Bouncing on a trampoline isn't just for kids. If you want to shed flab and avoid boring exercise routines, rebounding might be just the exercise for you. A rebounder looks like a mini trampoline, with a diameter of about 36 inches and a height of 10 inches. Use it during your exercise sessions to tone muscles, while getting rid of thunder thighs, a muffin top and any other excess fat that's got you hiding beneath tent-like clothing.
Even though rebounding is easier on the joints than jogging or running, you still need to warm up your body to prepare it for exercise and avoid injury. Start with low bounces on the rebounder, with your feet remaining on the surface and gradually lifting off an inch or two. These gentle, easygoing bounces get the blood and oxygen flowing through your body, and help warm up your muscles and loosen your joints. About five to 10 minutes of this bouncing warmup gets your body in jump-ready condition. Turn on some music or put your favorite sitcom on to enjoy while you do your bouncing warmup.
Start jumping a little bit higher off the surface of the rebounder. Go for anywhere between 4 to 8 inches, to get a little more bounce going without flying off the equipment. Mix it up and get more muscles involved by alternately twisting your upper body to the left and right as you jump. Squat further down by increasing the bend in your knees to tone your thighs. Perform jumping moves for about 10 minutes to get your heart pumping and burn calories. Twenty-five minutes spent working out on a rebounder daily can help you lose 1/2-pound per week.
Jog in Place
Some people avoid jogging and running, even though they're both excellent ways to blast fat and burn calories, because of the impact on the knees. If knee issues or the desire to avoid them have kept you from picking up the pace, now you can do it on your rebounder. Spend the last five to 10 minutes of your rebounding workout jogging in place on your rebounder. Alternate between a moderate jog and one that involves moving your feet faster or lifting your knees higher. Do one-minute intervals of each for the duration of five to 10 minutes for extra fat-burning.
Take your intensity down a notch by switching from intervals to a steady, moderate pace. Hold a dumbbell in each hand as you go back to performing bounces and jumps with twists. The extra weight adds resistance, making your muscles work a little harder. This will help you build and tone muscles to make your body a better calorie-burner.
After you finish your rebounding workout, get off the rebounder and walk around for five minutes to let your heart rate slow to its regular pace and allow your body to cool down. Finish your cool down by reaching for the ceiling with both hands to stretch your upper body, and then bend at the waist and touch your toes to stretch your lower body. Hold each stretch for 10 to 20 counts.
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.