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Bounce Your Way to Fitness at TriBeCa's JumpLife Gym

By Irene Plagianos | January 23, 2013 7:33am

TRIBECA — If your workout routine isn’t doing enough to lift your spirits — or much else — TriBeCa’s new JumpLife Gym may just give you the boost you need.

Opened in November, the gym, on Broadway near Canal Street, is focused on extolling the fitness virtues of one bouncy piece of equipment — the trampoline.

“Jumping on the trampoline gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing, but it’s also low impact,” said Monserrat Markou, the gym’s owner and lead trainer. “It’s also just so much fun.”

Personal-sized, low-to-the-ground trampolines, known as urban rebounders, have become popular additions to workouts at gyms in recent years — but Markou’s trampolines, with a larger base and unique T-shaped handle, are her own design.

She also says JumpLife is the only gym in the city dedicated solely to trampoline classes, which she’s put her unique spin on.

With multi-colored strobe lights and upbeat music, the gym’s JumpDance class creates a fun, club-like atmosphere for bouncing on the trampoline.

Markou keeps the moves fast-paced, and somewhat similar to what you’d find in an aerobics class — only with a lot more spring in your step.

If a rave-like workout isn’t your thing, her JumpGym class incorporates cardio with weights, crunches, squats, kicks and other more typical cross-training moves — but keeps it all on the trampoline.

Markou, a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist who owns an alternative medicine clinic, Alquimia, in Long Island, says she’s incorporated trampoline into her own exercise for years, but was inspired to create the gym by her patients.

“I had so many people with hand, knee, back injuries who couldn’t do yoga or their favorite workouts anymore,” Markou said. “And I knew trampoline, since it’s so low-impact, and actually helps heal joints, would be a fantastic alternative for them.”

Markou started using a trampoline in the basement of her clinic with clients — including many elderly patients who had issues with balance — and found time and time again people loved and were helped by the bouncing.

“They were having fun and getting better. That was wonderful to watch,” said Markou, 49, who lives in Bayside, Queens, with her husband.

Proponents of the trampoline workout say it has a host of health benefits, including better balance, agility and circulation — but it’s also one of the more fun ways to achieve a toned physique.

Markou says she wants to use the trampoline to inspire healthy lifestyles at all ages and fitness levels. Her gym is hosting fundraisers for arthritis and cancer organizations in the coming months — and she’s expanding her class schedule to include workouts for kids.

The lively, challenging workouts, which last 45 minutes, certainly had a recently packed class moving and sweating.

“Wow, that definitely keeps you going,” said Amy Zhang, 23, who works in public relations, after taking her first JumpDance. “It’s so much fun, and you really feel like you’re using your whole body.

"I’m still out of breath,” she added.