Many who exercise forget to focus on their lower body. They lift weights or work on their cardio, but often exercises for balance and leg strength are an afterthought. Yet, leg strength, endurance and dynamic balance are vital to wellness. They help you become more stable, more balanced, and allow you to do activities like jogging, aerobics, basketball, hiking, Pilates and even bowling without injury.
In today’s video article, Tema Esberg will take you through two lower body exercises on the rebounder, or mini trampoline. These are “squat to calf raises” and “lateral lunges” and they will really work your legs, your balance and your cardio in just minutes. Let’s check them out.
Balance and strength
The mini trampoline is a terrific tool for developing stability through dynamic movement. Because the trampoline is not “fixed” your body is forced to keep firing all different muscles at different rates and intensities to keep you in balance. This requires the development of leg strength and endurance that you cannot get by lifting weights or working on a stable floor.
The key to being successful in these rebounder exercises, though, is to be able to keep your balance while developing your balance and strength. Tema offers two suggestions:
- Hold your arms out extended in front of your chest as a counter balance.
- Hold your arms up, with fingers behind your head, to remain vertically stable.
With these two good balance guidelines, let’s take a look at the two rebounder squatting exercises.
Exercise 1 – Squat to calf raise
Begin by standing on the rebounder with feet shoulder width apart. Depending on your level of mobility and balance, you can begin with feet a bit wider. Once you have found a good balance width, follow along with Tema in these four steps:
- Squat down and let your weight sink into your heels.
- While in the squat position, raise up onto your toes and balance for a second.
- Stand up while remaining on the balls of your feet.
- Once you are vertical go back to the flats of your feet and repeat.
Follow along with Tema as she does a series of 10 squat to calf raises.
Exercise 2 – Lateral squats
This next squat exercise is a bit more challenging because it requires that you move yourself laterally across the rebounder while squatting and jumping. But it’s a lot of fun, too!
You will begin with on foot flat on the floor and the other flat on the rebounder. Once you have found a good balance width, follow along with Tema in these three steps:
- With both feet squared forward, squat down.
- Jump up and do a lateral shuffle to other side of rebounder.
- Squat down with feet flat on floor and rebounder, on the opposite side. Repeat.
Follow along with Tema as she does a series of 10 lateral squat lunges. Note that lunging right and then left equals one repetition.
Tip: If you find this a bit difficult to maintain balance, swinging your arms while moving makes all the difference.
Good luck and have fun toning and strengthening your lower body, developing your dynamic balance and improving your cardiovascular health!