13 August 2008

Over the top workout

Trampoline gym finds fun in fitness
Sky Zone fitness programmer Anthony Woods gets some air during his full-body trampoline workout.

If you’re bouncing off the walls at Sky Zone in Rocklin, it’s a good thing. And it’s hard not to with more than 6,300 square feet of trampolines lining the floors and walls of the fitness, event and fun center.

The establishment is gearing up for its grand opening Friday with plans to introduce the Roseville and Rocklin area to “a brand new way to move,” which includes their inventive term “rouncing” meaning running and bouncing on trampolines connected together with foam-covered seams.

The orange, blue and black facility tucked off Industrial Avenue, emits energy. Visitors will find kids, adults, fitness-gurus and special needs children partaking in the rouncing, fitness classes, dodge ball tournaments and games.

“It’s not just for the kids, we appeal to anyone from the age of 1 to 81,” said Jeffrey Platt, manager of Sky Zone Recreation Center. “From couch potatoes to athletes.”

The findings of trampoline use have been positive since opening their first location in Las Vegas and second in St. Louis.

“We knew we had this incredible playing service and we had no idea what to do with it,” Platt said.

The idea was patented and turned into a trial and error investment with a surprising fitness component to trampoline bouncing.

“Everything that we do here is fun and the underlying theme is fitness,” Platt said.

Sky Zone holds 55-minute SkyRobics structured fitness classes that are low-impact and include medicine ball drills, abdominal work and of course, jumping in the air.

Anthony Woods is in charge of the fitness program at the Rocklin location for both kids and adults. “Just being on the court and seeing what it does for your body,” he said, is what got him hooked on trampoline exercise.

Woods said he’s played every sport and was amazed at the full-body trampoline workout.

“Everything you do up there depends on you. You can go at your own pace,” he said.

The higher the jumps, the more energy burned and calories lost (and a person can burn up to 1,000 calories in the class, Platt said). But it’s also fun.

“They feel clumsy, very shocked (at the intensity of the workout), but they’re having fun, they’re laughing,” Woods said.

Whether people come in for fitness or fun, Platt said everyone leaves with a new experience.

“When they experience it, all you see are smiling faces,” he said.

Another aspect of fitness is SkyTherapy 4Kids for children with disorders such as autism and cerebral palsy.

“They come and just bounce and love bouncing,” Platt said.

Sky Zone has developed relationships with programs geared toward children’s disorders and companies fighting against childhood obesity, which is shown through their partnership with the American Heart Association, Midwest affiliate. They hope to also make an impact in the community here as well, Platt said.

One of the reasons behind the Rocklin location was the Sacramento area’s status of being a “family-oriented, active city,” according to Platt.

And Sky Zone offers plenty of family-friendly activities from their SkyZone game, trying to jump through the suspended hoop with a ball or throwing the ball through the triangle above the hoop, to their SkyLimpics involving Olympic events such as tug-of-war, relays, basketball shots and soccer skills.

Safety is always a concern for parents and Sky Zone makes certain each person is equipped with shoes with ankle support and soles with tire-like grips that also keep the court clean, Platt said.

“Safety has always been our No. 1,” said Jeffrey’s father Richard Platt, who is the managing partner for Sky Zone Recreation Center.

All managers are CPR-certified and the courts are monitored at all times by trained court monitors. Everyone signs a liability form and safety videos run on many of their 15 plasma-screen television screens throughout the facility.

Jeffrey said some of the most common accidents with trampoline use is from falling off or through the bottom and the netting acts as just that, a safety net. Netting is above the trampoline walls and below the floor.

With the combination of safety, fitness and fun, it makes sense why this has been popular in the other two locations and there’s a theory Jeffrey has as to why the idea has caught on for kids and adults alike.

“Who doesn’t like to be free from earth’s gravity?” he said. “It’s the only time you can feel like Superman. And for adults, it makes them feel like a kid again.”

Open sessions for bouncing at Sky Zone start every half-hour for $9 an hour, but reservations are recommended, especially for groups.

For information on corporate events, birthday parties, fitness class schedules and dodge ball tournaments, go to www.skyzonesports.com.

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