requirement of contracting the musculature of the core in an isometric manner and the coordination needed to land with proper form all play into such athletic training needs.

For athletes seeking a method of developing their skills unlike any other, trampoline exercise is exactly what they are looking for.

Cons of Trampoline Exercise

High Risk of Injury

Trampoline exercise must be performed with caution, as there are quite a few ways it can result in serious injury - especially in the case of individuals landing outside of the trampoline itself. 

Improper use of a trampoline can easily cause sprains in the extremities, broken bones, and even concussions depending on where the exerciser lands on their body. 

We advise that all individuals perform a warm-up routine and ensure that they are in a safe and spacious environment prior to beginning any form of trampoline-based workout.

Poor Strength Developments

Though it is technically possible to develop some level of lower body muscular strength from trampoline exercise, the general lack of resistance involved throughout the workout will mean that no muscular hypertrophy or neurological strength adaptations will occur - as there is simply no stimulus to trigger such changes in the body.

May Cause Nausea and Dizziness

Depending on the exerciser’s disposition, one of the more noticeable disadvantages of trampoline exercise is its capacity to drive an individual into a state of dizziness. 

The uneven and repetitive bouncing that is characteristic of a trampoline can easily cause nausea and vertigo for individuals who are predisposed to such conditions.

While there is no way to avoid these effects if you are one of such people, it does indeed begin to lessen with further and more frequent trampoline usage.

Requires Space and Money

Trampolines - especially the sort used for rebounding training - are quite costly, and it is generally not advisable that you purchase one at a discount price, as safety may be a factor that is brought into question with such products.

Furthermore, trampolines require both vertical and horizontal space due to their size and the fact that the exerciser will be launching themselves into the air for several feet - something that not many individuals have access to unless in an outdoor setting.

These two factors are the primary reason why the majority of individuals do not participate in trampoline exercise, contributing to the obscurity of trampoline-based workouts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does Jumping on a Trampoline Burn Belly Fat?

Yes - in fact, jumping on a trampoline burns fat all over the body, not just in the belly. 

Trampoline exercise is among one of the most efficient and low-impact forms of aerobic exercise, and is capable of expending quite a number of calories within a relatively short span of time.

Is Exercising on a Trampoline Good for You?

Exercising on a trampoline presents all the same health benefits as most other aerobic exercises, with a few other sports-specific benefits that are not as easily recreated in other non-trampoline based workouts. 

Regular and structured exercise with a trampoline can improve circulatory system function, metabolism, bone and connective tissue density and help reduce high levels of stress.

How Long Should I Jump on a Trampoline to Lose Weight?

The length of time with which someone should perform trampoline exercise for weight loss will depend on a number of factors, many of which come down to an individual level of discretion. 

However, generally, trampoline exercise can burn up to 1,200 calories per hour at the absolute maximum - meaning that for individuals who wish to burn around 600 calories from trampoline exercise, approximately 30 minutes should put them within the ballpark of their goals.

In Conclusion

And there you have it - a look into the benefits and drawbacks of trampoline exercise, an unconventional if not effective form of aerobic workout.

Due to the unpredictable and somewhat explosive nature of trampoline exercise, its advisable that you first perform a mobility drill, warm up routine and short bout of steady state cardio exercise prior to beginning your trampoline-based training session.

References

1. Aalizadeh B, Mohammadzadeh H, Khazani A, Dadras A. Effect of a Trampoline Exercise on the Anthropometric Measures and Motor Performance of Adolescent Students. Int J Prev Med. 2016 Jul 13;7:91. doi: 10.4103/2008-7802.186225. PMID: 27512557; PMCID: PMC4966200.

2. Daneshvar, Pooya & Ghasemi, Gholam & Zolaktaf, Vahid & Karimi, Mohammad. (2019). Comparison of the Effect of 8-Week Rebound Therapy-Based Exercise Program and Weight-Supported Exercises on the Range of Motion, Proprioception, and the Quality of Life in Patients with Parkinson's Disease. International journal of preventive medicine. 10. 131. 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_527_18.

3. Zhong M. Tay, Wei-Hsiu Lin, Ying H. Kee & Pui W. Kong (2019) Trampoline Versus Resistance Training in Young Adults: Effects on Knee Muscles Strength and Balance, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 90:4, 452-460, DOI: 10.1080/02701367.2019.1616045

Debbie (Deb) started powerlifting and Olympic lifting in High School as part of her track team's programming; She continues to train in order to remain athletic. Inspire US allows Deb to share information related to training, lifting, biomechanics, and more.
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