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If you’re a big guy or girl you’ve probably been thinking about increasing your fitness level for awhile. I know that when I was at my heaviest I didn’t necessarily care about losing weight, I just wanted to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without losing my breath and bend over to pick up my daughter without throwing out my back!
So if you’re in a similar position, don’t listen to all the well-meaning skinny and fit people who tell you that they “just love running 10 miles every day!” What your body needs is an exercise regime that can be adapted to any level (so it can grow with you), is low impact for your joints, and is fun enough to motivate you! Enter rebounding!
You’ve probably heard of mini-trampolines for adults but, odds are, you haven’t been on a trampoline since you were a kid. If you haven’t, you may be shocked to hear that jumping on a tramp is incredibly effective for fat loss, increasing your cardiovascular health, and imroving your fitness level. Not only that, once you mastered the basics, rebounding can be an incredibly intense workout that will push even the most seasoned athletes.
Sound too good to be true? Well let me add one more thing, it doesn’t have to be expensive to start! Forget $300 meal plans, $100 gym memberships with $80 personal training sessions, and $1,000 home gyms. The entrance fee can be whatever you’re willing to spend, from a whole paycheck to less than a night out with friends. So, if you’re ready for a change, let’s take a look at my recommendations for the best mini trampoline for heavy adults!
Most mini trampolines for heavy adults are crap…
If you’ve been to any sporting goods stores, you’ve probably seen a mini trampoline with a 300-400 lb weight capacity. However, let me tell you a truth about the rebounder industry. That “Mini Trampoline: 300 lb Weight Capacity” that you see, is the limit that the trampoline (usually the mat) can take before it tears or breaks. That is not the amount you can weigh and still get a proper workout.
For example, if you weigh 400 pounds and just on a generic mini tramp with a 400 pound weight capacity, it probably won’t break. However, the mat will probably be so overstressed that you might be bouncing off the ground every time you jump. If you are big and heavy you need to get a tramp with a mat that is specifically designed to provided to provide a workout, not just to not break. Mats with too much bounce make a workout less effective and more dangerous since they increase the possibility of joint injuries!
The problem is, this kind of purpose-built mini trampoline for heavy people can be very expensive. I am well aware of this because I used a low range trampoline for more than a year before deciding that it was worth it to me to upgrade. If you’re in the same boat I was in (meaning you don’t have the desire to spend a whole paycheck on a trampoline) I included two options, including the one I bought, to get you started. While they are not the best, they are “good enough” for most people.
So with that out of the way, let’s talk about some high capacity rebounders!
The Best Mini Trampoline for Heavy Adults
In discussions about the best quality mini trampolines for legitimate use and exercise the name NEEDAK (I know it’s not catchy…) always seems to come up. Unlike most companies who create a single tramp and then figure out several ways to market it, NEEDAK identified some specific needs and then created several different versions of their tramps to meet those needs! The have soft versions, hard versions (specifically for people over 300 pounds), folding versions, versions with stability bars, and more!
The one that I specifically recommend (because it’s the one that I currently use) is the Needak Hard Bounce Rebounder w/ Stabilizing Bar and a Folding Frame (try saying that five times fast….)
It has the best-designed stability bar for heavy people, has a mat that is specifically designed for people that weigh over 300 pounds, and has a long-lasting and quiet spring system. And, perhaps the best of all, it is one of the least expensive advanced/professional level rebounders!
So if you are looking for the best value in the top tier of mini tramps, this is it! Also, if you are looking for a tramp with a 400 or 500 pound capacity, this is literally the only option on the market! Good thing it’s such an amazing option!
Mini Trampoline High Weight Capacity
bellicon is the “other brand” that makes high end tramps and is the direct competition for NEEDAK. For my needs, the NEEDAK won out but it won’t be so for everyone. They both have some distinct advantages/disadvantages so let’s talk about them and see which one is right for you!
- Higher Weight Capacity
- Better Stabilizing Bar
- Nearly half the price
- Proprietary noiseless jumping system avoid the squeaks and squawks
- Endorsed by The American Chiropractic Association
- 60 Day Workout Library Trial
- Bands can be replaced for different weights
- Multiple sizes available
At first glance, it would appear to be a landslip victory in favor of the bellicon, and it would be if it weren’t for the price. When I was saving up for a “nice rebounder” I knew I probably have to make compromises and that the absolute best mini tramp for adults would probably be out of my reach. Now, I have a little more jangle in my pocket but I still keep and use the NEEDAK. It is simply good enough that I can’t justify spending the amount of money it would take to “upgrade”!
However, if you are in the market for the best and nothing else will do, the bellicon might be exactly what you’re after.
The most popular workout rebounder for adults
While it doesn’t have the highest weight capacity, any review of the best workout tramp for heavy people would be remiss not to mention the Boogie Bounce. If you have ever been to a bounce class or see one in action, they were probably using the Boogie Bounce. It is, without a doubt, the most popular rebounder at gyms. Because of this many people end up buying them to have at home because they are familiar with them and love them!
So if you fit within the Boogie Bouncer’s 350 pound weight limit then let’s talk about some of the awesome benefits it has!
Frist off, it is incredibly durable. As you would expect of something that has made its way into widespread commercial use, the BB is very sturdy. It has an under-frame that none of the other tramps have, an extra durable mat, and a heavy-duty handle!
