Dancing on a trampoline for an hour - gimmicky fitness trend or a legitimate cardio workout? We decided to find out.
“Of all the people, I’m not sure we should be letting you
do this,” my boss said to me after being invited to my first Tramp Cardio class at Body by Simone. Notoriously clumsy, the idea of bouncing around for an hour on a small catapulting circle, without ending up in A&E, seemed optimistic at best. And if there’s one thing that does not come naturally to me, it’s dancing. Combining the two? It sounded like a recipe for disaster.
Nonetheless, I’d been promised good things from Body by Simone’s Tramp Cardio class, so I couldn’t resist jumping in (or up, depending on how you want to look at it). Founded by Simone De La Rue, a personal trainer to stars including Chrissy Teigen and Taylor Swift, Body by Simone’s classes are based on using dance and dance-inspired movement to create long, lean muscle. Fittingly for a workout otherwise known as rebounding, Simone is also a trainer on Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body
In all honestly, sliding into class at their pristine north London studio – I chose a trampoline on the back row, obviously – was initially terrifying. In the front row a slinky girl was preparing herself by doing the mother of all stretch routines; to the side, an older woman with a phenomenal body was also limbering up. After embarrassing myself at Body by Simone’s Dance Cardio class the previous week (I wasn’t joking when I said I was a terrible dancer), I’d signed up to this one thinking it going to be a laugh. Now, I was starting to doubt myself.
Fortunately, if there’s one thing that I can say for Tramp Cardio, it’s that it is fun. In fact, it's lots of fun. The class itself is built centred on the concept of dance routines performed on the trampoline, with classes designed to target arms, abs and legs. For someone as uncoordinated as me, it was as much of a mental workout as it was physical; when a spin instructor shouts “find the beat”, I can more or less (usually) manage it, but on the trampoline I was still halfway to the ceiling, yet to return from my first bounce, while she was on her second. At another point, with other people’s limbs around the room flying everywhere I clocked myself in the mirror, just about managing to bounce up and down.
Graceful, it was not. But as someone with weak ankles and continuously dodgy knees, the low-impact nature of Tramp Cardio suited me perfectly. It’s also said to be great for developing balance, and it’s claimed a one-hour session can burn up to 700 calories, if that’s what you’re into. What’s more, trampolining is known to promote lymphatic drainage, helping stimulate lymphatic flow, the system by which the body removes toxins (1).
It did also, despite my questionable coordination, get the heart rate up and work up a decent sweat without the ‘I’m gonna pass out’ feeling that you get in some other classes. Funnily enough, focusing on where your arms are meant to be almost takes your mind off the fact that you’re out of breath, meaning I probably worked more consistently than I necessarily would in other classes. When we unexpectedly moved on to an abs and ‘barre’ inspired floor segment – not something I usually love, despite knowing how much barre works the body
– I was slightly relieved.
Speaking afterwards to Caitriona Cotter, Studio Manager at Body by Simone London, she reassured me that it’s not unusual for first-timers to struggle with the choreography, even dancers: “The first time I did it I was like what is going on? I found it so hard. But it’s like anything, the more you do it the more you understand. The people at the front hitting every beat are the regulars.”
In terms of endorphin rush, you can’t fault Tramp Cardio. Even if you have no idea what’s going on, it’s kind of hilarious. Interestingly, when I left class, I found myself in such a good mood that I was chatting to just about anyone and everyone. Unlike with higher impact forms of cardio, my creaky joints felt fine immediately after and in the following days; my glutes, on the contrary, were satisfyingly sore. If I was to advise anything, it would be to grab a friend and go down together – even if they’re not the fittest person in the world, it'll be a great laugh.