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Exercise Comparison: Trampoline Versus Treadmill

By Lisa M. Wolfe

Aerobic workouts, much like people, are available in all shapes and sizes. Exercise on a trampoline or on a treadmill are aerobic activities that burn calories, aid in weight loss or maintenance and improve your endurance. The two workouts are very different, so if you do not find yourself jumping for joy with one, try the other for a better fit.

In Action

The action on a treadmill is forward moving walking, jogging or running. Your legs move forward and backward on a moving belt. On a trampoline, your actions are up and down as you bounce off the surface, but you can change your foot patterns. For example, you can move your feet apart and together in a jumping jack or move them forward and backward to simulate cross-country skiing. Other movements include jogging, elevated knees or twists.

Force of Impact

Walking on a treadmill is a low-impact activity, as one of your feet remains in contact with the platform. When you increase your pace to a jog or a run, the activity increases to high-impact, as both of your feet are off the ground for a small amount of time. Trampoline exercise, which is also known as rebounding, is a low-impact activity. The mesh bed of the trampoline surface absorbs the impact on your joints as you jump.

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Make a Change

The treadmill allows you to vary your workout in two ways: You can adjust the speed or the incline. As your fitness level improves, you can walk faster or increase your pace to a jog. You can also increase the elevation to mimic uphill walking. This changes the focus on your leg muscles and challenges your heart rate. On a trampoline, your adjustments are made by how fast you jump, or by changing the depth of your jump. You use quick foot strides to press down into the mesh bed to challenge your leg muscles.

Count It Up

One of the main purposes for aerobic exercise is to burn calories. You may look to the number of calories burned as your deciding factor when choosing between treadmill and trampoline workouts. Research performed by Victor L. Katch at the University of Michigan compared 12 minutes of jogging at 5 miles per hour and 12 minutes of rebounding. The results show that a 150-pound person burns 71 calories jogging and 82 calories rebounding.

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