Is rebounding good or bad for your bones? This is a question I’ve been asked a lot and today I’m thrilled to answer it and explore its effects on both your bone health and overall health.
What is Rebounding?
Rebounding is an exercise that consists of bouncing lightly on a small trampoline, either with the feet remaining on the surface or with small jumps up to around six inches in height. People do the exercise in their homes or at gyms, typically for anywhere from a few minutes up to 15 minutes or more per day as a substitute for other types of exercise.
What Are the Benefits of Rebounding?
There isn’t a lot of research on rebounding, and the science is not ultimately decisive about its benefits relative to other forms of exercise. The primary focus of many proponents is that rebounding is lower impact that running or jogging.
Because the elastic element of the rebounder – the springs or bungee bands – absorb most of the impact, the shock is distributed more evenly through the joints and tissues of the body than with exercises like running. It would seem that injuries to the ankles, knees and feet are less common as a result.
This has been supported by studies conducted by NASA comparing running at different speeds on a treadmill with jumping at different heights on a trampoline. In the study, the researchers measured the impact on different parts of the body during the movements of the exercise. What they found was that on the trampoline, the g-force created by the exercise was more equal across more parts of the body.1
The study also looked at heart rate and oxygen uptake. Here’s the excerpt highlighting the results:
“The results indicate that, for similar levels of HR (heart rate) and VO2 (oxygen uptake), the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running, a finding that might help identify acceleration parameters needed for the design of remedial procedures to avert deconditioning in persons exposed to weightlessness.”1
This basically amounts to saying that in terms of heart rate and oxygen uptake, jumping on a trampoline offered a more efficient form of exercise than running on a treadmill. This has positive implications for its impact on cardiovascular and respiratory systems, both of which are worked heavily during aerobic exercise like running.
Like most forms of exercise, rebounding improves strength, muscular development (which is crucial for your bones), balance, and coordination. Rebounding engages your whole body, and moves your whole body through space.
Moreover, the verticality of the movement is thought to have a positive impact on the lymphatic system. One study showed that increased G-force enhances lymphocyte activity.2 However, this applies to all forms of exercise, as scientists have found that ”the lymphatic pump becomes very active during exercise, often increasing lymph flow 10 to 30 fold”.3
The lymph system is important for the functioning of the immune system and the transportation of immune cells throughout the body.
Why Does Rebounding Have These Effects?
It’s not surprising to suggest that rebounding gets the fluids in your body moving. The movement is one of continual acceleration and deceleration.
As the trampoline hurls you upward you speed up, then slow down as gravity pulls upon you. Then you change direction and accelerate at the rate of Earth’s gravitational pull until the surface of the rebounder catches you, decelerating you before again changing the direction your body is moving to toss you back upwards.
You naturally are also contributing your own energy into the system, as well as supporting your own body against the forces created by this acceleration and deceleration. The exertion this requires creates the bulk of the benefits.
Should I Start Or Continue Rebounding?
Unfortunately the studies available on rebounding are few and far between, and they tend to focus on comparing the practice only to running on a treadmill. Consequently, if you must choose between rebounding or treadmill, the data suggests that rebounding is a better choice.
Additionally, if rebounding is the only form of exercise you can get yourself to do, then I suggest you continue rebounding.
Aside from the lack of studies comparing rebounding to a variety of exercises, the cons of rebounding include the need to purchase special equipment as well as the space the trampoline occupies.
Another obvious argument against rebounding is its repetitious nature which may lead to exercising less frequently.
All these reasons make rebounding not the most ideal exercise option for your bones.
But the good news is that rebounding isn't your only option.
You don’t actually need any special equipment to get the exercise your body needs to build your bones and stay healthy.
It’s important that your workouts engage your body in a way that applies positive stress on your bones to stimulate growth, per Wolff’s Law. The technical term for these bone stimulating forces is osteogenic loading.
The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System was specifically developed to use the power of osteogenic loading as efficiently as possible. It also utilizes your body weight to create the force required, meaning that you don’t need any clunky or costly equipment. Additionally, the amount of time needed to see results is minimal – just 15 minutes per session, three times a week.
And because repetition isn't your friend when exercising, Densercise™ provides a variety of fun and easy exercises that build bone and help you stay in shape.
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
No matter what your means of getting active is, for stronger bones and fuller life it is imperative that you simply move your body, and make exercise a conscious part of your lifestyle.
