3 moves to engage your core on the trampoline

the trampoline is good for so much more than bouncing. spicy core work? you bet.

the core. we’ve heard about it a million times in a plethora of ways. to engage it, to breathe from it, to support it, but hold up, let’s go back to the beginning: what exactly is it?

the common misconception is that the “core” is synonymous with “abs.” in actuality, the abdominals are just one component of this three-dimensional powerhouse. think of the core as a thick belt wrapping all around the trunk of our bodies, so while yes, it does include the rectus abdominis and obliques on our front half, it also encompasses the erector spinae, aka all of the muscles surrounding and stabilizing the spine. thus, it can be better understood why a strong core equates to an overall strengthened efficiency to move through one’s life.

tasks such as twisting to put on a seatbelt, or bending down to pick up a dropped pencil are all familiar occurrences, so ensuring that our fitness regiment targets the entire cylindrical structure of the core *trampoline enters the chat* will immensely decrease the likelihood of injury or discomfort in our daily lives. who wants to unintentionally pull out their back from a powerful sneeze? now here is where the trampoline is the true star.

rebounding focuses on the entirety of the core because every single time you jump on your trampoline, the abdominals and the back muscles surrounding the spine contract to stabilize you, ensuring you keep your form so you don’t fall over. the unstable surface of the trampoline forces one to adapt quicker and be more aware of their weight shifts, and this heightened awareness in body and mind leads to an increase in our proprioceptive system. senses directly correlated to and resulting in a stronger, more active core. so while those fundamental moves of bounce are a sure fire, but indirect, way to get that core going, let’s highlight a few that are less subtle in their burn:

oblique dip: stand on your trampoline rooted down evenly through both feet with a slight bend in the knees. place both hands behind the head with elbows wide, pointing out and take a lateral lean over to one side keeping the elbows wide and focus front. add a small pulse at the depth of the lean and extend back to center as you exhale.

**tip: instead of thinking of simply tipping side, think of pouring. visualize the tilt as a rainbow, or arc, up and over, rather than a linear bend. also, be aware of your lower body and minimize any bounce or feedback from the trampoline mat **

leg lifts: lay your back on the trampoline mat and hold the back rim. extend the legs up to the ceiling at a 90 degree angle and zip the legs together, flex through the feet and imagine making a footprint on the ceiling as you lift the pelvis off of the trampoline mat. lower the pelvis down slowly, with control, rather than simply falling into the mat’s natural spring.

**tip: give yourself a tempo to work with! think of shooting the legs toward the ceiling in 1 count and taking 2-3 counts to lower the pelvis. [10 reps, repeat 2-3x, take 10 sec rest between each set]

tabletop toe taps: lay your back on the trampoline mat with hands behind the head. lift the legs up and bend the knees at a 90 degree angle, keeping the ankles in line with knees. moving unilaterally, tap the right toe down to the floor lightly, freeze with it down. now tap the left toe down to the floor lightly, freeze with it down. check in with the low back and make sure it remains weighted down across the trampoline mat and exhale and lift both feet up together, returning back to tabletop position. alternate which leg leads the tap down every set.

any and all core, especially ab-focused exercises can be leveled up by performing them on the buoyant surface of the trampoline. as opposed to the rigidity of the floor, the mat has a suppleness and provides more feedback which protects the joints, while simultaneously providing access to a greater range of motion. this greater range unlocks access to target deeper muscles, and work them in angles we previously were unable to. and suddenly, we are able to add spice to the most “basic” abdominal exercises.


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