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Photo by Ryan Murphy
Photo by Ryan Murphy

Exercise like a Child

When we were kids, we worked out for several hours a day without even knowing it. It was enjoyable, and we were upset when we were forced to stop. We’d stay out for recess all day long if we could, and activities like racing through a few sets of monkey bars didn’t feel like work of any kind – we did them because they were fun.

As adults, many of the exercise regimens available to us now are a just a bit more serious than our former childhood “workouts” – lookin’ at you, CrossFit. That’s what trampoline fitness classes are trying to change; they’re hoping to bring fun back into exercise.

“When you go to a gym, you don’t necessarily want to go in there knowing you’re going to work out or run on that treadmill or have to lift these weights. Everyone kind of looks forward to jumping on a trampoline,” said Alex Wolfe, manager at SkyZone. This airborne haven in Lewis Center offers a trampoline-centric SkyRobics class multiple days a week.

Heart-rate monitor tests have shown that participants in classes like SkyRobics and Fit Jump at Buckeye Bounce Club in Powell have people burning up to 1,000 calories in a one-hour class. Just the concept of deliberate bouncing – or rebounding, in technical parlance – is what makes trampoline fitness classes unique. It can be an effective way to increase your lymphatic system response, which helps fight infections and bacteria. The more we move the better our lymphatic system performs, and jumping is said to increase lymph flow up to 15 times.

Fit Jump and SkyRobics are similar, with warm-ups and circuit-style classes that incorporate wall-to-wall trampolines to increase the intensity of workouts. At SkyRobics, the class follows a multi-circuited station plan, while Fit Jump splits class into trampoline HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and weighted circuits.

When you have to stabilize yourself to not only bounce but perform exercises like tuck jumps or burpees, it challenges your core to work even harder, all while getting a more traditional full-body workout. A plank may be a familiar exercise movement for many people, but imagine trying it on unstable ground while simultaneously compelling your body to bounce up and down.

Trisha Yocom, owner of Buckeye Bounce Club, has one client who lost 40 pounds in four months by working with her one-on-one to complete workouts similar to Fit Jump, in addition to a few extra classes a week and small dietary changes.

Yocom’s combined 30-plus years of gymnastics, cheerleading and personal training help her come up with the workouts she uses both on the trampoline and on the floor, where some of the class also takes place.

“When you go to a gym, you don’t necessarily want to go in there knowing you’re going to work out or run on that treadmill or have to lift these weights. Everyone kind of looks forward to jumping on a trampoline.”

Much of the popular exercise equipment you would find in any boot-camp class, like kettle bells, TRX and medicine balls, are a part of Fit Jump and SkyRobics training; however, instead of a class devoted to each, all of them are combined into one class.

Since the majority of the jumping and interval training is done on the trampoline, it’s a low-impact exercise that’s a great alternative for someone with knee or joint problems who’s looking to add cardio and strength to her fitness routine.

With colder temperatures settling in, these fun, indoor workouts are a way for people to increase cardiovascular strength while also improving areas you can’t train all at once in a typical gym, like balance, coordination, flexibility and air awareness. And maybe they can even reawaken that sense of play from childhood recreation.