You're a busy multitasker looking for ways to fit both exercise and entertainment into your busy schedule. Time to invest in a mini trampoline and a good TV. Just pop the trampoline, also known as a rebounder, in front of the TV and get a workout while watching your favorite shows -- who needs a couch? Mini trampolines can improve your coordination and balance while providing a solid aerobic workout, all wrapped up in a fun, low-impact package.
This mini trampoline will take a bit of getting used to, so even if you’re in top shape, start off with some simple moves until you’re completely comfortable with the device. The easiest mini trampoline exercise is simply bouncing up and down. Stand erect, spread your feet about shoulder-width apart, then flex your ankles to bounce up an inch or so on the balls of your feet. You can bounce with both feet at once, or jump with one foot at a time. Next, try jogging in place, lifting your legs high and pumping your arms in sync with your leg movements. The beginner moves can eventually morph into your warmup after you advance to more strenuous exercises.
Adding arm movements to basic jumping or jogging exercises makes the workout more strenuous, and increases strength and flexibility in your arms and shoulders. For example, begin with a simple two-foot jump, holding your arms at your sides. Punch one arm upward in sync with a jump, then bring it down on the next jump. Repeat with the other arm. You can also punch forward, or raise two arms at a time. When you’re comfortable with these movements, try them while holding light hand weights.
Some mini trampoline exercises emulate movements from other sports. For example, begin on the left side of the trampoline with your feet about hip-width apart and your knees flexed. Jump to the right side of the trampoline’s surface, keeping your feet in the same relative position -- as you would if you were skiing -- while pumping your right arm toward the right as you jump. Continue jumping from side to side.
You probably did jumping jacks during physical education classes in school. The exercise is performed the same way on a mini trampoline, but the more forgiving surface turns the movement into a low-impact aerobic exercise. Stand erect with your arms extended downward at your sides. As you jump, spread your legs wide and bring your arms over your head, clapping them together at the top. Jump again to return to the starting position.
Although the mini trampoline is only about a foot off the ground, you can still be hurt if you fall off balance. Always place the device on level ground and make sure it’s steady when you begin your workout. Also, keep the surrounding area clear of tables, chairs or anything else that can injure you if you fall. Keep an eye on the trampoline’s surface for any rips in the fabric.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.