In the past 10 years or so, small exercise trampolines known as rebounders have slowly become popular again, with gyms integrating them into cardio classes and more individuals opting to use one as their home workout equipment. It’s not surprising, as their compact size make mini-trampolines a lot easier to find room in most homes, all while providing a vigorous workout that elevates your heart rate and strengthens the core without any impact on your joints.
Yes, it looks like you’re just goofing around on a trampoline. You know… like kids enjoy doing whenever they chance upon one. However, rebounding on an trampoline is one of the few exercises that allow muscles to go through a full range of motion with equal force, while prompting your body to shift weight and maintain balance, producing a strengthening effect on the muscles. More importantly, it does that without inflicting a lot of stress on your knees, feet, hips, and spine, as the trampoline itself absorbs a lot of the impact, making rebounding one of the few cardio workouts that is perfectly safe for the joints. As you can imagine, jumping up and down continuously will bring your heart rate to higher levels, too – a critical component for many cardio exercises that make them effective for weight loss.
What we really like about them is the affordability, as they’re a whole lot cheaper compared to the investment required with treadmills, spin bikes, and other cardio equipment. Suffice to say, rebounding is a cost-effective way to bring cardio workouts in your home and these exercise trampolines should help get you started.
RAVS Mini Trampoline
There are plenty of sub-$100 rebounders. If you want something over 40 inches with an adjustable balance bar, however, this model from RAVS should be one of the most affordable options you will find. It’s also sturdy, with a frame strong enough to support up to 440 pounds, while the balance bar can be adjusted to five height levels to ensure it provides the right kind of support, no matter how tall (or short) you are.
It uses springs for the bounce, so we expected a lot of noise. While it is noisy, it’s not that noisy, although we’re sure it will get louder as it gets used (maybe lubricating can help). On the upside, the springs are fully covered, so you won’t be catching your shoelaces in there accidentally at any point. It’s also easy to assemble, while folding in half for compact storage. Overall, a really good exercise trampoline for the price.
Maximus Pro Folding Rebounder
While it doesn’t have the biggest jumping area, this 40-inch rebounder does come with some additional accessories that make it a more versatile workout equipment. There’s a support bar that you can attach if you want something to hold onto, although you can keep it off if you’d rather do your exercises without anything in the way. There’s two different sets of exercise bands and two sand weights, as well, for integrating some resistance training in your workout. And yes, it comes with free video workouts you can follow both on the included DVD and online.
It uses spring for the bounce, by the way, so it gets really noisy, especially once you’re doing HIIT or similarly intense exercises (you’ll want to oil it to calm the noise down a bit), with small gaps along the edges, so you might not want your kids to be playing on these (their small toes could slip in there). With a snap-on design, it assembles faster than most rebounders we’ve used, all while folding into a really compact size that makes it easy to put away.
FreeJump Mini Trampoline
Most rebounders use springs to get you bouncing, while others opt for quieter elastic bungee cords. This one, on the other hand, uses 48 steel rebound rods under the jumping platform that can bend and return energy, making it safer since there are no gaps along the edges, allowing you to use the whole jumping area safely (no foot accidentally sliding inside a gap). As a bonus, the design shaves off a good load of size along those same edges, making it even more compact than similarly-sized mini-trampolines. While we expected the steel rods to make sounds similar to springs, it’s surprisingly much quieter with none of that squeaking noise, so that’s another positive. On the downside, those steel rods do make it a little more expensive.
It has a small jumping area at just 37 inches, so you’re restricted to rebounding exercises that won’t require you to maintain the widest stances, although the inverted bowl shape and the heavy duty 1.5-inch frame combine to make it one of the most stable fitness trampolines we’ve used. They also include a handrail that can be adjusted to three heights and even removed completely for easy storage.
Cellerciser Bi-Fold Rebounder
Like many fitness trampolines, this 40-inch model uses springs to generate bounce. Unlike them, it uses a proprietary “Tri-Daptable” spring system that adjusts the amount of rebound, depending on the weight of the person in the jumping area. This results in a trampoline that performs similarly for all family members, with no excess bounce when the kids use it, so it’s perfectly safe to leave in the open at home. It comes with a balance bar that can be adjusted to three heights, as well as an instructional DVD to help you get started on the exercises.
While it’s more expensive than your typical spring rebounder, the all-steel construction (frames, hinges, everything), self-adjusting springs, and that premium jumping mat (made from the same material used in seatbelts) do justify the expense. It also comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, feet, bullhorns, and pins, as well as a five-year warranty for the springs and mat.
This model, by the way, folds in half for storage. If you want something even more compact, they also offer a tri-fold model that’s also more expensive.
Is there a more popular rebounder brand than Bellicon? Probably not. It’s the one that’s gotten all the rave reviews and really helped bring back the popularity of exercise trampolines. As far as their lineup goes, we’re big fans of the Plus model, which comes in two sizes (44 and 49 inches), two mat options (regular or padded), and two leg options (screw-in or fold-up). It uses bungee cords for the rebound, so there’s none of that squeaky spring noise, while being safer since you don’t expose yourself to any metal if the cords ever break.
The mini-trampoline is very stable while supporting even heavier users (it’s rated to handle up to 440 pounds), while an adjustable handlebar gives you something to grab on when you suddenly lose balance after an incorrect movement. This model, by the way, ships pre-assembled, with a solid single-piece ring, which should make it extra durable compared to the outfit’s build-it-yourself model.