By Suzanne Bowen • Edited by Amanda Altman
After test-driving a friend’s bungee-style fitness trampoline, I knew I needed one, too. Thanks to my husband, on Christmas 2015, I unwrapped a 44-inch JumpSport Pro trampoline that quickly became my family’s favorite toy. I knew the benefits of rebounding, but I didn’t realize how this mini rebounder would give new life to my method, BarreAmped, and my own personal fitness regimen.
When we ordered the handlebar that can be added to the trampoline for support, my eyes widened at the limitless possibilities of combining barre and bounce. No longer did I—nor the home exerciser or even a studio—need a wall-mounted barre to do a barre routine. Plus, I can’t tell you how amazing it is to do a really tough thigh exercise, for example, on this slightly unstable surface because you know you’ll be rewarded with light bouncing between sets. It’s also amazing that you can bounce extremely lightly without punishing your joints and still get an effective cardio workout. (After adding the rebounder to my workouts—and cutting down on my nightly glass of champagne—for four months, I dropped 15 pounds!)
This past January, BarreAmped Bounce, which now includes a DVD and streaming workouts for home exercisers and an online teacher certification, was born. Although those with knee issues or women with pelvic floor dysfunction or postnatal rehab needs should consult their doctor before bouncing, on a case-by-case basis, BarreAmped Bounce is safe for people with injuries or issues. (Keeping the spine in a neutral position is key for mamas.)
Do the following workout barefoot or with your Pilates socks three to four times a week. If you’re new to rebounding, start with a very light bounce until your feet, ankles and legs gain strength and flexibility for the more advanced positions.
I’ve truly been awakened to a shorter way to work out, a better way to do barre, and a fun way to stave off the dread factor that cardio sometimes brings. BarreAmped Bounce is my favorite workout to date. I’m delighted to share some of the moves with you, Pilates Style readers! #shaketochange #bouncetochange
Prop: rebounder with handlebar
Breath: Breathe naturally throughout, without any breath holding or gripping of the abdominals.
Reps: Do all these moves for 1 minute each.
• Bounce lightly from side to side for 5 minutes to warm up.
• For an extra dose of cardio, bounce lightly for 1 minute between exercises.
• Keep your spine neutral throughout unless otherwise indicated.
V Position Thigh Work
Purpose: works the quads and calves
Setup: Stand tall on the trampoline with your feet in Pilates stance, and hold onto the handlebar. Lift your heels, bending your knees.
1. Bend your knees and lower your body about 5–10 inches, keeping your ears over your shoulders, and shoulders over your hips and heels. Pulse up and down.
Tip: Stay as low as you can while maintaining good form.
Modification: The “mat” of the trampoline goes below the “earth”—bear in mind that your heels might not lift as high as they would on the floor. This relevé position on the trampoline requires flexibility in the feet; keep your knee bend proportional to your relevé.
Advanced: Move in a more full range of motion without losing alignment.
Lunge-Over Hinge on Relevé
Purpose: strengthens the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back
Setup: Lightly hold onto the handlebar, and step back on the trampoline so that your upper body is comfortably hinged toward the bar. Lift your right heel, bending your knee, and extend your left leg with your foot pointed; your weight should be over the ball of your supporting foot. Keep your elbows toward your body, spine long and hips square.
1. Bend your left knee, pulse your leg up, then straighten your leg and pulse it up, keeping the movement small.
2. Repeat on your other side, bouncing for 1 minute before you alternate.
Tip: Make sure the movement isn’t coming from your back, but instead, from the leg moving inside your pelvis or hip joint.
Modification: Drop your back heel, and don’t hinge over as much.
Advanced: Work powerfully and more rapidly without losing control.
Parallel Thigh Work
Purpose: targets the quads and calves
Setup: Stand tall on the trampoline holding onto the handlebar with your legs hip-width apart and parallel. Lift your heels.
1. Lower a few inches, feeling your quads contract. Pulse up and down.
Tip: Keep your ears over your shoulders, over your hips, over your heels, with your spine neutral.
Modification: Work higher, making sure your heels aren’t overarching and that you’re not leaning forward.
Advanced: Move powerfully in a more full range of motion with control. Hold for the last 10 seconds at your low point.