Feel the Burn at Newark's Sky Zone
The trampoline park offers an effective yet enjoyable cardio workout class for adults.
SkyZone's main court with equipment for SkyFit.//photo courtesy of Syntil Jackson
Kids seem to have all the fun, don't they?
How many times have you stared longingly at kinetic sand, secretly wished you could whip up your own batch of slime, or seriously debated digging into a Lunchables?
And maybe, like me, you've witnessed hordes of happily bouncing children at those increasingly popular trampoline parks, and wondered between jealousy pangs: Is it as fun as it looks? Could it count as a legitimate form of exercise for adults?
Photo courtesy of Alexa Raab
You see, around this time last year, I was starting to grow weary of the treadmill. The winter doldrums were in full force, the weather was unpredictable, and I needed to switch up my exercise routine. When a friend suggested we try Sky Zone's SkyFit class, I was intrigued. First I thought I'd misheard her. Wait—I do what? I bounce on a trampoline for an hour and (allegedly) burn up to 1,000 calories?
I was in.
Then I briefly wondered if my post-partum body and approaching-40 knees could handle this. Things bounce differently now, and I hear creaks in my bones that I'm pretty sure weren't there a year ago.
But because I am someone who will try anything once—even if it means risking an ACL tear—I hopped in the car and headed to the Sky Zone location in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. (There's also a location in Newark.)
The website promised me "an hour of fitness disguised as fun" and "one of the most dynamic, effective and enjoyable workouts" I would ever have.
What to expect: You'll arrive for your SkyFit class and notice the absence of rambunctious toddlers. After signing a waiver—you knew that'd be part of it, right?—you'll slip on a pair of socks affixed with a special trampoline-gripping material. (Stash the socks in your glove compartment afterward, because you'll need them for your next class. That’s right—I have no doubt you'll be signing up for another one.)
After the logistics are taken care of, the fun begins. Participants start jumping excitedly on their individual trampolines. A bubbly instructor begins with a warmup of combination moves and stretching. Although the exercises are relatively low-impact, the workout is no joke. Your heart will race, your legs will shake and you will sweat. It will also be the fastest hour of cardio you've ever done. And I dare you not to smile when the instructor challenges you to execute "frog jumps" or "seat drops." You may be asked to grab a medicine ball or resistance band. You'll do burpees and planks.
And you know what? You will friggin' love it.