Trampolining places in Hertfordshire: bounce your way to fitness
PUBLISHED: 12:23 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:23 23 January 2018
Heather Harris leaps at the chance to try out the latest fitness craze - boogie bounce, rebounding and free jumping
When it comes to fitness trends there’s a lot of ups and downs. And never has this been truer than for the current enthusiasm for bouncing.
Exercise lovers bored of spinning, stepping, pumping or boxing – are now clenching their pelvic floor muscles and heading off to their nearest Boogie Bounce or ReboundUK Class. Both involve the basic principle of a cardio workout on individual mini trampolines, the main difference is the addition of a detachable bar at the front which Boogie Bouncers hold on to as they dance away 50 minutes with a series of choreographed moves.
As instructor, Louise Goodridge explained when I met her in Chesham in one of the 450 Boogie Bounce centres in the UK, ‘It’s high intensity but low impact so great for all ages and fitness levels. It really strengthens the pelvic floor muscles too.’
Having had two caesareans and being a marathon runner, a mini trampoline held little fear – until the pulsating music started and Louise began shouting instructions enthusiastically into her headset.
The whole right/left and count scenario quickly rendered me out of time and totally out of breath. But I didn’t care and I soon realised that my fellow bouncers didn’t either as we sweated and jumped away – holding on to the front bar for balance.
By the time we lay on our backs on the trampoline to start the final core session – the endorphins had kicked in and I could really see how this exercise has been promoted for its psychological as well as physical benefits.
As Sandra Barr, 52, told me (not easy interviewing while bouncing): ‘It’s the only type of exercise that I’ve found this much fun! I’ve converted my whole family,’ she said pointing to her step-daughter bouncing around next to her.
Fellow bouncers, mother and daughter Connie and Lynn were quick to agree. Lynn admitted that she was always intimidated by gyms, ‘But my daughter convinced me to come here and it has made a massive difference to my arthritic knees. After this class, which costs just £6, I can walk down stairs pain free!’
They now regularly do two or three classes a week.
Unsurprisingly, not many men are attracted to these dance-based classes, so Louise also offers ‘more macho’ circuit sessions. And at ReboundUK they are seeing a rise in the demand for their rebounders for home and office use. As managing director, James Winfield explained: ‘Men tend to like the circuit based workouts and combat style workouts which they can do anywhere with our online programmes.’
Like Boogie Bounce, ReboundUK also offers a training programme for instructors who then take their mini trampolines into the community.
There are currently 750 Boogie Bounce instructors and 2,500 ReboundUK instructors across the country, so no excuse not to jump onboard this growing trend. Although the whole principle of using trampolines for exercise has been going for more than 20 years, only recently has it reached these heights of popularity. As James said, ‘Whether you are eight or 80, rebounders are a fun way to keep fit. We have a great schools programme that’s ideal for children who don’t fit into the classic sporting mould. It’s non-competitive and there’s very low risk of injury.’
ReboundUK workouts don’t use a front bar as James believes that users get a more effective full body and core workout without one. Alexandra, 38, went down from a size 26 to a size 20 by using her mini-trampoline at home. ‘Part of the purpose is to make you very slightly unstable so that your core engages involuntary. The impact of regular exercise on a hard flat surface for me would mean I just couldn’t do it,’ she said.
For others, such as footballer Lozzie, bouncing has been ideal for rehabilitation after tearing her knee ligament playing for Wimbledon Athletic – so much more fun than traditional repetitive strengthening exercises. While for new mum Beth, 26, ‘it’s ideal’ – ‘I can go on my mini trampoline in the lounge while Amelie is in her baby bouncer!’
Given its popularity across the generations, it’s not a great leap to see why full-size trampolining has now captured the party scene. Enormous mass participation ‘free jumping’ centres are springing up all over the UK with wall to wall trampolines – even up the walls, where all sorts of fun can be had.
As Dominic West of Oxygen Free Jumping in Stevenage explained, ‘All our trampoline parks have multiple jumping zones including basketball hoops, giant airbags, dodgeball courts and obstacle courses to get people of all ages active and having fun.’
As well as bookable slots for individuals and groups, Dominic is keen to point out the Peaceful Play sessions they run for children with special needs, particularly autism, when the music is turned down and the children – and parents – can enjoy the freedom to bounce in a safe environment.
Clearly, when it comes to both physical and emotional fitness, bouncing seems to be a leap ahead of so many other exercise crazes. And, even better, surely the most dextrous teenager would struggle to text while launched in mid-air!
Boogie Bounce email@example.com
Gravity Force St Albans gravityforce.co.uk
Jump City, Cheshunt jumpcityuk.co.uk
Stevenage (Air Space) Oxygen Freejumping oxygenfreejumping.co.uk
MEGAJUMP, Borehamwood megajump.co.uk
Bounce Indoor Trampoline Park Centre Milton Keynes bouncegb.com
JumpArena Trampoline Park, Luton jumparena.co.uk