A bouncy trend that has been welcomed by gyms nationally also is gaining popularity in Longview.
Kangoo Jumps are a brand of rebound shoe attachments that strap over participants’ shoes. Oval shaped pieces on the bottom of the attachments act almost like springs, taking pressure off of joints and creating the bounce effect, according to information about the exercise accessory.
Kangoo enthusiasts wear the attachments while doing cardio — running, jogging or participating in Zumba-like classes. Other brands for the attachments include Madd Gear Boost Boots, G-Max Jumping Show Boots and Seakyland Fitness Jump Boots. These “boots” range in price, but start around $30.
Fitness 1440 in Longview offers daily Kangoo classes, with boots provided for class participants. Owner Stephanie Downing said she had all of her staff members and instructors try the class before it was made available to gym members.
“People will sometimes walk by during a class and say that (Kangoo) looks crazy or silly, but all of the instructors can give their personal take on the program,” Downing said.
“A lot of people don’t like cardio, but Kangoo is a great way to make it fun,” she said. “It’s based around music so you don’t really feel like you’re working out.”
Fitness 1440 has two Kangoo instructors. Veronica Zulueta teaches more dance-like Kangoo classes, while Cheryl Daly covers strength training.
“Both classes have adaptations for everyone to participate, no matter their skill level. You can do it at any level and we modify it so anyone can take the challenge,” Zulueta said.
Zulueta said she began participating in Kangoo about five years ago, and Daly started a couple of months later. Together, they created the Texas Kangoo Club — the club has a Facebook page — and started the classes at Fitness 1440 less than a year ago.
“I love it, it’s all I do,” Zulueta said. “It’s a different kind of exercise, it’s not dance or cardio because of the different elements added with the boots. It burns way more calories and takes stress off of your joints. It gets the heart rate up really quick.”
“Getting started is the hardest part. Getting to know the boots and how your coordination changes with them on might be tricky, but the benefits greatly outweigh any risks,” Zulueta said. “Only when you try too hard too soon is when you get hurt.”
“Exercising with the boots on doubles your endorphins compared to normal exercise. It has been proven to help with depression and anxiety because you’re smiling the whole time,” Zulueta said. “No matter what you’ll be smiling for an hour while you’re taking the class because of the bouncing.”
Kangoo class member Cayenne Barnett has been doing Kangoo classes for the past two years.
“A friend of mine invited me to go and I just fell in love with it,” Barnett said. “It’s a lot of fun and is a great core and strengthening workout.”
Barnett said the biggest challenge is gaining the coordination needed to be proficient.
“It takes a while to get up the coordination,” Barnett said. “I ordered two pairs through Veronica and I use them on my own at home, but I like going to both classes. It’s not the same every day and it makes it more fun.”