As a longtime runner, at least once a year I have a month or two when some minor injury forces me to take a break and focus on a low-impact workout. Sometimes my IT band is acting up; other times my legs just feel tired.
This year, though, it was something much bigger. I strained my hamstring in January, and when I still wasn't able to run by May, I was itching to find a workout that would give me something even slightly resembling a runner's high.
I've never been a huge fan of cycling classes, and I've always found pedaling away on an elliptical while staring at a cement wall and listening to the same Taylor Swift song on repeat to be a little soul-sucking.
So when a friend told me she had tried a trampoline class and that it was great cardio, I thought I'd give it a try. The concept seemed like a silly one—and I certainly didn't remember sweating much while bouncing on a trampoline as a kid—but what choice did I have? I needed to get my heart rate up!
A few weeks later, I found myself doing jumping jacks, sprinting, and doing lunges on a small trampoline for a full 50 minutes.
Any self-consciousness I felt at the beginning of class quickly dissolved as I found myself sweating, engaging my core, and feeling ridiculously happy. Even better, my hamstring didn't complain once.
From that day on, I started taking trampoline classes weekly and became a walking advertisement for them. They were an amazing workout, I promised friends and co-workers. The classes also felt like a workout for my mind (I really have to focus on not falling off!) and there was no way to not feel joyful while jumping around.
While I'm sure you trust my opinion at least a little bit, I decided to get in touch with an expert who could explain more about why a trampoline workout is such an awesome one. So I chatted with Louis Coraggio, who founded the New York City–based class TrampoLEAN, to get some inside information on the art and science of bouncing on a trampoline to burn calories.
Here's what you need to know.