Till next time,
1 A. Bhattacharya, E. P. McCutcheon, E. Shvartz, J. E. Greenleaf. “Body acceleration distribution and O2 uptake in humans during running and jumping.” Journal of Applied Physiology Published 1 November 1980 Vol. 49 no. 5, 881-887. Web: https://jap.physiology.org/content/49/5/881
2 Albert Carter. “Rebound Exercise – The Ultimate Exercise for the New Millennium”, 2003, pp. 89-90
3 C. Guyton, M.D., John E. Hall, Ph.D.. “Textbook of Medical Physiology”. (Ninth Edition). Elsevier.
Comments on this article are closed.
I have been rebounding since April and have slowly increasedto four times a week now at an hour each time. I attend a class designed only for rebounders and have to say that I never get bored as thd routine changes every 6 weeks.
I think I’m officially hitting my menopause now at 46 after being perimenopausal since 38. The doctors consider this to be young as older females in my family have hit menopause in late 50’s. I’m doing this exercise for a number of reasons which I will list below:
1) I don’t want type 2 diabetes which has plagued the older generations of my family.
2) I wanted to loose weight and become more healthy.
3) I have old knee and back injuries that I gained as a child which makes things like running outside impossible/painful as old injuries re-surface.
4) I want to protect my bones as I have been warned by doctors that due to being perimenopausal so early would cause an issue for me.
5) I don’t want to take HRT and have read doing exercise can calm any symptons of menopause.
I have so far lost a two dress sizes and toned up. Other benefits include better balance, feel more alive, better back health and stronger legs. I have even managed when old knee issues have arrived to carry on bouncing but just at a slower pace. I do lots of aerobic exercises including jogging and at the end we do other exercises like pushups, leg lifts (various versions) and situps whilst still balancing on a trampet.
I have considered using a gym for a treadmill but I worry if old injries would really flare up again. I was also born with a high instep which causes me to run like I’m flat footed.
The only other exercise I do is to swim.
I am 64 and have osteo in my spine.. I read on THE BETTER BONES BETTER BODY site that standing and going up on your toes and letting your heels drop on the ground and then repeating several times was a good way to get a similar vibration to the bone for regrowth stimulation. I did this for a few months and then had uterine prolapse. The dr said this is something to consider.. Too late for me! Had to have it removed.
What is wrong with walking or jogging on the treadmill?
Thank you for interesting information. Must try it soon.
I would like to ask about the Power Platform , it is good or bad for bone
Kala, I recently reviewed a large number of studies on Whole Body Vibration, which showed it has some great effects on bone density and muscle strengthening.
The Power Platform is a specific brand of a device that does this and some of the research used this particular brand. So, although the equipment is very pricey unless you can find a gym with it (which is what I did), it is good for bones. 🙂
I’ve been combining it with the Densercise program for even better outcomes I hope!
I’ve had a Bellicon rebounder for about 8 years, and I love it! It’s very quiet and gentle, but you can really get a workout “jogging” on it. I attached the available handle to mine, so I can keep a hand on it for stability, especially when getting on or off (I’m 73). Vivian is right that it can get a bit repetitive, but when it’s pouring rain or icy cold out, I turn on my favorite music or a movie and bounce away, sometimes mixed in with some indoor walking and stretching. It’s more expensive than other mini-tramps but way worth it in its higher quality, durability, and good customer support. I have no vested interest — it’s just my shared experience.
I’ve heard that jumping in general is a good bone exercise, but may not be wise for someone with spinal osteoporosis, because of the jarring. Does the “give” of a rebounder mean it’s okay in this case? Thank you….
I had a compression fracture from using a rebounder. I was using it VERY LIGHTLY and carefully. Watch out if you have osteoporosis.
In the Densercise Eating Guide, you recommend whey protein. I am dairy intolerant, and I wondered if you recommend other protein powders in the place of whey. Soy is also not on my preferred list; pea or other vegetable proteins are under consideration. Thank you.
I would love it if you would create DVD’s of your Densercise moves, including the Weekend Challenges as well. This would make it much easier to share these moves with our small exercise group & do them together.
Carol, that is a very good idea!
I would so dearly love it if you would create a Densercize Book II, that would include all of your weekend exercises. I’d be happy to pay for it, too. I often don’t get to use your emails when they come, so they tend to get lost in my inbox. I hope you’ll consider doing this. It is hard to find decent workout stuff for osteoporosis prevention and recovery and I really like your original Densercize! Thanks so much!
