In today's post I'm going to tell you about this awesome type of workout that I'll bet you've never even thought about before.
It's easily one of the most FUN workouts you'll ever do (and don't worry, resistance training and HIIT are not my idea of fun).
It's also an insanely EFFECTIVE workout, way more effective than cardio (yes, it's both more fun and more effective than cardio).
And it gives you some whole-body training benefits that NO OTHER WORKOUT WILL GIVE YOU.
Ready to find out what it is? Then let's begin.
So I just had this awesome experience.
My girlfriend bought us these tickets to go do something.
I’ve been too busy with my work lately and not spending enough time with her, so she just booked something and told me I was going with her.
When we turned up at the venue, I found out that we were going trampolining in this massive indoor trampoline park.
We were both a bit embarrassed when we got inside, because the whole place was full of kids. The only two other adults that were there were only there because they were supervising their children.
This place was massive! There were these foam pits you could jump into from a height, trampoline basketball courts, trampoline dodge ball courts, a dueling arena, tight-ropes, and lots of other fun activities.
I expected we’d have a great time. I stood at the entrance for a minute and envisioned how I would jump sky high and do some slam dunks on those basketball rings, do backflips for the first time in my life, and so much more.
But within SECONDS of getting started, I was shocked to discover two things I didn’t even contemplate…
The first thing is that jumping around on trampolines gives you a CRAZY-ASS WORKOUT!
I was wearing one of my favorite t-shirts, something I would NEVER think to wear if I thought I was going to even break a SWEAT, but break a sweat I did!
A few seconds of jumping around and we were both MADLY out of breath, to the point where one of these 11 year old kids came up to us and asked us if we were OK, lol.
It was weird, because before I had done it, I did not contemplate ONE BIT that there would be an exercise element to this, I didn’t envision myself even BREATHING hard. All I imagined would happen was my girlfriend and I would jump around, do some awesome moves, and have some fun.
Sure, we had a great time, but I also had one of the most intense workouts of my life!
It was also the most FUN workout of my life!
You know all this dance exercise stuff people do to make exercise fun? Well this was WAY more fun than that.
With trampolining, not only are you exercising and having fun at the same time, you’re also developing new muscles and learning useful skills.
What New Muscles Does Trampolining Help You Build?
While trampolining, you are moving your body in ways you would never move it on solid ground. You are falling on the ground at different angles, on different parts of your body, you’re landing on your feet, your back, your belly, your arms, and constantly falling at different angles.
While you are in the air, your body is being pulled and stretched by gravity, you are twisting around, bending and straightening all of your joints…. there’s just so much movement going on, and you can feel your body’s ability to hold itself together being seriously put to the test.
Trampolining basically works every muscle in your body. I know I always talk about how certain exercises are whole-body exercises, the likes of the deadlift, barbell squat, and calisthenics exercises like pull-ups, the planche, handstands, and others; but trampolining takes whole body training to another level.
With trampolining, your entire body is literally being thrown around, and every muscle in your body is contracting to help keep your body in one piece. I don’t think I’ve ever done an exercise that works my entire body as a SINGLE UNIT as much as trampolining does.
Trampolining Helps You Identify Weak Points In Your Body
As well as building new muscles and making your body stronger as a whole, there’s yet another benefit to working your whole body this intensely: it helps you identify weak points in your body.
I injured my lower back doing heavy squats a couple of years ago. It doesn’t really cause me any problems now, but trampolining around for an hour really helped identify my lower back as a weak area in my body.
You know how a chain is only as strong as its weakest link? Sometimes you only know where that weakest link is when you actually PULL the chain.
With trampolining, everything you do, every movement you make, is a true full-on whole-body effort. If there’s a weakness in your body, you will feel that weakness with every movement, the way I could feel the weakness in my back with every movement.
Your body will further highlight that weakness AFTER THE WORKOUT, over the following few days via delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). My girlfriend felt the weakness in her thighs, because she doesn’t do squats. My thighs were perfectly fine, since I regularly do squats, but my lower back right now is aching.
How do you benefit from identifying weak areas in your body?
Identifying a weak area lets you know that that’s a body area you need to focus on and STRENGTHEN with your training. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to focus on strengthening my lower back muscles. Then I’ll go back to the trampoline park and if my back feels solid while I’m being thrown around, then I’ll know I’ve done a good job.
Update 2019-11-02: I've been working on strengthening my lower back doing back bridges, I've been back to the trampoline park a few times (went earlier today), and my back no longer feels weak!
What's really cool about this is trampolining helped me identify a weakness in my body, so I could go and fix it, and fix it I did.
By weak areas, I’m not just talking about INJURED areas like my lower back. Though I’ve built immense upper body pushing strength over the last few years using calisthenics exercises like handstand push-ups, I discovered that my upper body isn’t strong enough to control my bodyweight when my body is THROWN onto my arms.
So if I found myself in a real-life situation where I was about to fall on my head, say I fell off a motorbike, my arms and shoulders wouldn’t be strong enough to protect my head and neck from a potentially lethal or disabling injury.
