Leave the Floor Behind
Exercising on a hard surface can’t begin to offer the benefits of a bellicon workout. When you start bouncing on the bellicon’s sturdy, pliable surface, your body automatically works to keep you upright and aligned. With each bounce, your cerebellum and inner ear jump into action, directing muscles to stabilize you. Much of the exercise rebounding offers comes from all of this unconscious muscle activity. Each of the 638 muscles in your body are put to use in this process, particularly the major muscle groups in your lower body and the “core” muscle groups in your torso, which are most responsible for maintaining balance. With so much of your body involved in this process alone, it’s not surprising that a workout on our mini-trampoline will tone you up from head to toe.
Balance and the Brain
Your cerebellum (the part of your brain responsible for motor control) doesn’t just maintain your balance, it also learns how to improve balance, so the more you use your bellicon, the better your balance becomes. Like any learning process, this develops slowly, but it’s one of the most helpful and universal benefits of using the bellicon. You’ll appreciate it as you walk down the street with improved posture, or while feeling the increased sense of centeredness and stability as you go about your daily activities.
The cerebellum is not only responsible for balance, it’s also the source of several higher-functioning mental and learning abilities. When the cerebellum is stimulated during exercise, you gain added cognitive benefits along with your fitness. According to Dr. Irvine Mason, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, “As one reaches higher levels of balance during activity, brain reaction time speeds up, which has a positive effect on attention difficulties…improving cognitive ability and performance such as reading, writing and comprehension.”
(QUICK TIP: To help your equilibrium while rebounding, choose an object straight across the room, something level with your head, and keep your eyes on it while you bounce. This will help both your balance and posture.)
Jump into Fitness
The comfortable, woven surface of the mat feels great and fills you with a sense of stability and security. Jumping barefoot also gets your feet and ankles more engaged, strengthening them and at the same time using the major balance sensors in them for increased stability.
Bouncing barefoot is great, and it allows you to feel the stitching on the mat to help center yourself, but if you need a little more stability at first, or have issues with your feet or ankles, wearing shoes can help. The bellicon mat has been designed to offer safe, reliable service with either of these options.
When bouncing, try to bounce on different parts of your feet to stretch them and improve your balance. Bouncing on your heels helps to stretch your Achilles tendon (and helps to relieve the effects of wearing high heels!) Bouncing with an emphasis on your toes will help to strengthen your ankles and calves.