No matter which sweat-dripping exercise you do, cardio is the most grueling and annoying part of one’s workout. Enter the rebounder exercise.
Bouncing on a mini-trampoline isn’t just a fun way to get your heart rate up; it’s a versatile exercise that boosts your cardio endurance and helps your lymphatic system flush your blood from toxins.
The health benefits of this bouncy workout are endless, but so are the negative effects. Lately, many fitness trainers have been recommending that you consult a medical professional before going for trampoline exercises to avoid the negative side effects of rebounding.
So what are these side effects, and how true are they? We’re discussing that in this blog post, so join us while we “jump” from one effect to the other and answer your questions.
What Are the Side Effects of Rebounding?
Below are 17 of the commonly-known negative side effects of rebounding and whether they’re true or just a myth.
1. Is Rebounding Bad for Knees?
It’s common knowledge that bouncing exerts the knees. Think about it. When you jump, two to three times of your body weight is thrown on your knees due to the force of gravity, putting more pressure on your kneecaps. That’s why it’s recommended to stay away from trampoline jumping if you already have an injury in this area, as it’ll only worsen your knee pain.
It’s not entirely harmful, though. If your joints are healthy, you can still perform these lateral movements on a mini-trampoline without suffering from painful knees. You just have to take some precautions.
First, ensure that you’re using a high-quality rebounder with sufficient framework support. A cheap rebounder may have flimsy bungee cords and a stretchy mat, which won’t absorb the impact of your jumps well, leading to incorrect landings and putting much strain on your knees.
Second, choose comfortable footwear with bouncy soles to train with. And lastly, make sure you’re in a squat position when landing to distribute the impact of the fall on different parts of your body. Keeping your knees straight will cause your knees to take all the impact by themselves.
2. Is Rebounding Bad for Ankles?
Anyone who was unlucky enough to have sprained their ankle before knows that the pain coming from ankle injuries is no joke. Fortunately, unlike standard jump rope workouts, rebounding is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t put much strain on your ankles.
However, it’s not completely risk-free. If you repetitively jump too high or land incorrectly on your heels, it can have a negative effect on your ankles. You can turn your ankles or cause a ligament to tear with just one wrong move, so be careful with your posture when jumping and landing on the bouncy mat.
3. Is Rebounding Bad for the Back?
In addition to your brain, your spine is the most precious part of your body as it’s responsible for most of its functions, so your body takes drastic measures to protect it from injury.
When you do high-intensity movements like jumping, your back muscles tighten, and the soft tissue surrounding your spine constricts to protect it from injury.
In optimal conditions, these actions help strengthen your back muscles, improve your flexibility, and develop your body balance. So it’s safe to rebound if you have a healthy back as long as the mini-trampoline is of high quality.
However, if you suffer from any back problem, regular rebounding can aggravate your existing condition and even put you at a higher risk of acquiring a serious spine injury.
4. Is Rebounding Bad for Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is when the spine is curved or twisted slightly to the side. It’s a physical condition that makes it hard to maintain a proper form and weakens the muscles of the lower back. There are many treatment regimens for it that include physical activities, but rebounding isn’t one of them.
One might think it’s okay to jump on a mini-trampoline with scoliosis as it strengthens the leg and back muscles. What really happens, though, is that this activity’s strong landing force puts additional pressure on the spine, which can further worsen the condition.
Some experts claim that some gentle bouncing won’t hurt if the spine is curved at a very slight degree. We wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with scoliosis, though, no matter how mild their condition is.
5. Is Rebounding Bad for Back Muscle Imbalances?
Muscle imbalances, especially in the back, are triggered by fatigue or excess pressure on specific muscles, causing some muscles to be stronger than others and, therefore, the imbalance. Such a condition negatively affects your movements while performing your daily tasks and is associated with an increased risk of injury.
A weight-bearing exercise can help relieve this condition as it improves muscular balance. But not rebounding!
