Rebounding: The Small Trampoline Exercise That’s Addictively Fun

I have a hard time finding an exercise routine  I actually enjoy.

I love physical activity — walking, biking, hiking, dancing, etc. But a regular “exercise program” feels like work to me.

This summer I agreed to join my 21-year-old daughter in a workout program called “Insanity.” The name itself should tell you everything. I really did give it my best shot, especially since it was something the two of us could do together.

But if there's anything that makes you aware of your age and physical limitations, it's trying to keep pace with a 20-something and a hard-body instructor screaming at you like a drill sergeant. Fortunately, my knees began to swell up, so I had a legitimate excuse for ending the insanity.

Enter rebounding and mini-trampoline exercise.

One of my favorite health and fitness books is Younger Next Year for Women: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You're 80 and Beyond. (There's also a copy for men called Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You're 80 and Beyond.) The book is filled with great information on living the best lifestyle now to extend your life and maintain great health.

The linchpin of the author's health and “fountain of youth” philosophy is his unwavering belief in the life-altering effects of exercise — and his non-negotiable rule to exercise six days a week for the rest of your life.

Says the author Chris Crowley, exercise tells your body “to get stronger, more limber, functionally younger, in the only language your body understands. Because that is exactly what it does. And it works. It is the only thing that works.”

We all know this, but he explains it in a way that has really hit home and has motivated me to maintain some kind of regular exercise routine. My problem is finding a routine, or combination of routines, that I actually enjoy and that will work with my life, the weather, and my fitness level.

In my Sticky Habits Course one of our students wanted to develop the habit of jumping on a mini-trampoline. She mentioned how fun it was, but at the time it didn't strike me as a very serious exercise pursuit.

However, I did a bit of research on jumping on a mini-tramp, better-known as rebounding. And boy was I blown away by the myriad of health benefits of doing this fun jumping-around-thing we did as kids. So I went out and bought myself a mini rebounder trampoline and have discovered my go-to cardio exercise for the year.

Watch this video of an Urban Rebounding class to get a feel for the variety of exercises and how fun it is.

You should really invest in a decent rebounder if you are serious about the exercise, as you don't want to injure yourself or have equipment that falls apart. I use the Needak Rebounder Platinum Edition Half Fold Soft Bounce which is a top-ranked rebounder, and it works great for me. The Mini Trampoline Cellerciser Rebounder is also a good choice.

Bottom line, you want to make sure the rebounder you purchase is strong enough to support your weight and holds up for a long time.

Rebounding can involve more than just jumping up and down on a mini-trampoline. I'll outline some rebounding exercises in a minute. But first, let me share some of the really amazing benefits of rebounding exercise.

Health Benefits of Rebounding

It appears that no piece of exercise equipment has such a wide range of health benefits as the rebounder. Rebounding provides a combination of health and fitness benefits that no other exercise can provide. And to me, it is one of the most fun, convenient, and low impact exercises I've ever attempted. I'm hooked on it.

Increases lymphatic flow

More than any other exercise, rebounding greatly increases lymphatic circulation. Lymphatic fluid is the most important fluid to immune function in the body. Two-thirds of your white blood cells that eat bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and cancer cells are found in the lymphatic fluid.

Related: 51 Of The Best Benefits of Rebounding Exercise

Increases detoxification and cleansing of the body

More than any other exercise, rebounding greatly increases lymphatic circulation and detoxificationLymphatic fluid clears the system of toxins and waste products. The more we can increase lymphatic flow the more we can detoxify the organs, glands and tissues. Rebounding’s alternating weightlessness and double gravity produce a pumping action that pulls out waste products from the cells and forces into them oxygen and nutrition from the bloodstream.

Provides low-impact, safe cardiovascular exercise

Cardiovascular exercise is any exercise that increases the heart rate, like running, jogging, walking, etc. However, many of these exercises greatly stress the feet, ankles, knees, hips, back and discs. Jogging or running on a rebounder decreases shock and stress to the joints by 95% while still providing a cardiovascular workout as beneficial as running.

Strengthens the cells of the body

Rebounding helps keep all the cells in the organs, glands and tissues healthy and living long. When cells are weak and rupture easily, it weakens your immune system and shows up as symptoms, conditions and diseases. If cells are strong, you will have more health, energy and vitality. All cells in the body become stronger in response to the increased G-force during rebounding, and this cellular exercise results in the self-propelled immune cells being up to five times more active.

