EXERCISE + BUNGEE = HOT FUN
Posted On Nov 14, 2016
Ruchel Louis Coetzee
Ever wondered what it is like to stretch your legs out in a space capsule while circling the moon? Think of it as a feeling of weightlessness as you bounce, leap, and somersault to a tune of Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” A bungee workout is that weightless and free-flowing spin in the air. It is the exercise that will have you bouncing literally off the walls.
The principle is exactly as the name implies. Bungee cords are suspended from the ceiling in a studio while harnesses are tied around the waist. This high-intensity workout has people using the cords to perform lunges, squats, and maneuvers they would normally never be able to do without the lift and bounce. Some routines even use the wall as a place to bounce off or hang upside down and stretch. With dance and aerial moves mixed together, a bungee hop, skip, and stretch can be a full body workout.
The idea was born in Thailand. Once a video of the class was posted online, it quickly became viral. Not long after that, studios such as The Aerial Classroom in Los Angeles, (www.theaerialclassroom.com) were inundated with requests. “In the last few weeks, we have only been offering it to people through private lessons,” says Jessica who overseas the studio’s bungee workout called acro-bungee, which is geared more towards learning tricks, flips, and acrobatic maneuvers for circus performers. “This weekend we are opening up the bungee workout to the public in the form of workshops with the hopes that we can add weekly, on-going classes to our schedule in the following weeks.”
The idea of bouncing while exercising, however, is not new. How quickly we forget the small trampoline that first became the rage during the 70’s. At that time, Al Carter, former Olympian and Founder of ReboundAir went ahead and coined the term “rebound exercise” with his small trampoline. According to Carter, who today is recognized as the world’s greatest authority on Rebound Exercise, there are multiple ways the body benefits including firming up arms, reducing body fat, and improving balance to name a few https://rebound-air.com/rebounding-benefits/#rebounderBenefits.
The most important scientific research study on rebounding was conducted in 1980 through NASA by A. Bhattacharya, E.P. McCutcheon, E.Shvartz, and J.E. Green; Biomechanical Research Division, NASA-Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, California, in cooperation with the Wenner-Gren Research Laboratory, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky. Key findings of the study included the following;
- “The external work output at equivalent levels of oxygen uptake were significantly greater while trampolining than running. The greatest difference was about 68%.”
- “The G-force measured at the ankle was always more than twice the G-Force measured at the back and forehead while running on a treadmill… While jumping on a trampoline, the G-Force was almost the same at all three points (ankle, back, forehead) and well below the rupture threshold of a normal healthy individual.”
So could the benefits of jumping on a trampoline apply to an aerial workout? “Yes and no,” says two-time World Super Middleweight boxing champion, Danny Musico, founder of ABH Gym at the SIXTY Beverly Hills Hotel and trainer-to-the-stars. “The idea may stem from it, but rebounding was actually more effective as it made you work harder cardiovascular-wise and it also engaged your lower body and leg glutes more.” Musico also went on to say that for gymnasts, ballerinas, or dancers, a bungee workout could be a great addition to their exercise routine. One can imagine that it would be less jarring on their bones as they practice their different aerial twists, timing, and landing techniques.
According to Jessica, their new bungee workout lesson is limited to seven students a class, and each student will have their own hip harness for the duration of the one hour lesson. The bungee cord will be attached to the back of the harness to allow students to move and bounce freely. “The bungees help assist students in basic dance and exercise movements, while providing resistance for strengthening and sculpting the muscles,” says Jessica. “Our lessons begin with a group warm up, which then moves into an amazing full body cardio workout. Students spend the majority of the lesson learning and drilling individual type movements and then putting them together in a dance sequence towards the end of the lesson.”
The thought of leaping through the air like a ballerina is immensely appealing right now. Will I improve my physical strength, balance, and flexibility? Maybe, maybe not, but I know it will be the most fun I have ever had at a gym. Sign me up!