In fact, the repetitive movements of bouncing with poor posture can cause back muscle imbalances. So it’s only reasonable to stop using the rebounder if you already have them until you regain your muscle balance.
6. Is Rebounding Bad for the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is the group of muscles that support the bladder, colon, and rectum. It has to be strong to give you control over your bladder and bowel to avoid accidental leakage.
While gently bouncing can help strengthen your pelvic floor, vigorous rebounding can have negative side effects on it. This is because when you increase the force of your jump, you turn this workout into a high-impact exercise instead of a low-impact one due to the storing force of landing.
This intense force can cause pelvic floor problems, such as incontinence, weakness, prolapse, and pain. So you want to keep your lateral movements easy and avoid intense workouts to protect your pelvic floor.
It’s also advisable to divide your jumping sessions into short ones and train yourself to land on one foot, as hitting the mat with both feet increases the pressure on your pelvic floor.
7. Is Rebounding Bad for the Bladder?
Your pelvic floor muscles give you control over your bladder. If the pelvic floor is weak, problems such as bladder leakage and incontinence occur.
As we said before, rebounding overloads your pelvic floor muscles, putting them under strain and making you lose control over your bladder movement.
Females with existing urinary tract problems are at a higher risk of suffering from further leakage when rebounding. This is backed by a study conducted on females over the age of 15 about the negative side effects of rebounding on the bladder. The study found that almost all females reported involuntary bladder leakage during trampoline training.
8. Is Rebounding Bad for Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
This condition is more common in females when the pelvic floor muscles sag, causing one organ or more to slip down from its position and bulge into the vagina. Usually, women suffer from it after childbirth or hysterectomy, but it can happen due to other reasons, such as chronic cough or constipation.
Because rebounding applies pressure on the pelvic floor, it can worsen prolapse if done with high intensity. On the other hand, many doctors recommend light trampoline training as a preventive measure because it strengthens the pelvic muscles and prevents future prolapse.
9. Is Rebounding Bad for High Blood Pressure?
This is more of a controversial topic when it comes to the negative side effects of rebounding. Many studies have been conducted to test the effect of rebounding on hypertension, and some concluded that it worsens it, while others found the opposite.
According to a clinical trial published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, rebounding exercises were found to lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation, therefore, lowering the chances of heart disease and giving better health outcomes. That’s for people with moderately high blood pressure, though.
On the other hand, for people whose blood pressure reads 180/100 or more, trampoline training can be more harmful than beneficial as it will cause their blood pressure to rise rapidly, putting much strain on their heart and blood vessels. That may even increase their risk of blood clots.
So what’s to do then? Before opting for rebounding, consult your physician to make sure it’s completely safe. Also, make sure to start at low intensity and work your way up slowly.
10. Is Rebounding Bad for Varicose Veins?
Your legs are the farthest from your heart, so the veins in this area exert more effort to push the blood back to your heart. When the valves in these veins weaken, they fail to push the blood back, and consequently, blood accumulates in these veins, causing them to swell and push out from the surface of the skin.
Although some people claim that rebounding can aggravate varicose veins, there is little to no evidence supporting that.
Contrarily, jumping improves the blood flow, reducing blood pooling in the legs and easing its way back to the heart. Besides, the increased muscle tone associated with rebounding helps replace unhealthy veins with stronger ones. That’s why many physicians recommend it for patients suffering from varicose veins.
11. Is Rebounding Bad for Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease refers to the wear and tear that happens to the discs in between the vertebrae. These discs absorb any shock in this area, protecting the vertebral column. That’s why people who suffer from this condition complain about lower back or neck pain.
Rebounding is absolutely prohibited for people with degenerative disc disease because it applies even more pressure on these weakened discs, worsening the pain caused by them.
12. Is Rebounding Bad for Nerve Damage?
The most common cause of nerve damage is diabetes. However, it can be a complication to other conditions, including aging, sudden trauma, infections, or vitamin deficiencies.