“…for similar levels of heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a rebounder trampoline than with running, a finding that might help identify acceleration parameters needed for the design of remedial procedures to avert deconditioning in persons exposed to weightlessness.” -N.A.S.A., Journal of Applied Physiology 49(5): 881-887

More benefits of rebounding

  • 20 minutes of a rebounder workout = 1 hour of running for a cardiovascular workout
  • Accelerates metabolism to burn calories for weight control
  • Improves digestion and elimination of cellular waste
  • Reduces body fat; firms legs, thighs, abdomen, arms, and hips; increases agility; and improves  sense of balance
  • Has a natural analgesic effect on the body, relieving pain in the neck, back, and head by increasing circulation and oxygen flow
  • Lowers blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol naturally by increasing oxygenation and dilating the blood vessels for smoother and easier blood flow
  • A year-round exercise that can be done inside or outside and is easily portable  for those that travel
  • Improves circulatory disorders by increasing cellular respiration
  • Promotes regular elimination and relieves constipation by increasing metabolism
  • Increases endorphin output, thereby promoting the relaxation response and stabilizing the nervous system
  • Promotes physical and mental efficiency (and stability) by increasing oxygen levels and decreasing toxicity
  • More effective for fitness and weight loss than cycling, running or jogging
  • 12 minutes of rebounding burns about 10 more calories than 12 minutes of jogging

Hopefully, you're convinced that rebounding is one power-packed exercise. But you may wonder what the heck you do on a rebounder once you begin. When I first started, I just jumped around like a kid on a regular trampoline. That was fun but soon got boring. You certainly can't do any flips or high leaps on the thing.

Below are some of the exercises I like to do on the rebounder. I generally do 20 minutes in the morning and 20 in the evening while watching TV. It's best to exercise barefoot (or with socks) on the rebounder as this strengthens the muscles in your feet.


To warm up I do a fast walk and some gentle bouncing. I mix this with some elbow to knee touches. I do this for about 5 minutes.


After the warm-up, I begin to jog at an increasing pace leveling off to a comfortable but steady jog. Then when commercials come on, I pick up the pace to a sprint or fast jog to really raise my heart rate. Sometimes I will include jumping jacks or the elbow to knee move but at double time.

High Knees/High Jumping

You can also increase the intensity of the workout by jogging but bringing your knees up really high as you run. You can also do high jumps by jumping up as high as possible with both feet off the ground and arms outstretched for balance.

Arm Lifts and Weights

If you want an upper body workout while you are rebounding, or just to increase your heart rate, try lifting your arms over your head in repetitions or use small hand weights to do bicep or tricep curls.


Be sure you stretch your calves, thighs, and hamstrings after your workout to prevent injury.

If you are looking for a low-impact workout or to supplement your current routine, I hope you will give rebounding a try. With the laundry list of health and fitness benefits it offers, you can go wrong with it!

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 40 comments
  • Harriet Cabelly

    I’ve been rebounding for the past 2 months – since taking a Tony Robbins 4 day seminar. That’s one of the things he really encourages for all of the reasons you stated in your post. I do it first thing in the morning and I love it. I put on music and go. I do it for about 10 minutes and then I hop onto the treadmill and I have tons of energy to keep up a fast pace. I am so glad to have discovered this. I highly recommend it as a quick energy booster and fun too. I do all kinds of fun moves on it.

  • Kelly

    I love that book ‘Younger Next Year’ also. I first read it when my husband brought home the male version from the library. I loved it so much that I took the female version out of the library the next week. When it was due to go back, I went out and bought it and it sits on my bedside table as a constant motivation on keeping myself healthy as I age! Great column.

  • Sarah | Holistic Hot Sauce

    Yes, I’ve heard of these health benefits of the rebounder – especially lymph drainage, so important. But I’d always wondered what you do on the darn thing! Thanks for clearing it up with the rundown of your ‘routine’ As I sit here today contemplating the snow falling and wishing I has running gear for this kind of weather, I’m realizing maybe I’d be better off with a rebounder! I love the idea of the portability and that it can work wherever you are.

  • Julie

    I’ve heard about rebounding through Kris Carr. I would love to incorporate these little trampolines in my workouts since I too dislike a “regular” program. I considered doing Insanity but don’t like how set it is.

  • Marci | Liberating Choices

    I used to go to yoga class every week but I’ve gotten out of the habit. I am feeling my age and am thin, so been thinking why exercise. I had truly been thinking how do we embrace our age and still exercise our bodies. Doesn’t cleaning count?!

    It is hard to find time to fit in a class or drive to the gym, and it’s gotten harder as my kids got older because I’m working more. I will check out the book and keep working on finding what/when works best for me… Have fun jumping!

  • Julia Malpais

    That was me, Barrie, and I’ve long since given up on jumping.
    Thanks to your research, I might get back on track!
    Have fun and all the best wishes!

