First-timer: Urban rebounding
I've seen women (and the occasional man!) on those little trampolines many times. They jump, they squat, they kick their legs and punch their arms. I got on one once and did a few moves, and promptly got off. I wasn't disinterested, I just feared all the jumping on and off.
But I finally got the nerve to try it when I heard about ELEVATION, a new class launched exclusively at Crunch. It's urban rebounding, but with a new variation. The rebounder has legs that bend in so that one side is elevated, and the other is at ground level. It just looked less daunting.
The class was upbeat and fast. I had a 30-minute workout, but 45-minute classes are also offered. It's divided into two portions: cardio and athletics. In the first part, you do step variations, going on and off and around the rebounder. My favorite part was when we did sidekicks, and one of the instructors told us to kick whoever was bothering us to the curb.
The second part, led by the second instructor, was more about building muscle. We did crunches on the rebounder, push-ups and squats. I'll admit it was tough, but that good kind of tough where you feel like you've really achieved something after you're done. (Note: the instructors were very accommodating of my first-timer status, offering words of inspiration and exhibiting what seemed like real enthusiasm when I got something right. Lesson: Always tell an instructor you're a beginner!)
The class started in January in New York. Try it now and show your friends you're ahead of the fitness curve. Check Crunch.com for locations and times.
First-timer tips from instructors Jennifer Frankel, far left, and Deborah Horton:
-- If you need to take a break, do it. Taking it easy is never a bad thing for a beginner.
-- Stay hydrated. Drink water before the class (not too much!) and throughout the class, too. Like with any exercise, don't eat anything less than two hours before your workout begins.
-- Incorporate stretching. Rebounding works feet and ankle muscles you might have never known you had, so be sure and stretch both before and after your class.
-- Come three times. The routines can be slightly confusing for beginners, but three times is how long it takes for your brain to connect with your feet.