Everything you do, everything you eat, everything you wear, everything you see has side effects. You swallow a pill to take away your cold symptoms and it makes you sleepy. That’s a side effect. You eat a large portion of lasagna and feel bloated. You may even gain weight. That’s a side effect. You put on a wool sweater. It keeps you warm. That’s a side effect. You see a beautiful flower and your pupils dilate from pleasure. That’s a side effect. You inhale some black pepper. It makes you sneeze. That’s a side effect.
Side effects can be good or they can be bad. I don’t know of any instance where they aren’t present. If you aren’t having side effects from something somewhere sometime, you aren’t breathing any more.
I’ve read about side effects of rebounders. I’m experiencing some of them myself. Let’s go into the negative ones first—the ones that are the result of the El Cheapo rebounders. At the outset, I’ll have to say that all rebounders (aka mini-trampolines) are not created equal. If they were, we wouldn’t have the bottom end at less than $40 and the Bellicon at over $700. I was advised to get a cheap one then, if I liked it, I could upgrade. I don’t like to buy twice when I can buy once so I didn’t take the advice.
Now for the negative side effects.
- Turned ankles
If your feet pronate or supinate, a cheap rebounder with straight springs may cause the ankle to turn resulting in, at the least, pain or a sprain or at the worst, a fracture.
- Painful knees
A lot of people have weak knees. The El Cheapo (let’s call it EC after this) can cause the same things in the knees as the ankles. Believe me, an injured knee can be a tricky thing.
- Hips out of alignment
The recoil on a cheap rebounder can be much quicker than on a better built one and can cause an uneven bounce. If the hips are thrown out of whack, it can end up with expensive trips to the physical therapist or the chiropractor.
- Back pain
That same recoil can cause the spine to be unnecessarily jarred. Repeated jarring can do what driving heavy equipment has done to my middle child. He has chronic back pain that will eventually have to be corrected by surgery. Not anything to look forward to.
- Neck pain
I’m the leading authority in at least a square mile area on neck pain. There have been times I was in bed for three days at a stretch because of neck pain caused by old whiplash injuries (two of them) and I wasn’t able to turn over by myself. You don’t want an overly strong recoil if you’ve ever had any kind of neck pain.
Any kind of pain can travel to the head as a stress headache at minimum. The same jarring from the strong straight springs of the EC can make your head hurt, too.
- The billfold
Pain in the bank account comes when the rebounder wears out quickly. If it’s something you are going to use daily (or twice daily like I do), EC won’t hold up. The material can separate. The springs can break. One of my readers, Sarah, left a comment:
Oh, my!…I decided to work out on my rebounder. Half-way through my routine, it BROKE!!! How ironic is that? One of the loops the springs attach to separated from the mat. Fortunately, I wasn’t hurt. The inexpensive rebounder is now in my garage…
Now for the positive side effects.
- More energy
This was the first thing I noticed after only a few sessions on my rebounder. It was definite that I was able to get more done in the same amount of time.
- Better sleep
Now, you can believe this or not, but two of the three nights after I haven’t rebounded in the evening, I haven’t slept well. Both nights I’ve shortchanged myself in the sleep department, I woke around 3 o’clock and wasn’t able to go back to sleep. I could try it again but I don’t want to chance the same thing happening. I’ll bounce every evening.
- Lymphatic system stimulation
I have to take other people’s word on this one. I don’t know how I could tell if my lymphatic system was improving or not. It’s where trust comes in. I’m sure it’s a good thing and belongs under the positive heading.
- Denser bones
Once again, not speaking from my own experience here. I’d have to have a bone density test to see what it’s doing and it might not be measurable yet. I’m repeating what I’ve read.
- Better posture
I’ve noticed I’m standing straighter and walking taller. That makes my 5’3″ frame seem a little more than it really is. At least to me.
- More stamina
I can walk farther faster than I could before. Yesterday, I put miles on my feet with no problem except they began to complain from wearing heels they weren’t used to. That was no fault of the rebounder, though.
I’m barely beginning to see where the parts that were going South are migrating North. The mechanics behind this is that rebounding causes the tissues (including the skin) to stretch and, on the recoil, it “rebounds”. When this happens, it causes it to tighten. The same thing can make the muscles develop. I may have a genuine “six pack” before long.
- Improved circulation
This might be along the same lines as stimulating the lymphatic system. Anything that gets you moving improves the circulation. Rebounding is a fun way to do it.
- Better skin
A better body over all includes better skin. You aren’t going to modify the innards without modifying the “outards”, too. It’s all intertwined.
- It’s fun
Every piece of exercise equipment I’ve ever had until now turned out to be work. Eventually, they’ve all been made into clothes racks. I don’t see that happening with my rebounder. I’m having a hard time concentrating on this post because I want to go bounce!
I could list more positives but I think I’ll quit writing and go give my newest exercise equipment a workout.
An FYI here—Sarah bought an Urban rebounder to replace her EC and loves it. At least one of my forum members has a Needak and that’s what Frederic Patenaude has recommended in the past. I’ve read good things about the ReboundAir. I have a Cellerciser and it’s everything I hoped it would be. You don’t have to get a Bellicon to get a decent rebounder (they do look cool) but be good to yourself and get the best one you can afford.