My Dexa findings…femoral neck….0.513 g/cm2…Z -score is -0.7….T-score is 3.0 standard deviation……Spinal bone from L-1 through L-4 is 0.783 g/cm2…..z-score is 0.3 standard deviation….The T-score is -2.4 standard deviation….previous Dexa in 2014 shows 20%.9 increase in spine…..and a 2.1% decrease in left femoral neck..as of April 2017 Dexa….help me understand……what shall I do?
Please check the Bellicon! I bought one, I live in The Netherlands.
In Germany its used for revalidation and osteoporosis, there are a lot of healthy effects of this bellicon.
It’s another system than en regular trampoline.
I am planning in invest in a Bellicon rebounder which has bungees instead of springs. I jumped on my neighbor’s spring-loaded rebounder, and it was way too stiff for me. It seems the bungee rebounder is much more low impact, and since I am unable to walk very far, I am feeling that a Bellicon rebounder is a great option. My body is not able to handle a cheaper quality spring loaded rebounder.
I like the idea of doing a fitness program at home & am able to roll the rebounder onto the back porch to enjoy the outdoors while bouncing. Health clubs can smell & feel like a gym with music that you may or may not like & cost whether you go or not. I am much happier to invest in a rebounder & stay at home.
a doctor who worked with NASA WROTE a book on the rebounder and it’s effects (plus) on the lymph system.please research it as his research was nessesary for the entire space program.
I would also like to know what you think about PEMF for Osteoporosis…
Please advise…thank you!
After spraining my ankle and being in a lot of pain the physiotherapist advised using her trampoline. I thought it would be to painful but found it really helpful and the ankle improved in a week or so by useing it every day, so would definitely recommend this.
I can’t jump due to knee damage from arthritis. But rebounding seems to me like the “low tech” version of Whole Body Vibration, which has lots of studies supporting its usefulness for osteoporosis. This I can do no matter how much I’m hurting.
I’d also love to hear your thoughts about PEMF for osteoporosis.
Another excellent article. I just want to point out one thing. The mini-trampolines used for rebounding take up less space than a treadmill.
I store mine leaning against the wall in a closet. I got it on sale at Walmart for $35 and the quality is fine. It has no security bar, so I place mine in a hallway. That way I can touch a wall (front and both sides) if I get off balance.
I recommend The New Miracles of Rebound Exercise by Albert E. Carter. He has a plan for every fitness level and he explains what is actually happening and the great benefits of rebounding
I’ve been rebounding for years. It is a great indoor exercise. The article says rebounding is boring but I watch TV and add some small hand weights. Throw in a few bicep curls, triceps presses, and simply hold the weights out a few inches from your body while your bouncing and feel the burn in your shoulders! Plus you can run in place on the rebounder. Twist your hips, do a little hopping and 10 to 15 minutes will wear you out!
As for taking up room, I set it against the wall when I am done so it only takes up about 6 inches of space. It is also easily portable as it.
My one complaint is I bought a decent rebounder at a big box sports store for about $100 and mine started squeaking a bit after a few months of use. I retighten the legs and that helps but doesn’t cure. I am probably going to break down and buy the premium one that cost about $400 but the $100 works well for a couple of times a week.
From an efficacy stand point my wife had a heart attack a few years ago and uses a treadmill for half an hour at least 3 times a week. She uses an incline and a quick walking pace. She thought my trampoline was to easy and tried it herself. She was out of breath and quitting within 10 minutes and she wasn’t even using the hand weights!
I would recommend getting a rebounder but I wouldn’t use it exclusively. I do a number of different workouts and have worked with many people over the years as a former fitness coordinator. Boredom is the enemy of fitness so I recommend mixing things up! Densercize a few days a week. Rebound a few days a week and just get outside and walk a few days a week! Stretch every day!!
This is a great resource for working out indoors in a short period of time.
Mark, I had put coconut oil on a rebounder 2-3 years ago on each side where the springs are attached to, not a squeak – metal touching metal – since. It worked on a door hinge also 🙂 My two rebounders Urban & Cellerciser. GOD BLESS t
Someone wrote: a doctor who worked with NASA WROTE a book on the rebounder and it’s effects (plus) on the lymph system.please research it as his research was nessesary for the entire space program.
Can you tell me the name of the book and the author?