We’re on a new health kick…er…jump and have been eating better drinking green juice and exercising more.
As we’ve looked at different options for exercising, we’ve started to identify what we really need and want.
What we’ve been looking for to help our exercise routine.
We want something that is:
- Easy on the joints, shoulders, knees, etc.
- A good aerobic workout but is also low impact
- A benefit to the heart and lymph system
- Convenient to use
- Easy to use
- Easy to store
- Portable / Can be taken outside
- A beneficial workout targeting multiple muscle groups
- Fun to do
Has the gym membership provided everything we need?
We got a gym membership and have wanted to try it out for the year to see how often we would really use and how beneficial the workout machines would be.
Instead of buying a workout machine straight out, we thought it would be a good idea to try what they have to offer at the gym and see what we like.
Although the pool and the elliptical were our favorites there. We probably won’t be putting a pool in at the house, and the elliptical had some drawbacks.
The gym membership has been great, but probably as many people experience, we were really good about going when we first signed up and have gradually decreased the number of days a week that we go to the point that we’re skipping weeks now.
If we’re going to pay for access to exercise, we want to use it, but in the hustle and bustle of every day life (and the holidays) we haven’t taken advantage of the gym like we wished.
Elliptical vs the Rebounder
This brought up the question for us if we should get an elliptical for the home or some other type of exercise equipment.
We like the elliptical, but in our situation, there are a few drawbacks. First, though, the benefits:
Benefits of the Elliptical Machine
- Low impact
- Fairly quiet
- Adjustable speeds and resistance
- Timed work out
- You can have a book in front of you when exercising, but it’s not all that easy
Drawbacks of the Elliptical
- An elliptical is huge!
- Where are we going to put something that huge? It’s a great machine, but the space it takes up is just crazy.
- Really doesn’t get my heart going
- Unfortunately, it’s just not quite the workout I hoped it would be. It’s good, but I’ve found that jumping jacks get my heart going faster and higher than the elliptical.
- Trouble on the joints
- For my wife, if she uses the elliptical too much, it can really affect her shoulder and knee joints. That’s one of the main nails in the coffin for the elliptical. We want something that we both can use.
- Works a lot of muscle groups, but could work more
- Although the elliptical does work a lot of muscle groups, I never really found that it works the abs really well.
- Not as much lymph system stimulation (see further down for more on that)
- It’s not as safe with kids around
- If you’re walking too close to an elliptical, you could get knocked in the face real easy (depending on the type of elliptical). I’ve had people in the gym walk by way to close and almost get clipped by the moving parts on the elliptical. Now think about having kids in the home and coming up behind the machine or right in front. They could get a good pop to the face if they’re not careful, and if you’re really going, it doesn’t stop on a dime. The other danger with kids around is that they will climb up on it and start messing around which can be quite dangerous. It also requires an electrical plug, so that’s just one more thing to worry about with really little kids.
Benefits of a Rebounder
- Stimulates the lymphatic system promoting better health
- The lymphatic system is like the garbage collector for the cells in your body. It’s a system that is connected by nodes throughout the body, similar to your blood vessels, but instead of circulating by being pumped (as the circulatory system is pumped by the heart), the lymphatic system circulates based on your movement. Specifically up and down movement. There are valves in the system that once the fluids start moving up, prevent them from seeping back down. Jumping up and down therefore helps circulate the lymphatic fluid and helps clear out waste from your body’s cells. The elliptical doesn’t have as much up and down as a rebounder.
- Easy to store
- You can get rebounders that have legs that fold up for easy storage under a bed, behind a couch (maybe), or in a large closet.
- Good aerobic exercise
- Some tests have shown that you can burn calories faster on a rebounder than if you went jogging, and I can definitely get my heart rate up when jogging, so a more effecient way at burning calories is also going to help the heart.
- Good aerobic exercise
- When I do jumping jacks, I can get my heart going faster than when I’m running. It doesn’t take as long to get a good workout. The problem with the jumping jacks, is that they have the potential to be hard on some of the joints. A good rebounder will help absorb 70% or more of the bound when you’re coming down from a jump. Without a rebounder your joints and body are receiving all of that force and pressure.
- Safer than an elliptical
- In one sense, a rebounder is safer than an elliptical because if you’re kids get on it, it’s not as tricky and dangerous will all the moving parts that an elliptical has. You can store a rebounder out of the easy reach of kids where as an elliptical stays put. There is the problem that if you bounce too high and don’t have sure footing, you could fall off which is a problem. So you need to exercise caution.
- Quiet to use
- A rebounder is quiet compared to lots of other exercise equipment and doesn’t require electrical power. You’re the power! Not all rebounders are created equal and some are louder than others, as we’ll point out below.
- Portable so you can get some fresh air
- Because you can fold up the legs of the good rebounders, you can take it with you. Some people take theirs to the beach or a park. I’d rather just stick to inside the house, but I can take it in the backyard very easily and get some fresh air. It’s said that the air inside our homes is of poor quality compared to air outside. It’s also refreshing to be outside. Try taking an elliptical outside for a short exercise. The exercise would be moving the thing! A rebounder makes it easy to roll outside for a quick low-impact workout.
