Most of us grew up playing on a trampoline with our friends. As we grew older we used the trampoline less and less until it became a memory of a childhood pastime. However, there are many benefits of bringing a trampoline back into your “adult” routine. Now termed “rebounding,” jumping on a mini trampoline like a Bellicon for just 20 minutes a day is a great cardio workout and boasts multiple healing benefits for the body.
One of its greatest benefits is that it detoxes the lymphatic system, which increases immunity. Lymphatic fluid carries pathogen-fighting white blood cells, and rebounding increases the circulation of this fluid with the constant changes of gravity while jumping. Lymphatic fluid also absorbs fats from the small intestine, so rebounding can help with nutrient absorption and digestion.
According to Goop, rebounding can also help strengthen your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that cross from your tailbone to your pubic bone, supporting the bladder, uterus, and bowel. Many women suffer from weak pelvic floors caused by childbirth and menopause, leading to poor bladder control and reduced vaginal sensation. While jumping on a trampoline may sound like exactly the wrong idea for a woman who suffers from a weak pelvic floor, rebounders like a Bellicon are the perfect tools to rebuild those muscles and ligaments in the pelvis. (They can even enhance orgasms!)
Bellicon’s rebounders use a unique bungee cord system allowing its users to engage their pelvic floor muscles while avoiding the jarring effects typically associated with a traditional spring trampoline or other workout. According to Breaking Muscle, rebounding can help with muscle strengthening, improved balance, and spatial awareness — all with minimal stress on your joints.
Additionally, if you remember all the joy jumping on the trampoline brought as a kid then it makes sense that jumping before or after work can also help reduce stress and tension and greatly improve your mood.
Here, Master Trainer Fayth Caruso recommends some of her favorite rebounder tips. It’s time to embrace that inner child and get bouncing!
1 | Closed-Chain Bounce —
Closed-chain bouncing or health bouncing on the Bellicon means to bounce with your feet completely in contact with the mat. This is only possible if you choose the appropriate custom bungee for your body type. Stand with your feet parallel about a fist distance apart (or wider if you are still working on your balance). Think of a “tripod foot” with weight equally placed in three places (the front part of your foot and your heel). Find your “tallest self” and gently think of pulling your navel toward your spine and relaxing your shoulders down and back. Allow your jaw to relax. Begin a bounce with your feet in contact with the mat and allow the arms to swing.
Why is this beneficial? During a closed-chain bounce the pelvic floor muscles activate due to the uneven surface of the mat, elastic bungees, and gravity. The bounce also allows the rectus abdominis (our superficial abdominal layer) to relax which helps the deeper muscles of the pelvic floor to engage.
2 | Seated Mermaid —
Sit cross-legged on your mat. If you need to, elevate yourself slightly by sitting on a pillow or rolled up yoga mat. Reach one arm up by your ear and then stretch to the side. Next, rotate towards the Bellicon frame. Gently pull back on the frame and use it as resistance. This creates a beautiful and feel-good stretch throughout the thoracic spine.
Why is this beneficial? Tightness in our thoracic spine (mid back) is prominent today because of poor posture due to our screen time and lack of activity. Opening up the thoracic spine has been found to have a positive effect on our pelvic floor and lower back by increasing the range of motion, oxygen, and blood flow. The added benefit of using the Bellicon frame as resistance creates a deeper and more fulfilling stretch.
3 | Deep Squat —
A little known fact is that being able to relax the pelvic floor is just as important as being able to engage it. Stand with your legs wider then your hips and press your palms together in a “prayer position.” Slowly take a deep squat as far as you can comfortably go, paying close attention to your knees tracking over your toes and your spine staying long. Consciously breathe in at the bottom, relaxing your pelvic floor. Next, exhale out to engage your pelvic floor and glute muscles, while standing tall. Try this first on the solid floor and then move to the mat for added balance work and core and muscle engagement. If your heels don’t touch the floor, roll up a yoga mat and place it under your heels.
Why is this beneficial? Squatting is a natural movement pattern that we all do at birth and as we learn to walk. In today’s world we all squat less and lose range of motion and strength in our hips, knees, core, and glutes. Practicing squats on the malleable surface of the Bellicon mat is a wonderful way to strengthen both the glute muscles and the pelvic floor — as well as lengthen the pelvic floor muscles and relax the perineum which helps in the child birthing process.