One of the best things, if not the best thing, about spending time on the JumpSport Fitness Trampoline™ is that it reminds me of that seminal monument to children, the backyard trampoline. Include the smell of charcoal, chlorine, or brisk fall leaves and you have a living memory that proves time machines do exist.
My boss, my mentor, my fairy godmother, and JumpSport Fitness Trampoline™ Master Instructor, Michelle Hanlon-Mascari. told me she respects those with a bent towards the kinesthetic as artists, and as such, she gets a kick out of my penchant for “toys,” also known as props.
As a mat Pilates instructor, one of my favorite props to use is the Pilates magic circle or Pilates ring. It was originally crafted by Josef Pilates from a wooden beer keg with wooden “pads” affixed with metal brackets. Needless to say, the ring has evolved. If you have worked with the magic circle in your Pilates class, you know where to place the circle; if you have not, the various parts of your body for working your circle include your hands, your inner thighs, between your knees and between your calves or ankles.
The magic circle can be brought on board the JumpSport Fitness Trampoline™ easily. During your basic bounce as the feet are pushing down and the quads and glutes are firing, you can be pulsing the magic circle. You can begin with your arms extended in front of you and pulse, adjusting your pulse speed to your desired intensity. Remember, you do not need to squeeze the life out of the ring, you activate the torso muscles simply by pressing the pads of the circle. For higher cardio intensity, raise your arms and hence your circle, overhead and continue to pulse. You can bring the ring up and down from above your head to your navel, keeping pressure on the magic circle.
To work on proprioception – literally “one’s own” perception of the relative position of the neighboring parts of the body – try to keep your balance and play with your stance. A simple squat is recruiting all of your muscles to keep you on the trampoline mat, which is of course, an unstable surface perfect for proprioceptive training. Now add to this your magic circle. Since we have exercised with our arms up and in front, take the circle around your back. You can keep your palms facing the pads of the ring or you can turn them so that your knuckles are on the inside of the magic circle and your fingers are holding the circle along the edges; this will require a very small pulse but will really activate the triceps and the shoulders as you hold your squat. You can stand with your legs hip-width apart and lift one foot up; if you want to challenge yourself further, you can extend that leg out in front of you or to the side (abducting your leg). Place your magic circle on the opposite hip and pulse.
The JumpSport Fitness Trampoline™ is extremely versatile and its resilient nature makes it one of the finest pieces of equipment to condition your body on all fronts. Mat work or floor work can easily be adapted to the JFT. Pilates exercises such as the Hundred, the Roll Up, the Criss-Cross, Single Leg Stretch, and Double Leg Stretch can all be beautifully executed on the JFT. You can do a simple internet search for “Pilates with Props” or “Pilates exercises with magic circle” to provide you with visuals for the aforementioned exercises.
Trampolines found in gymnastics classes or in backyards avail themselves to fun and creativity. I hope that you continue to experiment with the “toys” or props that you have access to in your wellness center or in your apartment. We love knowing how you are enjoying your JFT so be sure to write us! We also love to receive pictures or see them posted to the JumpSport Fitness Trampoline Facebook fan page. In fact, with summer here, why not pack up the JFT wher’er you go, and like Flat Stanley or the Garden Gnome, take a picture of you and your Jumpsport Fitness Trampoline™ during your travels?
Happy Summer! Here’s to pools, charcoal, sunscreen, and rain storms!
In Good Health,
Dance and Group Fitness Teacher
Recreational Adult Dance Workshops and Productions
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