I had an affinity for jumping on trampolines growing up. Before my parents finally got me one of my own (they were reluctant to make the purchase considering my tendency to love something until I had it, then love something else soon thereafter), I’d suggest to my friends on countless playdates, “Hey, let’s go jump on the trampoline!” since it was the reason I wanted to have the playdate at their house to begin with.
But when I did finally get a trampoline, I loved that thing until its dying day. I even demanded that we bring it with us when we moved from North Carolina to Florida. As I got older, as cars replaced trampolines as the thing to ogle over and shopping at the mall became the cool thing to do, my trampoline days became a memory. But truth be told, I don’t think I ever stopped loving them. It’s not an exaggeration that I’ve Googled “trampoline workout” at least five times since I moved to Chicago. When I got word that one does exist in the West Loop, we immediately booked a class.
Bellicon USA, a company that produces rebounders (what the adults call trampolines, apparently) that you can buy at home, opened the only Bellicon studio in the world in Chicago’s West Loop. Their rebounders are known worldwide for replacing springs with elastic to be gentler on your body, but experiencing them as an in-studio class was super unique.
To be fair, I don’t have anything to compare it to. I’ve never done an organized class all about jumping to the beat of the music for the purpose of a workout – but let me just say, a workout it definitely was.
As soon as I signed in for class I made a bee line for one of the mini trampolines and started jumping. All of a sudden I flashed back to pleading my mom to get on the trampoline and jump with me and her coming up with every excuse in the book … and now I understood why. Not even 90 seconds into jumping and my calves were feeling it.
When class kicked off, we started off the trampoline (I was overzealous in jumping right away) and focused intensely on activating the right core muscles. When a rebounding class becomes a workout, you have to pay attention to how you use your trunk – all the stabilizing muscles in your core – to keep your body safe and aligned while you jump. When you focus on the core, you’re also able to jump faster and switch up the tempo of your jumps on cue. For instance, at some points during class we jumped as high as we could, double bounced and jumped on the down-beat (i.e. focusing on the “down” versus the “up”) all in one song.
The class was broken down into segments that lasted the length of the song that was playing. We mixed up the sections by doing a few things off the Bellicon rebounder, like a push-up and triceps dips section, interspersed between the high intensity cardio songs on the trampoline. My absolute favorite part of class was the all out high knees (which were, either coincidentally or not, also the hardest thing we did) for a full song.
If you’re looking for a different kind of workout, one that will leave you sore in all new ways and simultaneously remind you of a simpler time, this workout is up your alley. And if you’re looking for a friend to jump with, I’m always game (clearly, just look at my face).