Catching Air

19:30 August 05, 2015
By: Celeste Turner

Sector6 Brings Extreme Air Sports to NOLA

During her battle with breast cancer, Leslie Conway, a French Quarter resident of 16 years, started jumping on an indoor mini trampoline to aid her recovery and increase her fitness level.

“I was looking for exercises to do in the house after I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Conway, who began using the mini trampoline about six years ago. “I read from several sources that it is good for the lymphatic system, that jumping helps move the toxins out of the body.”

Other benefits, as noted by Conway, are that working out on a mini trampoline can be easy on the joints and help with coordination, balance and circulation. 

“I began jumping on the mini trampoline because it was not as stressful on my joints, particularly my knees,” Conway said. She pointed out that running had caused her some knee pain in the past. “But I like how the overall movement on the trampoline can massage my entire body in a gentler way,” admits Conway. 

This high-energy, low-impact exercise is not only practiced at home, but has developed into structured aerobic classes at local gyms, health clubs and fitness centers. A new location, Sector6 Extreme Air Sports in Elmwood Park, has jumped ahead of other facilities and offers trampoline classes to adults at their 44,000-square-foot trampoline park inside a gigantic warehouse. With more than 60 trampolines, Sector6 has a variety of activities from KidJump to Family Night, equipped with dodgeball courts, bounce boards, launching pads and foam pits.

"[It] sort of makes you feel like a kid again."

“SectorFit classes are unique,” said Hamid Thompson, General Manager and a SectorFit instructor. “Once a person comes to class, we push them hard. But they are learning skills in the classes while having fun. Each class is different, so we work with the students at their level.”

Since Mardi Gras, Sector6 has been offering two types of trampoline classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The first SectorFit class is geared toward a cardio workout, held from 7 to 8 a.m. According to Thompson, the focus is on elevating the heart rate with less emphasis on form. He said, “This is a cardio-based class where we beat the students up a little bit and they love it.”

Following the initial morning class, the second class scheduled from 8 to 9 am concentrates more on body control and awareness while performing the trampoline exercises. Thompson stated that the instructor takes time to show proper form for jumping exercises, which results in more core work and abdominal control.

“You can see the physical benefits in appearance from taking the classes,” Thompson explained. “We use every part of this trampoline park. We even use the foam pits for conditioning exercises. As students become better in the classes, they see the results while having fun.”

The cost to participate in a SectorFit class is $15 per class, three classes for $35 or six classes for $65. Since this is a new program, Thompson and his team of gravity coaches have yet to explore all options for additional trampoline programs and classes at Sector6. 

Trampoline classes that incorporate individual mini trampolines have also grown in popularity across the country. Jumping in structured fitness classes can tone arms, target core and abdominal muscles and condition the lower body. In one 45-minute class, fitness instructor and JumpLife owner Montserrat Markou said that you can burn up to 500 calories while working out on the trampoline. His routine, JumpDance, focuses on cardio while incorporating moves like squats, jumping jacks and jogging. 

Both SectorFit classes and JumpLife classes are tailored to the average adult over age 18. Thompson indicated that men and women in their 30s and 40s comprise the bulk of the SectorFit classes. “Sometimes, a few gymnasts try these classes,” he said.

So, if you're searching for a fitness alternative or if you're injured or stressed out, a trampoline class can be fun, challenging and worth the energy for adults, no matter how old you are. “A wonderful thing about mini trampolines,” said Conway about her jumping exercise routine, “is that they sort of make you feel like a kid again.” 

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