Do you remember being little and reading Winnie the Pooh and thinking to yourself ‘that Tigger guy is just great, he spends all his time bouncing (because bouncing is what Tigger does), wish I could bounce all day too’? No. Oh well maybe it’s just me.
Anyway this week I found a way to unleash my Tigger-ish side and spent a glorious hour bouncing around a room filled with other, almost unnervingly happy, would be Tiggers and Tiggerettes.
What am I talking about? Well it turns out there is this thing called Kangoo which involves strapping on a pair of moonboot type contraptions with an elasticated section in the sole which is like wearing a mini trampoline on each foot, and bouncing around like a carefree child.
Instructor, Jason Mellars, runs Kangoo classes at the Westfield Gymbox as well as at specialist fitness weekend retreats. He said Kangoo can be used for physical rehabilitation as wearing the shoes while exercising supposedly takes away 80 per cent of the strain physical exertion puts on our bodies. The other nifty bit is Kangoo is also said to burn more calories than normal exercise as the best way to keep your balance is to always keep moving – and even when staying relatively still you are engaging core muscles to maintain an upright position.
Luckily at the session I attended there were a lot of fellow newbies, but the way the class runs it wouldn’t matter if you were surrounded solely by more experienced bouncers as it works on a building blocks basis where you learn a move at a time before putting them all together to create a fast paced full routine.
And what exactly is a Kangoo routine you ask? Well with Jason it’s a cross between an intense aerobic workout and a carefully choreographed dance class that will see you bouncing back and forth in an exercise studio while doing anything from jumping jacks and knee-ups to ballerina-esque twirls.
With a bounce here and a bounce bounce there, Kangoo class goers whizz through the air on their springy shoes wearing big grins whilst seemingly oblivious of how much of a sweat they are building up or how close they come to bumping into each other.
Plus with legs swung to one side and then back again, double hops and shadow bouncing the class rushes by in no time leaving nothing but a room of grinning fools in its wake.
So the verdict… well it was certainly fun, fast paced and exhilarating. Yes it does feels a bit weird at first but once you stop trying to think too much and allow yourself to trust your body not to let you fall it does have a very freeing quality. Overall I have to admit I may just be a Kangoo convert as I loved the feeling of bouncing through the air and totally forgot I was exercising, in fact I’m even going to take my friends with me as everybody deserves a bit of bounce in their lives.
Kangoo takes place on Wednesdays at 7.45pm and Saturdays at 3pm at:
Westfield Shopping Centre
Free for Gymbox members / £10 individual classes
Contact Jason via jasonmellars.com