Exercise routines go retro with rebounding

Published July 23, 2014 1:26 pm

Mini-trampoline workouts seem straight from the '80s, but benefits are in the hundreds.
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Sara Hansen was looking for a new aerobic workout when someone suggested she jump into the rebounding class at SLC Fit Collective.

It was déjà vu for the 34-year-old, as she remembered the mini exercise trampolines from a few decades ago.

"My mother and grandmother had trampolines and I thought, 'Oh, this is never going to work,' " she said.

Ultimately, though, she bounced those stereotypes and gave rebounding a try.

"It's definitely back to the '80s," she said, "But it's a fun concept, and now that I have done it a few times, I'm sold."

While rebounding seems retro, "it's always been popular in the nutrition world," said instructor Lindsay LaPaugh, a holistic health coach who owns Soul Food Living in Salt Lake City.

Rebounding is a low-impact exercise that increases agility, detoxifies the lymphatic system and tones every part of the body, from arms and legs to abdomen and hips, she said.

NASA also has used rebounding because it helps astronauts restore bone density, which is lost in zero gravity, said Trent McIntyre, who certifies rebounding teachers at his studio in Rochester, Mich.

And if you're a woman who has had children — and suffers from that awkward little problem of incontinence when you jump up and down — rebounding can actually help that.

"We have people who are embarrassed and say they can't do it for that reason," McIntyre said during a recent telephone interview. But those who stick with it find that after a few classes, rebounding actually strengthens the muscles, and the urge to run to the bathroom subsides.

"Improving incontinence is reason alone to take rebounding," he said.

If you don't have an old rebounder stored in the basement, McIntyre suggests buying one that sits at least eight inches above the ground and is made with a good fabric that retains elasticity and has some give to it.

"If it's not tall enough," he said, "you'll bottom out and hit the ground."

Ups and downs • During LaPaugh's 50-minute classes, students jump on mini-trampolines — which are provided — twisting, punching and kicking to upbeat music. Planks, push-ups and abdominal exercises done off the rebounder are added between the cardiovascular sets. All combined, it makes for a workout that leaves most students dripping with sweat.

"You would expect your quads and calves to be sore, but it's also fantastic as an upper-body core workout," said Carrie Cox, owner of SLC Fit Collective.

It was exactly the kind of workout that Hansen had been seeking.

"It's fun enough that I don't dread going to class," she said. "That's the problem with some exercise: You dread working out. But with rebounding, I've wanted to keep going and I can't believe how quickly the class goes by."

That may explain why rebounders are being added to many boot camp programs and interval workouts at gyms and sports centers.

While mini-trampolines are especially popular among those 25 to 40, they are a mixed bag for seniors, according to Exercise physiologist Mark P. Kelly, who teaches at California State University, Fullerton.

"Many older adults feel the trampoline is perfect for them with the soft landing. In reality, the older individual may be the worst candidate for using the bouncy surface due to weak ankles and poor balance," Kelly said in a recent article published by Reuters.

To avoid ankle sprains and strains, he urges beginners to hold on to a stable object until the ankles are strengthened and the user gets used to the bouncing action. A stabilizing bar is available for beginners in LaPaugh's Salt Lake City classes, held at SLC Fit Collective and New Pathways Wellness Center downtown.

LaPaugh, a native of Detroit, tried rebounding several years ago after experiencing severe back pain. Doctors discovered an abnormal curve in her spine. The running she was doing to stay in shape made it worse.

"I needed something low-impact," said LaPaugh, now 29.

Before moving to Salt Lake City two years ago, LaPaugh searched the internet, hoping to find rebounding classes in her new home. "I couldn't find any," she said. "That's when I looked into becoming certified."


Go retro with rebounding

Lindsay LaPaugh, a certified health coach and instructor, gives rebounding classes twice a week:

Monday, 6 p.m. • SLC Fit Collective, 1597 South 1100 East, Suites B and C, Salt Lake City. slcfitcollective.com

Wednesday, 6 p.m. • New Pathways Wellness Center yoga room, 434 West 400 South, Salt Lake City. newpathwayswellness.com

Cost • First class free; 10-session pass, $80; drop-in, $15.

Details • soulfoodliving.com or 435-565-1710


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