As club owners and personal trainers can attest, small group training continues to grow. As one of the top 10 trends in the fitness industry, according to the 2013 IDEA Fitness Program and Equipment Trends Report, trainers are expanding their repertoire of small equipment choices and consider versatility and portability to be of particular importance.
A fitness trampoline, also known as a rebounder, is one of the tools in a trainer’s tool box that covers a vast training continuum. Beyond bouncing, it is multi-purpose, versatile and occupies a relatively small footprint. It is also adaptable to use with all ages.
With H.I.I.T. still trending strong in clubs worldwide, the rebounder fits the bill when it comes to intensity training. One could equate the immediate intensity response of rebounding to skipping rope, without the impact. The ability to bounce quickly and safely provides a rapid cardiac response that is perfect for high intensity workouts. A Tabata drill of high knee bounding, followed immediately by a balance recovery move on the rebounder’s reactive surface, creates a perfect ratio of work to recovery. In a small group setting where space and equipment are at a premium, the formula works particularly well. Clients can switch quickly between cardio and other training components easily, using only the one piece of equipment.
The fitness trampoline can also be used for resistance training (with or without the addition of other equipment), core training, balance work, flexibility training and, the often neglected component of plyometric training. Plyometric training is the ability of a muscle to reach maximum strength in the shortest time possible. Bounding, hopping, skipping, jumping, leaping and throwing accomplish this, and all six plyometric moves can be done effectively using a fitness trampoline.
Even more importantly, the fitness trampoline brings in an element of fun for the client. The new and out-of-shape exerciser is not generally bragging about how “fun” working out is. Jumping on a trampoline naturally kicks up serotonin and brings back memories of the pure enjoyment of jumping on a big, outdoor trampoline. For the advanced client, there are more than enough challenging exercises to keep him or her motivated and committed. Fun is the hook, regardless of fitness level. If a client participates in a group training session that facilitates camaraderie, results and enjoyment, half the battle is won. Repeat business always means more revenue for the club owner and the trainer.
To program group training sessions effectively using the fitness trampoline, consider a minimum two-to-one ratio of rebounders to clients. Focus on movement patterns and exercises that complement the rebounding component and choose one to two additional pieces of small equipment, only if desired. A medicine ball or plyoball and a resistance band would also be excellent accompaniments.
It is obvious that a fitness trampoline is meant for jumping. But, today, it has truly evolved beyond that. Place it on an elevated 30-foot to 45-foot angle, and it becomes a phenomenal target for throw and catch medicine training. Stack two or three trampolines and challenge the more advanced exerciser to perform tuck jumps and the like. Line up 10 fitness trampolines in a row and bound from one trampoline to the next — sticking the landing on the dismount and racing back to the start of the line. Create a quad formation of trampolines, and then laterally and diagonally leap from one to another. Attach a handlebar and perform pull ups, or use it to assist the active, aging exerciser to bounce without the fear of falling. Use the frame for resistance exercises such as triceps dips or lunges. Sit down on the mat and begin seated bounces to activate the core and abdominal region. The options are endless!
Trainers and clients who fully embrace the benefits of the fitness trampoline will feel and experience the difference within the small group training setting. Physically, clients will become more fit. Health wise, they will experience improved lymphatic drainage. The trainer has a piece of equipment that goes beyond the bounce and the client experiences the pure joy of childhood.
Krista Popowych, BHKin. is a master trainer and the education director for JumpSport® Fitness Trampolines™. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.