Mini-trampoline classes, also called “rebounding,” have gotten buzz lately. During class, each person jumps and runs in place, often to music, on his own trampoline. Fans say these fast-paced workouts torch calories and strengthen muscles with less impact than on a hard surface, says physical therapist Scott Euype, education director at Cleveland Clinic’s Rehabilitation & Sports Therapy.
However, you should be cautious before hopping on this bandwagon. If you jump too high or fast, the force may harm an already inflamed or damaged joint. Plus, “the landing surface is unstable, so you could turn an ankle or hurt your knee,” says Mary Ann Wilmarth, owner of Back2Back Physical Therapy in Andover, Massachusetts, and a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. Check with your doctor before you try rebounding. (Avoid it if you’ve had joint replacement in your feet, ankles, knees or hips unless your doctor has given the OK.)
Under the guidance of a physical therapist, you may be able to gradually build up to jumping. Start by walking on the trampoline for a few minutes. Over time, you can begin to step side to side, jog in place, then gently bounce. “Wear shoes that aren’t too stiff, so you can feel the movement,” says Wilmarth.
You can also use a mini-trampoline to improve your balance. Try standing with feet together and eyes closed; standing with one foot slightly ahead of the other; standing and slowly bringing each knee toward the chest; and kicking each leg to the side while standing.
Author: SHARON LIAO
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