The Trendy Workout That'll Bring Out The Dancer In You
There are those who work out because they truly love it and there are those who do it because, well, they know they're supposed to. Personally, I've always fallen into the latter category. Sure, I've learned to love the accomplished feeling of finishing a challenging class, that "runner's high" that comes from an extended bout of cardio, but I'll probably never be the kind of woman who's stoked about exercising daily. That said, I've found lately that keeping fitness as fun as possible is crucial for me to stick with it — and the new craze of trampoline workout classes seemed like just the thing to inject a little much-needed joy into something I don't necessarily look forward to.
I should explain that I was formally trained in dance and gymnastics at a young age, and that dance was still a huge part of my life in high school and college — so in a sense, I'm not a total stranger to rigorous physical activity. Additionally, I've been practicing yoga on and off for about 15 years now and it's still something I regularly turn to for working on patience, strength, balance, and harmony, so I'm truly grateful for its role in my life. However, as I've tried to get a bit more structured about my workout routine in my mid-thirties, I've still been in search of a way to change things up and add some cardio and strength training classes to my repertoire without kicking and screaming.
Enter trampoline — also often referred to as "rebounding" — classes. I'd seen Busy Phillips happily bouncing through her LEKFIT classes on Instagram, and I also knew that this was a favorite piece of fitness equipment for celebrity trainer and former dancer Simone De La Rue of Body By Simone. De La Rue has incorporated rebounding into workouts with her A-list clientele that includes Chrissy Tiegen, Jennifer Garner, and Sandra Bullock as well as in the work she does with some of the participants of the show Revenge Body. From everything I'd seen and read about it, I certainly had my hopes and assumptions before setting foot in a class. I was expecting something sweaty, fast-paced, heart-pumping — and ideally fun?
Much like spin and boxing, trampoline classes like De La Rue's are a cardio blast for the body. And unlike my experience dabbling with HIIT workouts, my 55-minute session at Body By Simone barely had breaks. Additionally, such workouts are often very musically driven, which means it helps to have a sense of rhythm and the ability to follow some simple choreography, which is essentially distracting you from the fact that you're basically bouncing for a good 30 minutes straight, as well as targeting different muscle groups. "Clients can expect to sweat along to their favorite songs, while also challenging their coordination and balance for a great holistic workout," explains De La Rue. "[You'll] leave class feeling inspired and invigorated, with the additional benefit of reduced muscle and joint soreness the next day due to the low impact of the trampoline."
About that low impact thing: De La Rue specifically incorporated rebounding into her dance-inspired workouts because it gives you the benefits of increased blood flow without putting the strain on your body that can come from other forms of cardio. "The trampoline is gentle on the joints, but still allows for a killer workout," she says. "Bouncing helps drain the lymphatic glands and boost your immune system. It especially protects your knees, hips and lower back and you are forced to use your core to stabilize so that you don’t fall off. It also challenges your coordination and skill. Over time, these add up to incredible holistic health benefits for both your body and mind."
In addition to jumping, most rebounding classes — including the one I took at BBS — also include sections focused on toning and stretching, and in my case that meant some serious arm work with light wrist weights as well push-ups, planking, and tricep dips for a total body workout that left no part of me un-exhausted. Around the time you jump (pun intended) off the tramp, sweat is pouring off, which can be a really rewarding feeling, and tangible evidence you worked your butt off. Time flies by because — yes! — you're actually having some fun, moving fast, and ideally jamming to good music (in my case, a mix of Ariana Grande's latest, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga, among others).
Trampoline class certainly checked my desired boxes of being something to shake up my usual schedule of sculpt yoga and restorative flow with more consistent and intense cardio that felt a lot more pleasant and fun for me than running or spinning. That said, if you're someone who can't handle or just don't like very cardio-focused workouts, this not be a great fit for you. Additionally, it's something to note that while having dance experience is certainly not a requirement, it can be that much more challenging if you're not rhythmically inclined.
Even with my background, at times, I still found it a struggle to stay on beat while juggling jumping with the more complex moves — but that might just be something that comes with a bit more practice. Personally, I think incorporating a few trampoline classes into the mix will be the energetic, challenging change-up my fitness routine has been missing.