“We didn’t tell our kids that we were coming here,” Laurie Lutz, 43, admitted as she stepped inside Flight Trampoline Park this past Saturday morning.
Lutz and her Arlington neighbor Meghan Scheifele knew their tykes would be jealous to learn their moms were headed to the ultimate bounce house. So the duo just said they were working out together, which was accurate. Their game plan? Jump into a Flight Fit class, and “hope I don’t die,” joked Scheifele, 35.
What it is: Calories are always being burned at the new facility in Springfield, Va. In addition to exploring the “open jump field” of connected trampolines, Flight visitors can hop across dodgeball courts, slam balls through basketball hoops and land tricks in a foam pit. But with the Flight Fit program, trainer Jenny Mahaffey has devised ways to help students really reach their limits.
“Because it’s low-impact, they don’t realize how hard their hearts are working,” says Mahaffey, whose hourlong boot camp sessions incorporate strength, cardio and playtime. (Who’s up for some Duck, Duck, Goose?)
Moves: Every class begins with gentle jumping — and then higher-flying tucks, pikes and “cheerleaders,” which require hoisting your legs into a wide split. Once the group is warmed up, it’s on to the “gauntlet.” That’s what Mahaffey calls the act of traversing the jump field and scrambling over several platforms along the way.
Students in the Saturday morning “Weekend Warrior” class had better be prepared for extra practice: They have to complete that course repeatedly, sometimes while gripping a medicine ball. (Several other familiar gym props, including weights, resistance bands and sandbags, make regular appearances in the classes.)
Almost any exercise normally done on land translates to trampoline, Mahaffey says. Those lunges, mountain climbers and fast feet just feel a little different because of the unstable surface. She packages those sorts of moves into intervals, and breaks them up with team challenges and relay races. “You don’t want it to be all hard work,” Mahaffey says.
Workout: Mahaffey aims to accommodate all fitness levels and offers modifications for the toughest moves, such as burpees. So the degree of difficulty is up to the students — and those trampolines.
“Stuff you can do in a Pilates studio, you maybe can’t do here. Planks are so hard,” Andalynn Burgess, 34, said during class Saturday. The Capitol Hill resident hopes that return visits will boost her core strength.
For Will D’Angelo, 38, who has joint problems, the most surprising thing was what he is capable of: “I’m able to run and it doesn’t hurt.” He and his wife, Jessica, 35, were both sore and sleepy after class. “But there’s no knee pain or ankle pain,” she said.
Crowd: Couples abound, particularly at the weekend classes, which have a more social vibe, Mahaffey says. Solo students don’t need to worry about being left out, however. After a round of dodgeball, everyone feels like old friends. One tip spread quickly on Saturday: Flight has free child care for kids 6 and younger during the weekend classes. So not only do Lutz and Scheifele plan to return to class, they’ll even tell their kids about it next time.
Details: Flight Trampoline Park (7200 Fullerton Road, Springfield, Va.; 703-663-2440, virginia.flighttrampolinepark.com) offers Flight Fit four times a week. Classes are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6 a.m. (except this week), and Saturdays at 8 and 9 a.m. A single class is $11. Exercisers have the option of wearing sneakers or grippy socks (sold on-site for $3.50) or going barefoot.
Exercisers can also bounce around at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park (7175 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia; 443-546-4477, skyzone.com/columbia), which opened in September. The 31,000-square-foot facility offers SkyRobics and SkyCore classes seven times a week. “It’s way different than what people normally do [to exercise],” general manager Danny Serpico promises. A single class is $14. Sky Zone plans to open additional locations in Gaithersburg, Md., Fairfax and Baltimore.