Whatever the cause is, regular rebounding can prevent the development of neuropathy as it improves circulation and helps neurons regenerate. However, if you already suffer from nerve damage, you might want to stir away from this exercise as it could be painful and instead focus on lighter workouts like walking.
13. Is Rebounding Bad for Osteoporosis?
As reported by a study published in the Clinical Interventions in Aging Journal, mini-trampoline training can be beneficial in cases of osteoporosis and osteopenia.
In addition to being easy on the joints, this low-impact exercise is proven to aid in the restoration of bone density and muscle mass, which improves balance and reduces the risk of falling in people with osteoporosis.
14. Is Rebounding Bad for Joint Pain?
When you jump on a rebounder, your legs land on a smooth and bouncy surface, which absorbs the impact and reduces the shock on your hips, knees, and ankles.
The rebounder also prevents bone loss and slows down muscle atrophy, so it’s safely recommended for people with joint pain.
15. Is Rebounding Bad for Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis refers to the inflammation in the tissues running across the bottom of the foot, which causes a stabbing pain in the heel.
Exercising on a rebounder with bare feet can help you with this condition as it’ll adjust your feet and legs to be properly aligned, relieving the inflammation.
16. Is Rebounding Bad for Pregnant Women?
That really depends on what your OB-GYN will tell you. You don’t have to worry about miscarriage or anything like that as there aren’t any proven negative effects to rebounding on pregnant women.
However, your doctor might advise you to discontinue the sport during your second and third trimesters because that’s when stability issues occur. During this period, the risk of losing your balance and falling down on your stomach is high, which might hurt your growing baby.
17. Is Rebounding Bad for Cancer?
Rebounding can be a powerful weapon against cancer. That’s because regular jumping boosts the lymphatic system and increases the white blood cell count in the blood, which helps detoxify the blood and kill cancerous cells.
Does Rebounding Make Your Face Sag?
You might think that the bouncing movement would pull on your skin and cause it to droop and sag. Yet, it actually has many skin-enhancing effects. Many doctors even recommend it for people struggling with sagging skin due to aging or rapid weight loss.
Trampoline jumping helps minimize excess skin production and tone your skin through two mechanisms.
This first is through boosting collagen production. The thing is, cortisol (the stress hormone) is the direct enemy of collagen in your body. The more cortisol in your body, the less collagen production. What rebounding does is that it helps relieve stress, lowering the cortisol levels in your body and, in turn, promoting collagen production.
The second is by improving the blood flow to the superficial tissues. As we said before, bouncing improves the blood flow throughout your body. That means more blood and oxygen reach the skin, resulting in a more nourished skin with a glowing surface and smooth texture.
Is It Okay to Rebound Every Day?
There is no rule that says whether you should or shouldn’t exercise on a rebounder every day.
Ideally, it’s recommended to begin with 10 minutes per day on a rebounder. If you’re in good health, this amount of time daily is enough to flush your body of harmful toxins, strengthen your muscles, and burn calories to help you keep up with your slimming goals.
You can devote more time if you’re an experienced rebounder. As you get accustomed to the workout, you can incorporate several ten-minute sessions into your daily exercise routine.
Just beware that going overboard with rebounding might negatively affect your health, so remember that moderation is key here.
Also, if you suffer from a certain health condition, you might want to consult your physical therapist first about the workout intensity and duration suitable for you. They might advise you to limit your rebounding routine to only 3-4 sessions per week.
The Takeaway: Who Should Not Use a Rebounder?
By now, you should already know that many of the said negative side effects of rebounding aren’t negative at all. Yet, we can’t say it’s completely safe for everyone. Some people still shouldn’t exercise on a rebounder.
People suffering from back problems, severe neuropathy, or extreme hypertension should seek easier workouts. As for athletes with knee problems, ankle pain, varicose veins, or pelvic floor complications, they can still use a rebounder but should consult their doctors first to make sure it’s safe.
Emma James, 29 years old professional fitness trainer with Bachelor’s degree in Physical Fitness Technician from Boston University.