The mere mention of the word “bungee” may be enough to instill cold fear and trepidation in many. But, were you aware that the same contraption that seems to allow you to defy death can also produce the utmost in fun and effective workouts? Introducing the bungee workout…
What is a Bungee Workout?
A bungee workout, also called “bungee fitness,” is even more off the beaten path than bungee jumping. A “bungee” is a cord that has the ability to stretch and then snap back to its original length, repeatedly. Versions of these cords are often seen being used to strap things down (like a Christmas tree on top of your car, Griswold Family Christmas style).
For exercise purposes, the bungee cord used for fitness classes is much wider and longer than what you’d typically find in the toolbox or garage. These cords, after being attached to rafters or a ceiling, are fastened via hooks to a climbing harness you put on so you are tethered to the cord. From there, you follow the instructions of the group leader.
The instructor will typically have you start with a basic beginner workout and then progress from there. Since there is a bit of a learning curve, and you need to get used to both the harness and the bungee, starting slowly and working your way up to more intense classes is a good plan.
What is the History of the Bungee Workout?
At this point, you may be asking yourself how such a workout even came into being.
According to legend, the bungee workout was first conceptualized in Thailand at a Bangkok dance studio. Since it is a workout based loosely on the circus arts, combined with core and resistance training, it’s a fun way to exercise that really packs a workout punch. The dance studio, Stories to Tales Theatre, began training instructors from around the world in the nuances of the bungee workout.
Before long, with the assistance of YouTube and some viral action (to the tune of over 46 million views on YouTube), this workout became an almost overnight hit. With this type of exercise program being a fun alternative to the usual same old, same old program, coupled with the fact that you can burn off copious amounts of calories and tone up at the same time, the bungee workout soon became a fan favorite.
What’s a Bungee Workout Like?
Okay, so now that you know the history behind the latest fitness craze, you may be wondering what it’s actually like to do a bungee workout. What can you expect when you sign up for a class?
You may or may not be familiar with resistance drills and speed cords. These are versions of bungee training that are popular in the sports world. The theory is that the bungee cord adds resistance to the exercise being performed. For example, you may see athletes running while pulling a sled or resisting against being pulled forward by their coach while attached to a bungee cord.
Basically, the bungee serves as a form of resistance (or creates resistance) and, when training against it, can provide strength gains as well as a solid cardiovascular workout. Add some friends, fun music, and the ability to “fly” to these basic attributes of a bungee workout, and you have a super fun, relatively easy, and very effective fitness class.
Pros and Cons of a Bungee Workout
If you’re still undecided on whether or not you should try the bungee workout, maybe these pros and cons will help:
- Assistance and resistance—a bungee workout provides assistance with movement, allowing you to leap into the air with ease. It also provides resistance as you run and jump.
- Toning that’s fun—taking a bungee fitness class will have you using your muscles more than you would think. From lunges and squats to using your arms and back to lift and propel you into the air, this workout provides quite the full body workout.
- Great core workout—don’t forget about the sleek and toned abdominals you’ll get over time due to all the extensive core work involved in the movements.
- Fun fat burning—with the class being about 70% cardiovascular exercise, you’ll burn extra calories without even realizing it. Add to that the toned metabolically active muscle mass you can add or maintain, and you’ll be a fat-burning flying machine.
- Fun to do by yourself or with friends—what better way to have a great time with your friends than by flying through the air, Peter Pan style? Or, if you’re going it alone, you’ll still be part of a great group of like-minded individuals all pursuing their fitness goals.
- Low-impact workout—this is really good news for people with injuries and those who are rehabbing and can’t engage in jarring movements. The assistive movement style of the bungee cord allows for slower and softer landings, thus protecting the knees, hips, ankles, and other joints. It’s a great option for those who are nursing injuries or recovering from them. Since the very nature of a bungee workout is low impact, it’s the perfect choice for a wide variety of people.
Are there any cons at all to this fun and fabulous fitness workout? Well, bungee fitness classes could be outside the budget, and classes and locations may be limited. Check your local listings to see if bungee workouts are available in your area.
Bungee Workout Bottom Line
So, you’re not auditioning for Cirque de Soleil anytime soon. That’s okay. Unless you hate fun, get ready to strap up and fly. This is the type of workout you can do with friends and not even realize you’re exercising. Have fun, burn some calories, tone up, and find yourself laughing all the way through. This truly is a great workout for any fitness level.