We Tried It: a Trampoline Fitness Class That Feels Like a Dance Party
Warning: It is seriously hard work
What Is It: JumpLife’s JumpDance, a trampoline fitness class in New York City
Who Tried It: Diana Pearl, Features Editorial Assistant
Level of Difficulty: For me, a 9. For someone in great shape, I’d say it’s a 7.
Being able to walk up multiple flights of stairs without getting winded is a Real Fitness Goal of mine, so when I decided to take a class with JumpLife, a trampoline fitness program, I was really dreaming big.
But think about it: Initially, it sounds so fun! I loved jumping on my neighbor’s huge trampoline back in my middle school days. How different could a trampoline fitness class be from attempting to do flips in my friend’s backyard?
Very, as I learned within minutes of starting my JumpLife class. All the coming down and going back up means that you’re using four times your body weight — so, yes, you will be super exhausted afterward. The N.Y.C. studio was started by Montserrat Markou. Markou, an acupuncture and massage therapist, started using the trampoline-based workouts for her patients who were wounded athletes.
“They didn’t want to stop doing some sort of cardio workout,” Markou says. “But they didn’t want something that was hard impact.”
JumpLife has four different classes participants can choose from. There’s JumpGym, more of a traditional workout that incorporates weights and focuses on toning and strengthening. You can also do JumpFusion, which combines dance, yoga, pilates — a traditional workout that can be done barefoot. The third is a class for kids, which I obviously passed on, but would have been really down to try 15 years ago. The last, and the class that I chose, is JumpDance, an intense cardio workout set to club lights and music.
I arrived at the small (this is New York City, after all) studio for my 7:30 p.m. workout. In the “classroom,” there’s more space, filled from wall to wall with personal trampolines. Attached to each trampoline is a handlebar, meant to give people something to hold on to during tougher sets.
My class was fairly intimate — there were only seven of us in the room, eight including the instructor, who stood on a trampoline on top of a platform at the front. She dimmed the overhead lights, and soon after, the room started flashing with a number of colored lights — think of it as something you’d see at a club or during a late-night session at a bowling alley.
Further helping to emulate the “club” atmosphere is the music, which is loud, but not blasting the way it is at a SoulCycle or Flywheel class. Once it started, we hopped on our trampolines and got to work.
And work it was. Turns out, this was nothing like my middle school trampoline-hopping days. in JumpDance class, you’re not supposed to just jump — you’re supposed to use the trampoline as a platform to propel your workout further. When you jump, really, what you should be doing is a squat in mid-air. You jump front to back, side to side and do moves often seen in a kickboxing or dance class — except this time, you’re just on a trampoline.
Even with the handlebar to help support me, I found myself winded and panting within the first 10 minutes of the class. While that’s usually a standard for any form of exercise I do, I noticed in JumpDance that the bottom of my feet started getting really sore, and fast. By the 15-minute mark, I was winded.
I worked through the pain, and within the next 10 minutes, it began to dull. The intensity of the workout, however, did not. We did sprints, in which you “ran” in place, hiking your legs up high, moving your legs back and forth while incorporating arm movements.
To be honest, it was probably the hardest workout I’ve ever done (but take that with a big grain of salt, as I am pretty out of shape).
The Verdict: While the workout was hard, it was also really fun. The lights and the music made it feel a bit like I was in a super high-intensity dance club. I, admittedly, had to grip the handlebars a lot for balance, and I was really exhausted by the end. But if you like to challenge yourself, and deviate from the standard spin or Zumba, JumpLife is a great option.