It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…Kangoo?! Perhaps you’ve seen these bouncy, springy space boots before. The shoes look like roller blades with big circular springs on the bottom.
And if you’ve ever witnessed anyone working out in them, they also look like a lot of fun.
What Exactly Is Kangoo?
This specific type of workout, classified as a rebound exercise, provides all the heart-healthy benefits of cardio exercises without any of the jarring physical impacts that come with running and jumping. Kangoo Jumps shoes essentially act like shock absorbers on your feet, giving you a trampoline-like feeling of weightlessness, minus the added stress.
This also means that Kangoo Jumps can provide an ideal way to exercise if you are prone to joint-related injuries. While running can be one of the best cardiovascular workouts, its high-impact nature can wreak havoc on your body, causing pain in the feet, knees, legs, hips, and back.
In fact, running can impose double the pressure of your body weight with each step, increasing your risk of injury if you do not have the proper shoes or correct form. However, jogging with shock-absorbing Kangoo Jumps may help to prevent these running-related joint problems, providing one high-intensity yet low-impact workout.
Enthusiasts of Kangoo often cite a study conducted in 1980 by NASA scientists, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. The study showed that rebound exercises could be effective for both increasing oxygen uptake (also called VO2, a way to measure effort when you exercise) and cardiovascular health.
Since then, rebound exercises, whether on mini trampolines or with Kangoo-type shoes, have been touted to do everything from improve physical fitness to increase lymphatic drainage to fight depression. While there are no studies to support claims about the benefits to the lymph system or improved mood, this workout may provide some unique health-boosting benefits.
Additionally, those who have been sidelined by injuries or conditions such as scoliosis claim this workout is an exercise game-changer. However, if injured, it’s important to check with a doctor before beginning any Kangoo Jumps fitness program.
The Benefits of Kangoo
Read on for the full list of Kangoo’s health-boosting benefits.
The spring system on the shoe is specifically designed to reduce the force of impact, which means fewer injuries.
One study found that wearing Kangoo Jumps significantly reduced the risk of injury, compared to regular running shoes. This is because the spring absorbs up to 60 percent of the force in your ankles, knees, and hips. This is great news for former runners, or anyone who wants a heart-pumping workout without the impact.
Improved Balance and Stability
These bouncy boots activate the core and leg muscles. This means your muscles work overtime to maintain stability, helping to increase your strength and endurance.
In fact, a recent study published in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics shows that rebounding exercise can improve balance in older people, suggesting that this workout is beneficial for all ages.
Energy, Endurance, and Weight Loss
Beginning any regular workout regimen can have a remarkable impact on your health, helping you to lose weight, build muscle, and stay in shape. The key is finding something you actually enjoy so that you are more likely to stick with it.
Kangoo workouts are a great option for those who require something that is gentler on the joints, as they can help improve coordination, endurance, and even confidence. Any type of aerobic exercise will also boost your heart health.
The novelty of having springy shoes attached to your feet can be enough to get some people off the couch and into a gym.
Even the most workout-averse have been attracted to Kangoo, not just because of the ease on joints, but because it helps you feel like a little kid again. Any workout that helps you unlock that sense of joy and freedom may be worth trying!
In fact, a recent study from Cornell shows that if you make exercise fun, not only will you enjoy it more but you will eat less afterward.
Kangoo Workouts to Try
Kangoo workouts are offered nationally at boutique fitness studios, in gyms, outdoors, and online. They can be adapted for a wide range of ages, activities, and comfort levels, from the beginner to the weekend warrior.
Here is a preview of the types of Kangoo workouts you may find.
- Dance classes: These group aerobic classes are taught to music with light choreography. You will improve your stamina, build endurance, and groove to music while eliminating joint stress.
- Boot camp: A bouncy circuit training class appeals to those looking to up their strength and conditioning. Think squat jumps and jumping jacks turbo-charged by the springs on your feet.
- Kangoo power: These classes focus more on core strength, using plyometrics to burn calories and build muscle.
- Running: Jogging and jumping are both less painful when the impact is reduced, specifically for the elderly or those with injuries that prevent more strenuous exercises.
Want to give it a try? Find locations near you here.