Using a mini-trampoline (rebounder) to exercise offers many health benefits; specifically, to seniors. When used properly, the rebounder will assist in gaining (or maintaining) balance and strength, along with improving circulation and stamina.
There are several different types of exercises for seniors to explore with their mini trampolines, depending on their fitness level and goals. Beginners should start with low-impact exercises that focus on balance, before moving to more complex rebounder exercises that will help increase overall strength and muscle mass. We will review some of the most effective beginner exercises, and as you advance, you will be able to implement more complex forms of rebounding exercises.
These exercises can be modified to increase the difficulty level by removing your hands from the stabilizer bar on your rebounder during the exercise, increasing the speed you bounce, and increasing the amount of time you do each exercise. It is also important to note that you should keep your core engaged during rebounder exercises to help prevent back pain or injury.
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Health Bouncing (Low Impact Bouncing)
Health bouncing, also known as low impact bouncing, is a great starter exercise that offers the opportunity to get comfortable with your rebounder (see Best Rebounders for Seniors), as well as getting your blood and lymphatic system moving. It is also an excellent exercise for anyone that suffers from joint pain or has recovered from a recent hip, knee, or ankle injury since it is a low-impact exercise and will not put a strain on joints as traditional walking or jogging does.
For this exercise, you will begin with your feet shoulder length apart with a slight bend in your knee. Both feet will be planted on the surface of the rebounder, and you will lean forward a small bit so that your shoulders remain in line with your hips and knees. Begin gently bouncing on the rebounder, without letting your feet come off the mini trampoline’s surface during your “bounce”. You will bounce as slow or as fast as your comfort level allows, and when just beginning, it is recommended to do this exercise in one-minute increments. As your endurance, strength, and balance improve, increase the speed of your bounce and the length of each set.
In and Outs
In and outs are a good exercise for beginner and intermediate fitness levels since they can be modified for both groups. If you are a beginner, you will start with your feet together and a slight bend in your knee. As with the first exercise, you will want to keep your shoulders, hips, and knees in line and your core engaged. Beginners will simply step side to side, one foot at a time, then bring each foot back to the starting position and repeat the exercise in one-minute increments.
Intermediates will start in the same position, but instead of stepping out one foot at a time, they will use their first bounce to jump up, extend their feet just past shoulder length width, and land on the rebounder. On the second bounce, they will bring their feet back to shoulder length apart and repeat this exercise in one-minute increments. To make the exercise more challenging, increase the speed of your bounces so that you have more “reps” per minute.
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Switches are another excellent exercise for seniors since they can also be modified for different fitness levels. For beginners, the exercise will look like traditional marching. Begin with both feet on the surface of the rebounder and in a marching motion, bring your right leg up to hip level (or whatever height is comfortable for your fitness level) and march (step) forward. Repeat with the left leg, then step back with each foot and repeat the march.
To make this exercise more difficult, increase the height you raise your leg and the speed of your march. To execute “switches”, begin with both feet shoulder-length apart on the rebounder. On your first jump, bring your right leg forward while simultaneously bringing your left leg back. When your feet have landed back on the rebounder, switch their position, bringing your right leg back and your left foot forward. Just as with marching, you can increase the difficulty of switches by increasing the speed of your switches, along with the length of time you do this exercise set.
Twists are completed by starting with both feet together on the rebounder surface. In a jumping motion, you will move or “twist” your feet from side to side, keeping your hips and shoulders in line with your knees. To make this exercise more difficult, you should increase your twist speed and squeeze your thighs together while engaging your core. For beginners, instead of starting with your feet together, you will start with your feet shoulder-length apart. While holding on to the stabilizer bar, twist your feet from left to right, while keeping your feet on the rebounder surface as you twist.
These are just a few of the exercises your mini trampoline offers; there are many more that you can incorporate into your daily exercise routine. No matter the exercise you choose, the rebounder will certainly be a great tool to assist you in your fitness goals (see How to Use a Rebounder for an Effective Workout). Its versatility in fitness levels makes it a great choice for seniors looking to increase their balance and strength.