- Another benefit of portability is that you can move the rebounder where you need to be. If you want to watch a TV show, you can move it to the entertainment room to exercise and then move it out when your done. You don’t have to create a special exercise room. You could keep the rebounder under you bed and pull it out when you need it.
- The rebounders that fold in half or quarters make it even easier to store and take with you. Some of them like the Cellerciser are small enough when collapsed and in the case that you can take them in the over head bins on an airplane.
- Easier on the joints (depending on how it’s used)
- Many bounders suggest starting out very easy the first week when using a rebounder and not even letting your feet leave the mat. This is so you get used to it. Compared to jumping jacks, the rebounder is very low impact; however, there can be some strain, that’s why it’s important to know your limits or use shoes if the joints in your feet are sensitive due to arthritis. A simple, gentle, up and down bounce keeping your feet on the mat will stimulate the lymph system and provide a low impact workout.
Drawbacks of a Rebounder
- Pronation refers to the balance (or imbalance) of weight being placed on your feet. You don’t want your weight placed incorrectly upon your feet when you bounce, and if the rebounder you get isn’t high enough quality, you could magnify any pronation problems you have.
- Falling off
- It is very possible to fall off a rebounder if you go crazy trying to do cheer-leading jumps, so stay away from those.
- One solution is to get the handle bar stabilizers that you can hold on to.
Choosing a Rebounder, Which is the Best?
With most quesitons, the answer is, it depends. It depends on your weight, how sensitive your joints are, what price point you’re looking for etc.
What to avoid:
For sure, when looking at a rebounder, you’ll want to avoid cheap rebounders. The problems with the cheap ones are many but they can be especially hard on the knees, back, and joints because they aren’t made well. These rebounders are found for $60-80, and although that might not sound cheap, the design and materials are. If you’re going to be exercising on a device for a long time, you want something that will be good for you and last. If you’re in your twenties or younger, the cheaper rebounders may be okay for you, but as you get older, you’ll want better support.
Bad bounce is something you’ll want to avoid. The cheaper rebounders make it feel jarring when you land from a bounce. If you’re getting a lot of hard resistance at the bottom of a bounce, you might as well be jumping up and down on cement with your shoes off! The whole point of the rebounders is to absorb a lot of the shock of the landing after a jump. Good rebounders will absorb that shock, the bad ones will give you more of a hard hit when you come down.
There are lots of companies that make rebounders. Some of the best tested and reviewed that we’ve found are the Bellicon, Cellerciser and the JumpSport. There are other pretty good brands out there, but these three are the best. The Bellicons are extremely expensive, while the the prices of the Cellerciser and Jumpsport are easier to swallow.
To help compare rebounders, there are some great videos where you can see the difference.
Video of the Bellicon vs JumpSport
The Bellicon is the Porsche of rebounders and one of the best rebounders without springs. No springs means a much more quiet bounce. The JumpSport also has no metal springs but is smaller.
Video of the Bellicon vs Celleciser
David Wolfe on the Bellicon and then the Cellerciser:
Video of the Cellerciser
David Hall’s Ultimate Cellercise Balance Challenge
Here David Hall uses the Cellerciser and demonstrates in front of an audience that reboudning helps strengthen and stabilize.
He shows that rebounding is better than just jumping (or shaking) in place.
Here’s another video o the Cellerciser. Skip to the end where he shows the Cellerciser parts, how it folds up, and some of his exercises he uses. It’s pretty cool.
Video Review of the JumpSport
YouTube user roundlady shows us the JumpSport. She has many different rebounders and has picked the JumpSport as one of her favorites. She has lymphatic cancer and enjoys rebounding as a great form of exercise, and we’ve learned that rebounding helps clean out waste through the lymphatic system.
All three of these rebounders are great rebounders.
What you don’t want are the cheap ones that can injure you.
You can injure yourself on any exercise equipment, so use caution, but your chances of hurting your joints on a cheap rebounder are high.
The better quality rebounders are made for longer, sustainable and comfortable use.
Where to Get the Best Rebounders
With the Bellicon, you can have legs that screw on or choose folding legs. The bouncing surface (diameter) options for the Bellicon are 39″, 44″, or 49″. You can choose the weight class from their website Bellicon-usa.com. The Bellicons can cost from the lo $600 to upper $800. Yep. That’s a lot.
You can get the Cellerciser at Amazon here. The great thing is that on Amazon, you can read the customer reviews and find out what others have to say about their experience using it. You’ll spend a lot less with the Cellerciser, but still get a great rebounder for the price.
You can find the JumpSport 350 on Amazon as well. The JumpSport uses the bungee connections rather than springs making it quiet. The JumpSport is the least expensive of the options listed here. We decided to go with the JumpSport and have loved it. (Update) We’ve been enjoying our JumpSport for a while now, and the kids love it too! We decided on this one because it’s:
- Softer on the joints
- Very quiet
- Adjustable (tension in the mat)
- Less expensive than other rebounders
- A lot of fun
Release your inner T-i-g-g-e-r and BOUNCE!
The best Rebounder for the price and comfort is the JumpSport. It’s the one we use and love it.
View more about the JumpSport rebounder on Amazon here: JumpSport 350