Rebounding for fitness
Using the right rebounder for fitness is 50% of the equation. The other 50% is the persons' technique while using the rebounder. The best example I can say is how one of the most popular brands of rebounders coined the term “health bounce” as a rebounding technique to focus nearly all the forces put upon the body into flushing the lymphatic system.
The way this type of technique is performed is by first pushing down on the heels to give that upward lift but not too much force so that the toes still remain touching the mat. The only part of the foot that should come off the mat is the heels. When landing, the heels receive 90% of the weight (most people land on their toes and don't do the Health bounce correctly). The other way to have the right form is by making sure the knees are almost unbent. I never lock my knees but bend them just slightly. As I do this and I'm bouncing I notice how I feel the forces of gravity more in my upper body and head with my knees less bent versus more bent and also when landing and rising on my heels versus toes.
The rebounder with the least bounce give the best cardio and best workouts for fitness. The bungees keep you in the air too long to really get a great cardio workout like the spring rebounders but I give an A+ for toning as there is more time in bounce, more air time to tone the body. The Cellerciser is the best rebounder to do cardio as there is no jarring when you jog or doing movements that can make the heals tender.
Note: the health bounce should be a part of every cardio workout as to flush the lymphatic system and any lactic acids in the body. Moving the fat soluble toxins out of the fat is just as important as burning it in my opinion.
The more cushy the rebounder is the less movement but it is more challenging to jump on a soft rebounder. This works the muscles more but not as good for cardio. If anyone wants to try what I am talking about I can refer you to stores in your area where you can try rebounders. I know of locations in every state. Also, resistance bands can also be good for many people trying to rebound for fitness. Many people find this helpful incorporating the bands into their bounce.
A good rebounder for fitness is simply puts more stress on the body with less air time that creates more calories burned over time while still getting lymphatic flushes. I am not talking doing just the Health bounce burning minimal calories but enough G force that resembles walking on uneven ground.
Being airborne for more than a split second stops the lymph fluid from moving in the lymphatic system. New lymph takes only a split second to drain and just being air borne is really just taking time away from getting more flushes and more bounces per minute which is better for a more intense cardio workout. Most of the high end fitness clubs have the Urban Rebounder. This is the most affordable fitness rebounder but when people start jumping high, which most classes don't do, it is jarring.
The Reboundair and Lymphaciser give a much better bounce than the Urban but it is not as comfortable as the Needak and Cellerciser. I strongly recommend staying away from any bungee unless its really firm. The hexagonal bungee rebounders with the bar in the front is becoming very popular in fitness classes all around the world. Just go to Youtube and type in Hexagonal rebounders and lots of videos come up. You can get a bungee rebounder for about 99 dollars but the shipping can cost more than the actual rebounder. If you notice in the videos they are not jumping high but doing intense workouts where they hold the bar for leverage. The closer you stay to the mat the better the workout, especially if doing it for fitness. But for toning, the bungees win.
Best Rebounder for: Weight Loss
Some types of rebounders are a lot more challenging to maintain balance on. On these, the body needs to work much harder to bounce on them, and this can mean more calories burned. Also, some rebounders have the option of a bar. Sometimes this can be helpful with a lot of movements. Some of the routines call for use of a bar in order to accomplish them. Resistance bands can also be an easy way to challenge the muscles more and incorporate bouncing with resistance onto the upper body. The bands can easily be placed under the rebounder regardless of the brand.
I warn people all the time that if they weigh above a certain amount they should not consider certain rebounder brands unless they want to keep replacing certain parts on those rebounders. It can get very expensive. This gets us back to the whole debate between when a someone wants a rebounder with bungee resistance cords versus metal springs. Read my spring vs bungee page to get more information on this.
To put it simply some rebounders can generate more stress and forces on the body and this can lead to greater calories burned over time.
When your feet sink in too much on a soft bouncing spring rebounder or a soft tension bungee, the mat is not springy enough and responsive enough to do dynamic cardio routines.
The Lymphaciser is probably the best rebounder I've for cardio as the mat is really firm and as long as someone doesn't have a bad back. It does the job but the Cellerciser, since it adapts to the weight of the person is still my best one for cardio.
Overall for cardio workouts on a rebounder, my favorites are in this order: