Running, jumping and throwing are integral to most sports. A rebounder, also referred to as a fitness trampoline, is a sometimes-forgotten sports conditioning tool that trains all three. In fact, it provides a multidimensional and multifaceted environment. The rebounder is a perfect playground for a multitude of training options, including plyometrics, high-intensity interval drills, explosive movement patterning, balance work, throwing sequences and more.
Another feature unique to a rebounder is its nonimpact, reactive surface. Most participants can’t tolerate the impact of depth jumps or continuous bounding on the floor. Jumping or running on a trampoline is a lot easier on the body, and the bouncing tempo provides a rapid cardio response that is perfect for high-intensity work.
One hallmark of a sports conditioning program is that it provides a complex training environment that requires participants to vary their movement patterns and respond to change. In the following workout, attendees go through various circuit stations that provide cardio training, plyometric training, body weight training and reactivity challenges.
Sports Conditioning Rebounding Details
Goal/Emphasis: to create a changing environment of explosive movements, plyometrics and body weight training
Format: circuit; 45 seconds per station; 15-second transitions between stations
Total Time: 45 minutes–1 hour
Equipment Needed: rebounders, medicine balls, timing apparatus
Music: upbeat background tunes
- Station 1: high-intensity interval training
- Station 2: plyometrics
- Station 3: body weight or core training
- Rest: 1 minute of recovery between circuits
Repeat each station from the top.
Warm-Up (5–7 minutes)
Before beginning, demonstrate the proper way to bounce on a rebounder. The natural tendency is to jump on a rebounder as if it were a large backyard trampoline—this is not a good idea. Keep the body stable through the core, and apply intensity to the lower body by pulling the knees up; decrease the amount of vertical lift in the torso and head. These actions limit vertical displacement. Cue students to “stay low” and bounce as if they were under a low ceiling. Pressing down versus jumping up allows for better control. The knees and hips stay flexed, while the feet come higher off the trampoline as intensity increases.
After teaching correct bouncing technique, familiarize class with basic moves, such as lateral and front back hops, jumping jacks, and jump and set (continuous bouncing followed by a stop-and-hold on two feet). Intersperse these moves with “freestyle” bouncing, which allows jumpers to bounce however they want to (safely).
Circuit A: Get Your Run On
High-knee runs. Begin with light jogging, and progress to high-knee runs. Add intensity with arm work. Pick up cadence, and drive knees up.
Box jumps. From standing athletic position on floor, jump onto trampoline’s surface, landing on both feet. Focus on sticking the landing. Advance to leaping and landing from one foot.
Single-leg squats. From floor, balance on one leg, and position opposite leg lightly on frame or in midair; squat down and return to start. Repeat with good form.
Circuit B: Jump to It
Tuck jumps. Start bouncing. Progress into small tuck-jumps, drawing knees up into chest. Increase height and speed of tucks. Focus on midcore activation.
Single-arm medicine ball slams. From straight-arm plank position on floor, place one hand on trampoline mat and hold medicine ball in other hand. Dribble and slam ball into trampoline, continuously and with force. Switch arms.
Elbow planks. With feet on floor, place forearms and elbows on rebounder and press up to straight-arm position; repeat.
Circuit C: Slam It
Ricochets. Ricochets are continuous, fast tuck-jumps. Feet stay in contact with trampoline mat at all times; knees come up at same time as trampoline rebounds. Draw knees toward chest quickly and continuously.
Medicine ball slams. Stand in athletic “ready” position and repetitively throw medicine ball against trampoline mat. Once participants establish a faster and harder throw-catch rhythm, they can shuffle around perimeter of rebounder while throwing.
Seated bounce. Start seated on trampoline. With feet on floor, hold frame and begin to bounce. Progress to hands- free position.
Circuit D: Pump It Up
Single-leg pump and jump. Once jumping and balancing are mastered, add single-leg pump. Balance on one leg, with foot in full contact with trampoline mat, and begin small, rapid, continuous knee bends. Perform this pumping action until technique fails or fatigue sets in. Repeat for other leg. In round two, transition to single-leg hops, driving knee up to chest.
Press up to midair clap. From push-up position with hands on trampoline, lower slightly and then press up and clap hands together before touching back down. Repeat.
Punches in bunches. Sit on trampoline with feet in air. Punch air while holding feet up the entire time.
Circuit E: Leap to It
Lateral leaps. With one foot on trampoline and one foot on ground, press down into trampoline mat and powerfully bound up and travel across mat laterally as quickly as possible.
Sprawls to power jumps. Start standing, and drop down into push-up position. Spring back up into athletic ready position and jump onto rebounder. Step off and repeat.
Power push-ups. Start in push-up position, feet on floor. Bound up and land hands in narrow position. Return to wide start position. Bound continuously in and out. Add lower body, hopping legs in and out, in sync with upper body.
Cool-Down (5–7 minutes)
For a super fun, exhilarating and functional ending, configure approximately 10 trampolines in a straight line. Have participants run, leap or bound from one trampoline to the next, sticking the landing and racing back to the start of the line. Finish with a cool-down that includes total-body stretches.
The American Council on Exercise. 2001. Strengthen your abdominals with stability balls. Fit Facts.
Geithner, C. 2011. Selecting and effectively using a stability ball. Indianapolis: American College of Sports Medicine. www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/selecting-and-effectively-using-a-stability-ball.pdf; accessed Dec. 2013.