Jumping For Joy
Getting fitter while bouncing up and down on a trampoline is the target that the new cardio workout aims for
By Sujata Devadas, September 22, 2016
Like a duck to water
“In September last year, a couple of Jumping® fitness videos reached me through the social media. It is a high-intensity cardio fitness regime, where you jump and dance on a small personal trampoline to build up core strength.” says Dunia Khaleel.
A young Emarati businesswoman, Dunia is the Managing Director of the Peak Fitness Centre, a gym she and her husband Khalifa Al Qubaisi began in February 2014 within the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club precincts. Her husband Khalifa is its owner.
Clear, concise and fluid in expressing herself in English, Dunia says: “From the age of 14, I have been enthusiastic about fitness. After our marriage in 2014, when we struck upon the idea of opening our own gym, I plunged in like a duck into water.”
“Our gym is my way of helping our community to become fitter and healthier. I simply want people to choose a healthier lifestyle. It is the perfect way of staying alive.”
Stepping up as pioneers
Dunia made enquiries and learnt that Egyptian Hatem Suroor in Cairo brought Jumping® fitness to the Middle East. Hatem answered all their queries. “Khalifa and I came to a common determination: to be the main distributor for Jumping® fitness in the UAE and GCC countries.”
In the month of May, the Emarati couple organised the first Jumping® fitness instructor course at their fitness centre in Abu Dhabi. They had willing students lined up. “I joined the course myself,” says Dunia. “So did Sasha from South Africa and Mai, who is Jordanian, as female students aspiring to be instructors. My husband Khalifa, his friend Mohammad Kaddas Al Rumaithi, also an Emarati, and Syrian coach Mahmood Osman, also took the course with us.”
Looking back at the original
Jumping® as a fitness workout was developed by a Czech couple, Tomáš Buriánek and Jana Svobodova. A member of the national biathlon team, Tomáš was a student at Charles University’s Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Prague. Jana was a fellow student. The two of them devised Jumping® fitness together.
In 2001, they went into partnership. The basic diploma training courses in Jumping® as a cardio fitness programme were publicized. As of now, Jumping® is in full stride in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, Australia and South America.
Initially, Cairo resident Hatem was the main link between Dunia and the Czech couple. But this September, further courses for instructors were conducted. “Right now, it is offered at our gym. But soon, we shall hold them all around the UAE. Master trainers in Jumping® like Jakub Marik sometimes fly out from Prague to give these courses that are rapidly gaining in popularity,” says Dunia.
Is it risky?
Jumping® is great aerobic exercise. It is easier on the joints for 2 reasons: (1)the trampoline mat absorbs the shock at rebound to a significant extent; so, the pressure is more evenly distributed along the ankles and the back. (2) It strengthens tendons, ligaments and muscles around the joints. The regular use of a trampoline, strengthens the back and the stomach muscle.
But in any sport related activity, safety precautions must be followed.The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) advise against use of trampolines in children under 6.
Cleveland Clinic cautions that the following safety rules should be followed at all times:
• Only allow one person should jump on the trampoline at a time
• Make sure the springs are covered
• Install a safety net around the perimeter of the trampoline
• Ensure the trampoline is set on level ground
• Avoid somersaults or flips
• Provide adult supervision at all times
“Almost missed it”
Jordanian Mai Al Haj-eid has a full-time job in the petroleum industry. She is a mother of three, who thrives on high-intensity workouts. After office hours, she instructs male and female students in Zumba or Zumba Aqua. Now she has added Jumping® to it.
“I contacted a few people in Germany in November last year using Facebook after my interest in Jumping® as a fitness workout peaked. I wanted lessons. They knew of no one in this region. Instead, they offered me fulsome support if I launched out as the main distributor in this country. I, however, did not own a gym, so that was not a practical proposition.”
Still smitten with Jumping® as an attractive workout option, Mai continued her enquiries. “This time, I got news about the instructor course at Khalifa and Dunia’s gym. I also understood that the genuine founders of Jumping® fitness are Tomáš Buriánek and Jana Svobodova, from Prague. I am now a fully-certified Jumping® fitness instructor,” says Mai smiling with satisfaction.
Popularizing a passion
In her native country, South Africa, Sasha Lee Galvin taught hip hop and modern dance as also Zumba. She has a natural instinct for instruction. Three years ago, she arrived in Abu Dhabi to be the Zumba instructor for the staff in Yas Waterworld.
The Jumping® instructor course at Peak Fitness Centre was the first time Sasha had been on a trampoline. Did she ever fall off it? Sasha bursts out laughing. “No,” she says. “None of us fell off. Yes, we needed to get our coordination and balance right on the trampoline. It took us a day to find our comfort zone on it. Then the three of us - Dunia, Mai and I just practised together every day jumping to music, jumping for joy. We moved fairly easily to the advanced level.”
“I have spoken to a lot of people, sharing videos on Jumping® fitness,” Sasha admits. “A fitness programme on a trampoline is strikingly different from what is out there at the moment. Jumping in tandem with music does not feel like exercise. Music keeps you fully involved in the workout. That is its magnetic attraction.”
Are they not anxious or nervous about taking such classes? “To be honest, no,” says Sasha. “It starts off easy - a nice warm up, basic steps. The classes are well-programmed. Enthusiasm and drive does the rest.”
Classes in Jumping® fitness were launched at Peak Fitness on September 10. Currently four classes are being held, each of one-hour duration. Two classes are for ladies and two for children above the age of five.