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  • Janet Pearson

    It has been 25 years since I used to sell, promote and encourage rebounding as my favorite excercise. Thank you for reminding me. I am so happy there is a resurgence in this activity. For us seniors, it affords an inexpensive method to retain bone density and flexibility. I always loved “doing the twist” to the music of the same name.
    May I add because of the detoxifying effect it is vitally important that we all start slowly at 5 min per time, maybe 10 if your active as the sudden release of toxins can make you ill. You may experience a headache or dizziness. But it doesn’t take many days to build up. ….I know the above because I was so excited and so pumped I jumped (danced) for nearly an hour and suffered for once again NOT listening to those that are wiser. LOL


      Penny – thanks for that advice. I’m just getting back into exercise and I might have overdone this without thinking about the release of toxins. I will start 5 minutes per day for a week, move to ten, and so on. I appreciate the advice of the wiser one.


      Janet – thanks for that advice. I’m just getting back into exercise and I might have overdone this without thinking about the release of toxins. I will start 5 minutes per day for a week, move to ten, and so on. I appreciate the advice of the wiser one.

  • Penny

    Going out tomorrow and buying one at Canadian Tire! I can do this in my apartment, rain or shine…when I am restless and it’s too late to go out for a walk somewhere. And get fit. I plan to use it in a narrow front door hallway, where I can touch the walls if I need occasional help with balance.

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  • Tacfit Warrior

    Havee you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest
    authoring on other blogs?I have a blog centered on the same topics you
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    I know my visitors would appreciate your work. If you are
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  • Jairus Monillas

    I’m just 27 and im excited to do this while watching tv 🙂

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  • Julie

    I have been using a rebounder daily for 5 months and have seen so many of the benefits already. My favorite thing to do is a skip step — as you are coming down, one foot pushes back up like a skip. It’s really strengthened my legs, butt and back. I can now skip side-to-side on the mat of the rebounder which improves my balance.

    I have been able to work out on the rebounder through a broken pinkie toe that was hard to walk with as well as anterior tibial tendonitis with my left ankle. (Rebounder actually helped heal the tendonitis.) I highly recommend it.

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  • Troy

    OK, I’ve seen these health claims all over the internet. Someone put them out there, and they are just copied and pasted onto each page that mentions rebounding. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to see any real science on claims such as lymph drainage.

    Any exercise that flexes the muscles will preform lymph drainage, and it you want to look at just the mechanics of lymph drainage, the clean and jerk (low weight, high reps) is the king.

    Lymph drainage is measurable, so lets see a study. No, I don’t want to hear why it makes sense… Show the evidence.

    I am loaded with injuries from a life of living like I was the love child of Bruce Lee and Gonzo, so I already use a rebounder as my primary cardio workout, but please, so many of these claims are unfounded.

      Barrie Davenport

      Hi Troy,
      NASA did a well-known study on rebounding and the positive effects. Here’s a list of articles and studies you can review:


      Yup, seen it. Mentions nothing about lymph drainage, or almost all the other health claims that are listed here.

      They listed that unlike running, the G forces seemed to be even throughout the body, instead of primarily the ankles. Also, “heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the bio mechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running”

      That’s it.


      I read that the g force is what forces the fluid to be moved from the gland. So when your feet slam down and the g force pulls the body it also pulls the lymph from the gland and that is what makes this a more effective exercise for lymph drainage than other things.

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  • Karen

    Thanks for your post! I just finished Younger Next Year, and got a rebounder for Christmas so I was searching for cardio routines for it. The universe delivered!

  • rama

    I have pain in my feet for quite some time, and was wondering if just doing the health bounce would help me lose weight. I have been using the rebounder for the last 2 years and I really like it. I do the usual jumping jacks, straight jumps and jogging in place. I usually worked out minimum for 40 mins everyday. I am also a fitness instructor and do aerobics and weight training too, plus i do a bit of Yoga too.
    But for the last 3 months I have suddenly developed some pain in my feet, it has got nothing to do with my exercises, it is I believe more age related problem, so I was thinking of giving my feet a rest. But i am also afraid i might end up putting on weight, so I keep on doing the health bounce once every 2 hours for about 12- 15 mins everyday, plus i also do my regular weight training ad little bit of yoga, do you think I would be able to lose weight or burn calories just by doing the health bounce.
    I don’t want to strain my feet although i can still do the jumps etc in the rebounder, thoug the pain is still there.
    Can somebody tell me what to do or whatever, I am doing is good enough.
    Thank you, Rama.


      I hope I am not to late to respond. I wear those thin rubber shoes that you wear on the beach when I rebound. For some reason, when I bounce barefoot my feet kind of ache. They don’t ache when I wear these light shoes. By the way, I got mine at Walmart. Hope this helps.

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