Exercise intensity increased by addition of handheld weights to rebounding exercise

rebounder1“Exercise intensity increased by addition of handheld weights to rebounding exercise” This older study (1995)  looked into the effect of using hand held weights to increase the intensity of rebounding exercise. They concluded “The addition of [Hand Held Weight or HHW] exercise to rebounding substantially increases exercise intensity. Because rebounding without weights results in a relatively low intensity, the addition of HHW should be considered in the use of rebounding for cardiovascular training.”

What’s a rebounder?  It’s essentially a mini-trampoline. There are many incredibly cheap ones that could injure you and then there are the rebounders warrantied for users up to 400 pounds with a premium price, and rebounders priced at the mid-range with a good reputation like the Urban Rebounder “as seen on TV”!

Advantages to the rebounder vary by who you ask. Zealous promoters of these products list numerous benefits which to some degree are likely true. Less dramatic promoters highlight the ability to use these devices to work at home, promote circulation and healing, and as a platform for exercise that can be as challenging as you wish to make it! Before outrageously expensive “treadmills” rebounders or mini-trampolines were the standard device for people training indoors. Many trainees considered them excellent tool for developing leg strength thanks to the jumping and the high “G” force landings that could be created for experienced users. (Inexperienced users can potentially injure themselves even on premium rebounders!) Unlike any other training device, the rebounder allows for the development of balance and agility while working out… attributes appreciated more as folks age and the tendency is to become unstable.

But many people find that using a rebounder does not, in itself, allow for the intensity of workout necessary for more than a warm up…So how can it be used more effectively?

One way to do that is by combining activity on the rebounder with hand held weights. This is not a new idea. It was promoted quite a while before this study (judging by the pictures!) in the book Harry and Sarah Sneider’s Olympic Trainer: Fitness Excellence through Resistive Rebounding and called “Resistive Rebounding”. In the book they use sand bags weighing 1, 2, and 3 pounds as resistance, though naturally HeavyHands weights (or Dr. Schwartz’ IsoTonoMetric hand moves or “dynamic tension” moves for that matter) could be used to the same effect.

Depending on age, fitness or athletic goal, or other criteria, routines using hand held weights are outlined which allow progression from “beginner” levels (1 lb weights) to more advanced levels (3lb weights). AND NEVER MORE….

Remember that on a rebounder during a hard landing, the body may experience a “G” force of over 1.5 “G” or more. A 200 pound person would be landing repeatedly with up to and over 300 pounds or more of force. Seemingly small weights of 3 pounds would also have their impact magnified with every step. In a way the Sneider’s recognized the principles espoused by Dr. Schwartz and used the rebounder as an “effect multiplier” and readers may wish to do so too if they have an interest in “rebounding”. Note: Do not use a weight vest while rebounding because of the jarring effects. Go very slowly with any weights being used. If used to using a certain weight on a flat surface, consider lowering the weight while becoming acclimated to the rebounder. Follow all normal warnings with rebounders that apply to any exercise. Overweight or overzealous users may find themselves overstressing ankles, knees, or lower back by jumping too hard too fast.

Most “rebounder” advocates suggest starting with a “health bounce” where feet to not leave the man and upward movement is achieved by simple ankle and foot movement.

The moral of the story is that if you want to exercise aerobically indoors – you can use a rebounder. If you want to exercise indoors and do so with much more effectiveness (= greater muscle involvement, calorie burn, and whole body muscle building amplified by “G” force) you must include UPPER BODY RESISTANCE and begin to work Panaerobically. For examples of that and possibly routines, you can check out the previously mentioned book: Harry and Sarah Sneider’s Olympic Trainer: Fitness Excellence through Resistive Rebounding

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