Can You Really Burn Calories and Boost Your Vertical By Bouncing On A Trampoline?

I don’t usually get excited about the latest fitness trends:

But trampoline workouts are something I could readily get on board with.

We’ve always known that trampolining is an active way to spend an afternoon–it’s why we’re happy when our kids would rather bounce on the trampoline than sit inside playing video games. So why has it taken so long for adults to get in on the action?

In the past decade, the number of trampoline parks has skyrocketed. Rewind to 2011, and you would have had a hard time finding a trampoline park near you, with fewer than 50 live locations, according to the International Association of Trampoline Parks. This figure boomed eleven times over in just five years; the number of parks rising to over 550 by 2016. It isn’t just kids that want their quality bounce time; it’s adults too.

Why the demand?

These locations have discovered a cheat code in the fitness world. With classes like SkyRobics available for all ages, people are finding that the trampoline burn is capable of shedding serious calories.

According to a media representative from SkyRobics, just 30 minutes of their trampoline workout class can burn 500 calories. Since the classes are typically an hour long, this figure is doubled to 1000 calories per hour.

How much is 1000 calories?

If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around that number, let’s put it this way: To burn the same amount of calories by jogging, you would need to run 10 six-minute miles. Are you surprised why people are hopping on board the trampoline workout train?

Burn calories without thinking about it

The major selling point for trampoline workouts over other exercises like running, swimming or cycling, is the fun factor. You’re bouncing on a trampoline: that’s way more fun than running or swimming laps, right?

Well, kind of. The thing is, trampoline workouts are still workouts. The goal is still to raise your heart rate, sweat like crazy and feel the burn. No matter what you’re doing, you won’t feel like doing it forever.

It’s also kind of misleading to think that trampoline workouts are the same as just bouncing around your home trampoline for fun. When you’re at home, there’s no time limit. There’s no strict exercise routine, you can stop bouncing whenever you feel like it, and you can focus on trying out new tricks or double bouncing your friends to see who goes highest. Trampoline workouts are much more focused than this, and that’s the only way you can achieve that 1000 calorie per hour target.

Even this figure is a stretch though. A more recent follow-up study found that, actually, the hourly calorie burn is closer to 660 calories for men, and just 498 for women . That’s still a good workout, but it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. It further depends on age, the intensity of your trampoline workout, and the individual. Calculating how many calories are burned jumping on a trampoline can be difficult to pinpoint, but you can stick with roughly 600 calories per hour for men, and 500 for women.

What are trampoline workouts really good for, then?

Just because you’re not burning 1000 calories, doesn’t mean it isn’t still a good workout. If you’re not a natural runner, or you still prefer the idea of bouncing your way through a workout, there are a number of added benefits to trampoline workouts over traditional courses.

If you play other sports that involve a lot of jumping, like basketball or volleyball, you may notice an improvement to your vertical jump. Bouncing on a mini trampoline has been shown to be a valuable form of plyometric training. Plyometrics are exercises that serve to boost your muscle speed, power output and ultimately lead to gains on your vertical leap. They do this not only by building strength in your lower body muscles and tendons, but by teaching your body how to jump properly.

Believe it or not, but jumping is actually an incredibly complicated mechanical movement. If you tell a young kid to jump in the air, they can probably do it without thinking about it. But ask a mechanical engineer to build a robot that can jump straight in the air while standing on an uneven, bouncy surface, and you’ll find out just how complex our bodies are.

By training your body to jump on a trampoline in 30-60 minute intervals, you are actively teaching your muscles how to jump. This also leads to an improvement in overall bodily control, engaging your core as you need to orient your body in the air with each jump. Trampoline workouts can also serve as a high intensity cardio work-out–which is why they are so effective at burning calories.

How many calories do you burn doing flips on a trampoline?

This question gets to the core of the discussion. When we hear that trampolining is better at burning calories than running, we immediately think that it’s the obvious, fun way to workout. We can practice our front flips, belly flops and backdrops while burning serious calories.

The truth is, trampoline workouts aren’t the same as casual trampoline time. Unless you plan on doing flips consistently for 60 minutes, without pause, then you won’t be burning as many calories as you would by going for a run.

The Takeaway

As with most things, the key lies in moderation.

Trampoline workouts really are a great way to get a decent burn going, but they aren’t just all about fun. If you are getting tired of your exercise routine, sick of your regular jogging route, or just feel like changing things up–trampoline workouts can be the refresh button your regime needs.

It won’t work any miracles, but it can be enough to keep you entertained and teach your body some new tricks.

Always be sure not to do overdo it, and to stay safe during your trampoline workout. The best workouts are achieved by keeping your bouncing height relatively low (reducing the impact on your joints and tendons), and working out at a consistent pace for the entire session. If your leg muscles become tired or fatigued during the workout, just step off and rest a little, then get back on when you’re ready.

Ready to mix up your workout routine and try to bounce your way to 1000 calories? Take a look at our post on the how to choose a trampoline or get online and find a trampoline park near you.

If your planning on buying a trampoline, check out my buyers guide.

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