How safe is rebounder exercise for your pelvic floor?
Does rebounding increase your risk of pelvic floor problems worsening?
Many women ask whether the potential pelvic floor risks outweigh the benefits of rebounding exercises.
Read on now to learn:
- What is rebounding exercise?
- What are the potential health benefits?
- How safe is rebounding exercise for your pelvic floor?
- How to modify rebounding
What Is Rebounding?
Rebounding exercise is performed on a rebounder or mini trampoline.
The exercises include a variety of movements sometimes performed to music. Exercises on the mini tramp include running, bouncing, jumping, hopping, single leg knee lifts and kicks.
Rebounder technique involves pushing down through the legs onto the mat to increase the work performed by the legs.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Rebounding?
Rebounder exercises may have a number of health benefits including:
- Improved heart and lung fitness
- Improved balance and spatial awareness
- Lower limb strengthening
- Scientifically unsubstantiated claims of improved lymphatic drainage
- Lower impact on joints when compared with treadmill running1 which may benefit overweight women or those with lower limb problems such as ankle or shin injuries.
- Increasing energy expenditure*
*For substantial energy expenditure, rebounding needs to be performed at high intensity. In order to meet the recommended daily 300 Kcal expenditure energy for weight loss, greater than 32 minutes of high impact rebounding is necessary1.
How Safe Is Rebounding For Your Pelvic Floor?
Your risk of pelvic floor injury with rebounding depends on:
A. The impact of your rebounding exercises; and
B. Your individual risk factors
A. Impact Of Rebounding Exercises
Trampolining is a high impact exercise owing to the force of the landing.
One study has investigated the incidence of stress incontinence (bladder leakage) in young elite female trampolinists2.
All the athletes in this study over the age of 15 years reported bladder leakage during trampoline training.
While rebounding doesn’t involve the same degree of high impact landing as trampolining, this study suggests an increased risk of pelvic floor problems with repetitive high impact rebounding exercise.
B. Individual Risk Factors For pelvic Floor Injury
Women have different individual risk factors for pelvic floor injury.
Your pelvic floor risk factors include: your pelvic floor strength and support, preexisting pelvic floor conditions, childbirth history, pelvic floor tissue laxity, body weight (abdominal fat), history of pelvic floor surgery, chronic constipation/straining and lifestyle factors including heavy lifting.
How To Modify Rebounding Exercise?
Some women at increased risk of pelvic floor injury may need to completely avoid rebounding.
If you’re living with pelvic floor problems such as symptomatic prolapse, pelvic floor weakness or pelvic pain you may choose to minimise your risk by avoiding high impact rebounding.
Women who choose to perform rebounding may be able to modify the associated impact by:
- Avoiding double leg impact-style landing
- Aim to keep one foot in contact with the rebounder (shown right)
- Using low impact technique with one foot in contact with the mat throughout
- Avoiding hand held weights when rebounding
- Keeping rebounding short duration (e.g. incorporated within circuit training)
- Choosing a variety of low impact fitness exercise
Key Points For Rebounder Exercise
- Rebounder exercises may have some health benefits, more so when performed at high intensity with high impact exercises.
- High impact jumping exercises increase pelvic floor loading.
- Double leg landing on the rebounder is a high impact exercise.
- High impact trampolining exercises have been shown to increase the incidence of pelvic floor problems in female athletes.
- Women with increased risk of pelvic floor problems may need to avoid rebounder exercises or modify them according to their individual level of risk.
with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway
Learn how to exercise safely, strengthen your prolapse and reduce your risk of repeat prolapse.
Prolapse Exercises is a complete exercise guide for women after prolapse surgery seeking to exercise safely and protect their pelvic floor.
1C. McGlone, L. Kravitz & J. Janot. Rebounding: A Low-Impact Exercise Alternative. ACSM’S Health & Fitness Journal. March/April 2002, Volume 6, Issue 2.
2K. Eliasson, T. Larsson & E. Mattsson. Prevalence of stress incontinence in nulliparous elite trampolinists. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. April 2002. Volume 12, Issue 2, pages 106–110.