Finding Fitness is more than just about scoping out the latest fitness trends; it’s about finding exciting new ways to focus on the most important subject of any story: you. From extreme sports to strange and, sometimes, uncomfortable classes, this feature is all about finding the best fitness to maximize your health. Stay tuned to find out what new and exciting fitness endeavors are in the area.
What is SkyFit?
With SkyFit, maybe the sky’s the limit when it comes to fitness.
SkyFit utilizes trampolines in a workout based on cardio and aerobics. SkyFit classes take place at SkyZone facilities, or trampoline parks.
“Our aim is to get your mind off working out while you’re working out,” said Everton Houston, who manages the SkyFit program at SkyZone Fort Lauderdale and has been a SkyFit instructor for a year and a half. “We aim for having those serious workouts, but cover it up with the fun so you won’t feel like you went through a military training. You’ll feel pumped. You’ll feel energized.”
Jay Johnson, who has been a SkyFit instructor for six months and teaches the majority of classes at SkyZone Fort Lauderdale, said he often comes to SkyZone to jump on his days off.
“When it’s a workout, people tend not to do it,” Johnson explained. “When you say to somebody, ‘Oh yeah, let’s go to that trampoline park,’ they don’t realize that they’re going to be there for a workout, because when you think of a trampoline you don’t think, ‘Oh, I have to do this trampoline exercise/workout routine.’ You think… ‘I remember when I was a kid I used to do this…’”
What should I expect at a SkyFit class?
Johnson said that he usually starts out by asking participants how long it’s been since they’ve used a trampoline, and has participants who haven’t used a trampoline in a while get comfortable on it first.
“Get used to the trampoline, so you don’t lose control and get completely out of breath,” he said.
After everyone’s comfortable, the class stretches, then spends the first 15 minutes of working out running in place and jumping back and forth and side to side in 30 second intervals. Then they move on to what Johnson calls “rouncing,” or running up and down the trampoline and also jumping around on a specific course for 15 minutes. The class starts floor exercises next, working through planks, scissor kicks, Russian twists and other exercises on the trampoline, often incorporating medicine balls. They also do what Johnson calls a “SkyZone burpee,” or a jumping jack followed by a push up followed by “digging,” or squatting while pushing your feet into the trampoline for five seconds. The last 15 minutes of the class are a cool-down, with toe taps and jumping jacks. Johnson’s classes take water breaks at 15-minute intervals.
“A lot of people don’t understand that you [can] burn 1,000 calories in one hour,” he said. “This is a serious workout.”
While many of the workouts are created by SkyZone, instructors will vary workouts according to the class and to their own personal preferences. Classes are 60 minutes long.
What are the health benefits and risks?
SkyFit workouts are easier on the joints, because the trampoline absorbs the shocks your body would experience on a treadmill, according to Houston. Houston also said that the workout increases your metabolism by allowing your body to absorb nutrients more efficiently and increasing blood flow, and also improves coordination. He explained that it’s especially beneficial for those with diabetes.
As for health risks, Johnson and Houston said they usually ask before class if participants have any health issues, and modify the workout accordingly.
“Basically, if you can walk, you can jump,” said Johnson.
How should I prepare to take a SkyFit class?
Participants should wear workout clothing, and bring a hand towel and water bottle. SkyZone provides special socks with grips to prevent people from slipping on the trampolines. Classes are open to all ages.
Where can I try SkyFit?
SkyZone Fort Lauderdale
1834 SW 2nd Street
Pompano Beach, FL 33069
Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10-11 a.m.
Photo: Johnson (front right) leads a SkyFit class.
Credit: E. Houston