Friday, 1 June 2012

Lunchtime fun with Kangoo Jumps

Have you ever heard of Kangoo Jumps?  My colleague Waldemar and I are wearing them in the photo on the left.  You may think they look a bit strange.  Basically though, they consist of a giant spring-like device attached to the bottom of a rigid boot.

Today was the opening of a new fitness centre not far from work, and I persuaded Waldemar to join me in making a trip there, so that I could get the chance to try out the Kangoo Jumps.  I first came across them in the Zurich Writers Workshop a few weeks back.  One of the other participants had a pair of boots that appeared as though they had been beamed down from outer space, and I had to ask her to explain what on earth they were.  As soon as she told me they were called Kangoo Jumps I went on the web and started googling them.  Kangoo Jumps were in fact invented by a Swiss man and have been around for more than 20 years now.  It seems that they are being marketed a lot better overseas than they are here, as no-one that I have talked to here has heard of them before.

I emailed the Kangoo Jumps franchise in Switzerland and asked them if they would be willing to give me a pair to try out for free.  I got a reply saying that they would like to meet me in person to discuss my proposal, but there was also a chance to try them out at the opening of today or tomorrow if I was interested.

The fitness store is located about 10 minutes away from work by tram, so Waldemar and I popped by at lunchtime today.  There were lots of children wearing the Kangoo Jumps and as soon as we arrived we asked if we could try them out too.  Putting them on was simple and they have similar fastenings to a roller blade type boot.  Next was the standing up part.  The Kangoo Jumps instructor gave me her hand to help me up, but I reckon it would have been easy enough to do by myself too.  Once on my feet I felt ever so slightly unsteady, kind of like balancing on a bike at a traffic light.  The instructor told me it was much easier to balance if you keep on the move, so in this way it fits with the bike analogy I gave above.

It was very easy to get the hang of them, and after just a few steps on the spot we started our boing boinging like a kangaroo (hence the name Kangaroo Jumps) around the car park.  Waldemar was very adventurous and started jumping on and off the pavement and going up inclines and all over the place, but I was trying to talk to the instructor and find out what they are good for.

The instructor only spoke German (and Hungarian) so my understanding was somewhat limited, but the main point I picked up from her was that they are a really good rehabilitation tool if you have knee or joint problems.  I went online to get more info, and on the Kangoo Jumps website it says that they can reduce the impact of normal jogging by up to 80% whilst still providing a fantastic cardio workout.  On top of that they were really fun to run in.  Waldemar enjoyed his experience so much that he has already gone out and bought a pair.


  1. Interest rehabilitation tool for knee issues; since I'm having slight knee issues right now. :) Did it add a large spring to your step?

  2. The ones I tried were very springy. They have different models with different spring tensions apparently, so you can get the model that meets your needs best. The only thing is that you are meant to change the rubber "spring" (more like a giant elastic band) after 40 hours of use (so it would be worth finding out how much that costs before buying a pair). If you do go to a shop selling Kangoo Jumps please mention my blog, as it can never hurt.

    Have you been to a sports doctor about your knee? I went to one in Zurich and then he referred me for 9 sessions of physio. The physio was trained in the Feldenkrais method After those 9 sessions I never had any problems again.

    1. I've seen a sports doctor for my knees that didn't spend more than 5 minutes seeing me and she recommended orthotics. They have helped a bit but not enough. So I'm seeing a chiropractor that is more knowledgeable about sports injuries; he has been using various methods to rehabilitate my knees such as accupunture, soft tissue massage, and strenghening my leg muscles. I need to actually get xrays done on my knees to understand the situtaion fully. I'm just keeping an open mind about anything that will help. I'll look into Feldenkrais Method, thanks for mentioning it.

  3. HI Paul, it was me you saw at the writer's group. I brought the Jumps in to show them to another runner who had knee problems. I've had my Jumps a few years now and really love them. They look think they might be difficult to balance in but really they aren't. It's the same as balancing in normal shoes just a bit higher. In winter I use them in doors and run or dance in my living room in one spot. Just turn on the music. It's a great way to get rid of the winter blues.

    Dr Determined, try a kineseologist before you turn to surgery. The SA rugby team take a kineseologist called Ron Holder with them wherever they go. They say he's their secret weapon. Holder says that the difference between balance and imbalance is the depth of one telephone page. He puts a wad of yellow pages in your shoe and then removes the pages one by one while muscle testing your arm until it's strength indicates that you are balanced. It really works. I had Ron Holder's yellow pages in my shoes when I won SA triathlon champs many years ago.