Hence trampolining taught me that I need to further strengthen my arms and shoulders, especially in the handstand position.
Think for a minute, what weak areas might YOU identify?
Maybe you’ll find your legs aren’t strong enough so you can’t jump very high on the trampoline, maybe you’ll find you have a hidden shoulder injury you never knew was there, maybe you’ll find your hips aren’t flexible enough to let you do all the movements you want to do. If, like me, you’re not a professional gymnast, then you’ll most definitely find your arms aren’t very good at handling your bodyweight.
What New Skills Does Trampolining Help You Build?
A trampoline park is an excellent place to learn how to do backflips, summersaults, handstands, cartwheels, and other adventurous moves that could get you injured if you did them wrong on solid ground.
It could also help you overcome minor fears, like the fear of falling on your back, or falling from a height into a foam pit. It’s funny how, if you’re afraid of heights, even if you know it’s perfectly safe to fall because there’s a foam pit beneath you and everybody else is doing it, IT’S STILL SCARY AS HELL!!!
I had such a good time and such a great workout on those trampolines, that I’m thinking of making trampolining a REGULAR part of my training schedule. Even if you can’t do it regularly, you can just go occasionally to help identify and correct weaknesses in your body. When you identify a weakness, go away and strengthen that body part, then go back to the trampoline park to test yourself.
Thankfully, trampolining has become quite popular lately, and lots of people do it for fun as part of a day out with their friends and family. I highly recommend you go online, find the nearest trampoline park to where you live, and go give it a go. Take a friend and go with the intention to just have a good time.
While you’re enjoying yourself, have a go at doing some cartwheels, handstands, and maybe you can even do a backflip. While you’re moving around, pay attention to your body and see if you can identify the part of your body that’s most holding you back–either because of an injury, or because it’s a body area that you need to strengthen.
How Trampolining Is A Great Simulation For Real Life Situations You Might Find Yourself In
Trampolining is one of those things where your whole body is moving through space.
In real-life situations, where you are doing something for fun, or you find yourself in danger or in a survival situation, you’ll find you usually need to be good at MOVING YOUR OWN BODY.
When you move your own body, your whole body needs to work as a unit in a very specific way. This is something weight training doesn’t prepare you for, which is one reason why I gave up weight training and now only do calisthenics, which is a form of resistance training where you move your own body.
Not only can calisthenics help you lose man boobs, burn fat, grow muscle, and build an impressive physique, it also prepares you for the physical challenges of life, more-so than weight training does.
You can learn more about calisthenics for losing man boobs AND boosting your ability to handle real-life situations, here:
Oh, and I almost forgot. I told you I learned TWO things at the trampoline park.
The second thing I learned was that jumping high is SCARY AS HELL!!!!! Forget about doing a backflip, lol I barely managed to fall on my back from standing because I was so scared I would die.
By going only that one time, I only managed to scrape the surface of what was possible. The higher you jump, the more strain it puts on your body, the more it tests your body’s ability to keep everything together. I only managed to do little baby jumps because of my fear of heights, and also because – despite doing squats – my legs aren’t conditioned for this exact type of activity. Just because kids do trampolining all the time, doesn’t mean it’s easy or 100% safe. If you jump high enough without being conditioned for it, you could break your legs.
There were a couple of teenagers who were jumping probably 10 times higher than I was! When you land from a height, you need some seriously strong legs to brace for your landing, even though you’re landing on a bouncy surface.
Some of the younger kids were doing backflips, somersaults, and a whole host of different moves. During these flips and summersaults, they would often jump onto their hands and jump off of their hands. Though I can do handstand push-ups, I can neither jump off of my hands, nor take my body’s weight when I’m jumping onto my hands. Jumping and landing on your arms is something that takes a serious amount of strength, yes, even on a bouncy trampoline.
So trampolining will help you overcome fears and also help you build some SERIOUS strength in your body.
Also, going trampolining made me so glad I do bodyweight training (aka calisthenics). Think of any physically challenging activity people do for fun. Almost everything involves you moving your own body.
Calisthenics prepare you for FUN activities in your life, more-so than any other form of exercise. As well as helping you to lose man boobs, doing calisthenics makes you better at handling the physical challenges of life–whether you’re having fun (e.g. trampolining, wall climbing, doing crazy moves in a water park) in danger (e.g. being chased by a stray dog, defending yourself in a fight), or need to save someone (e.g. climbing a tree to save your neighbor’s cat).
When you do calisthenics, YOU’LL be the one having all the fun the next time you go to a water park or trampoline park, while your friends are sitting on the sidelines out of breath. You’ll be the one whose whole body isn’t aching the next day, while your friends are complaining of aching thighs and stiff joints.
Check out the following article to learn more about calisthenics for losing man boobs:
…and visit a trampoline park ASAP. The only way to truly understand the benefits of this totally unconventional yet amazingly powerful workout, is to actually try it for yourself.