words by Kathleen Fleming
When I was little, I remember watching my mum clad in her Jane Fonda-esque workout gear bouncing up and down on her mini-trampoline in the living room. I always desperately wanted to join in the bouncing but apparently it was exercise equipment and not a toy. And then when I got older, mini-trampolines were no longer cool and everyone went to the gym instead (even mum disposed of hers).
But just like leggings, leopard print and roller-skating made their come-backs, rebounding is becoming popular again and classes are popping up around London. Plus wellness warriors such as Kris Carr (Crazy Sexy Diet) and Jason Vale (The Juice Master) are recommending rebounding as a great workout with tonnes of health benefits!
One of the main benefits of rebounding is that it is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise. Unlike normal aerobics or running, rebounding has little impact on your joints and so it is accessible to people who suffer from joint issues as well as those recovering from injury. As well as being low-impact, it is a fantastic way to detox because it stimulates your lymphatic system. If we don’t exercise, lymph doesn’t flow properly around our bodies causing waste build up which has the potential to cause illness. But exercise, and in particular, rebounding, is said to increase lymph flow by 15 to 30 times (seriously detoxifying!). As well as illness prevention, this increase in lymph flow is said to prevent and reduce cellulite!
So when I saw that Slice Studios, in Parsons Green was adding 80s rebounding to their timetable, I had to have a go. I signed up rather quickly but then started to wonder what I was doing. Ok, my mum used to do it in the 80s but she did it at home and nobody would see if she bounced off into a heap on the floor. I also started getting an irrational fear of bouncing through the trampoline netting as well as constant reminders of my lack of co-ordination the last time I went to a step aerobics class. But when the time came, I put on my 80s tie-dye leggings (maybe if I looked the part, nobody would notice by out-of-time bounce), and prepared myself for a 45 minute class of bouncing!
The class was full and I could tell that I wasn’t the only one feeling a little apprehensive as we stepped onto our mini-trampolines. Cue 80s disco music and our super-high energy instructor Becky, launched into our bouncy warm-up. The class is conducted like an aerobics class except everyone is on their trampolines the entire time. We did star jumps, twists, leg raises, kicks, squats, jogging on the spot and a few other standard aerobics moves. Half way through, it occurred to me that I had been smiling since the start of the class and hadn’t looked at the clock once (sometimes exercise classes are endured rather than enjoyed). Becky had incredible energy and kept everyone motivated plus her 80s music choice was truly awesome.
The 45 minutes flew by and at the end of the class, I felt like I had had an incredible workout. I was sweaty, a little sore (in a good way) and left the studio feeling happy, singing 80s disco music all the way home. And the bonus benefit of this fabulous cellulite-reducing, non-impact exercise is that I woke up the next morning without a single niggle, ache or pain. I think 80s rebounding might just become a regular week-night fixture!