Rebound exercise is the most efficient, effective form of exercise yet devised by man.” – Albert E. Carter summarized a 1979 NASA study, a study which NASA published in 1980 in the Journal of Applied Physiology
Awe… the joys of rebounding (aka jumping on a trampoline). How could something so simple and so much fun be so good for you? Well, it turns out there are many benefits to rebounding.
As described by Dave Scrivens, Certified Lymphologists, “The lymphatic system is the metabolic garbage can of the body. It rids the body of toxins such as dead and cancerous cells, nitrogenous wastes, infectious viruses, heavy metals, and other assorted junk cast off by the cells. The movement performed in rebounding provides the stimulus for a free-flowing system that drains away these potential poisons.”
Unlike our cardiovascular system where the heart automatically pumps fluid, our lymphatic system has no pump and relies solely on body movement. Rebounding uses the forces of acceleration and deceleration to encourage the bodies lymphatic fluid to circulate, promoting detoxification of the body, while strengthening the entire musculoskeletal system including bones, muscles, connective tissue, and organs.
In 1980 NASA published a study of eight athletes walking, jogging, and running on a treadmill at four different speeds verses jumping on a trampoline at four different heights to compare the difference between the two types of exercise.
The NASA scientists were startled at the results of their study. Here are some of their findings:
When the athletes were tested running on a treadmill, the G-force measured at their ankle was always more than twice the G-force measured at their back and forehead. This data showed that the leg and foot absorbs most of the force when running which helps to explain the higher rate of shin splints and joint problems experienced by many runners.
When the athletes were tested while rebounding (jumping on a trampoline) the G-force was almost the same at the ankle, back and forehead and was significantly lower than the G-forced measured while running. Therefore, rebounding makes it possible to exercise the entire body without undue pressure to the feet, ankles and legs.
The athletes external work output, when measured at equivalent levels of oxygen uptake, were significantly greater while rebounding than while running. In other words, the acceleration and deceleration forces of rebounding allows more benefit while using less oxygen and placing less demand on the heart.
Their conclusion, “…for similar levels of heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the bio mechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running, a finding that might help identify acceleration parameters needed for the design of remedial procedures to avert deconditioning in persons exposed to weightlessness. ” Basically, NASA found an effective way to help astronauts regain bone and muscle mass that they lost while in space.
Rebounding for as little as 15 minutes a day has been shown to:
• Enhance weight loss
• Support bone and joint health
• Promote lymphatic fluid circulation for detoxification
• Improve coordination and balance
• Be more effective and less stressful than running
• Circulate oxygen to increase energy
• Improve muscle tone throughout the body
• Lower blood pressure and resting heart rate
• Reduce stress by having a meditative effect
How to Start Rebounding
Daily rebounding is recommended by many natural health practitioners as a body detoxification technique or weight loss aid. For detoxification support you should rebound for about 15 minutes a day. The sessions can be split into three five minute sessions to begin with. For weight loss you should aim to rebound for 15-20 minutes a day at moderate intensity at least three times a week.
There are several models to choose from. Some of the most popular are the Bellicon, ReboundAir, Urban, and JumpSport. These are a bit more expensive than other models, but they have better design, quality and suspension that produces a gentler, quieter and much more enjoyable bounce. Many of these models also offer a stand up handlebar support for stability.
I use the JumpSport Fitness Trampoline Model 250 and I love it.
Jump and have fun! Tell me about your experience with rebounding.
Journal of Applied Physiology 49(5):881-887, 1980
Rebounding: Good for the Lymph System
The New Miracles of Rebound Exercise by Albert E. Carter