Not only is it a solid piece of hardware, but it comes with a solid amount of software to get you fit and keep you moving! The package on Amazon includes a DVD with 2 workouts and 3 months of access to the Boogie Bounce app!
So if you need a little push to get you moving and the rest of the attributes appeal to you, the Boogie Bounce is a great value!
300+ pound Capacity Rebounder for Beginners
Now, on to the first tramp I owned and the one that I still believe is the absolute best deal on an inside trampoline. If you are obese you might be outside the weight capacity of this tramp (it’s a mere 330 pounds) but, even if you are around the 300-pound mark this tramp will support you readily and you’ll find it extremely durable!
If the funky hexagon shape doesn’t appeal to you (it didn’t to me) they also make the trampoline in a round version. And if you thought the silent bands on the bellicon were cool? The Zupapa offers a very similar and very quiet system! So if you’re planning on getting in a workout while watching a movie, the people you’re watching with won’t be throwing things at you to stop the squeaking spring sound!
While this tramp is obviously not the heftiest on the market and I wouldn’t recommend it if several people will be using it long-term, it is an amazing rebounder to get a start on and, at this price, how can you go wrong?
What to look for in a high capacity rebounder:
If none of the rebounders above quite fit the bill for you (or you simply need more information) I think it would be useful to expand this review into a mini tramp buyer’s guide. After all, I don’t necessarily want you to buy the one I recommend, I want you to buy the option that is best for you and your particular situation. So what do you look for in a heavy duty mini trampoline?
What is the weight capacity of a trampoline? As I mentioned above, what the weight capacity of a trampoline means is a bit nebulous. Since there is no industry standard, is the weight capacity of a heavy duty trampoline the maximum weight it can take without breaking? Is it the weight it’s designed to be used at? The weight at which it won’t wear out quickly? Who knows! For this reason I typically recommend that you look for a heavy duty mini trampoline that will support a significant amount more than you weigh.
Grip bars, not just for the elderly. When I first saw the grip bar on a mini-tramp I thought it must be for bariatric patients or the elderly. Not so. While grip bars do provide stability and can help beginners feel more comfortable, they also expand your jumping workout! They give you the chance to utilize your arms and work out more vigorously that you may otherwise be able to. I highly recommend getting one!
Folding or not? When it comes to trampolines, one of the most annoying decisions you’ll have to make is how to store it. Should you just leave it on the floor? Should you get one with folding legs? Should you get one that folds into quarters and stuffs into a bag? Well, here are my thoughts: if you’re overweight or not inclined to work out, make things as easy as possible for yourself. Needing to get our a trampoline and assemble it is enough of a barrier that you might just stay on the couch. When I first started, my trampoline didn’t fold up anyway so I left it in the middle of the floor in my office/computer room where I could easily just walk by and get tricked into working out.
Two things that don’t really matter: shape and spring system. While you’re shopping for an adult size mini tramp you’ll see a lot of companies doing bizarre things to try and distinguish themselves from the competition. While some of these differences are helpful, the mat shape and the spring system are two that don’t really matter. Whether you prefer a circle or a hegagon, springs or a rubber system, it’s really up to you and none of them will drastically affect your experience.
Is a mini-tramp the best weight loss tool for heavy people?
If you search for information about mini-tramps for adults you’ll be treated to a gallery of super-fit athletes jumping high enough to land on my head, doing the splits in midair, and more. While this is cool and all, it doesn’t really give the full picture of what is possible on a trampoline. A mini trampoline is perhaps the best all-around home workout tool for overweight people.
Why is a mini tramp the best? Well, for 3 reasons:
- You don’t have to be fit to start. Unlike something like doing push-ups or riding a bike, you don’t have to be athletically inclined to start using a mini-tramp. If you can walk and climb stairs, you can use a rebounder.* You can get results and increase your fitness starting with just 1-minute bouncing intervals and, since you’re in the comfort of your home, increase the intensity and duration at your own pace.
- It is a low impact exercise. Although I work out regularly, running/jogging isn’t part of my repertoire. I enjoy cardio and feeling the burn but that somehow never translated to enjoying a slow slog down the road on sore feet. In fact, if I went for a jog right now, my knees would probably have something ornery to say about it. Not so with trampolining workouts! Because the mat is not a solid surface and there are no jarring movements bouncing is much easier on your ankles, knees, and hips that most other cardio workouts. Couple that with the fact that most heavy people have joint issues already and you have a match made in heaven!
- It is a full-body muscle toning cardio workout. If you want to tone your arms, do some curls. If you want to tone your legs, do some squats. If you want to work on your heart and lungs, ride a bike. If you want to do all the above (and more) at the same time, get a mini-trampoline. If you haven’t been on a trampoline since you were a kid you’ll be shocked at how fast it will get your heart rate up and recruit your muscle fibers. Not only will you be out of breath, but your muscles will likely be sore the next day! If you are looking to get started, check out these mini-trampoline exercises for overweight beginners. (Also, if you are more interested in strength than cardio, check out The Best Rowing Machines for Big and Heavy People)
In case you haven’t guessed, I’m a huge fan of mini trampolines for adults. Not only are they tremendous fun, but they also allow you to increase your mobility and fitness level. If you have some weight to lose (or some fitness to gain) get one and start bouncing. Have fun!
*Always consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. I am not a fitness professional or doctor and everything contained in this article is my own opinion, not professional or medical advice.