Kangoo Jumps: Putting a Bounce in Your Workout

A special set of bouncy shoes have become part of the latest exercise craze.

ByABC News
September 20, 2011, 8:30 PM

Nov. 15, 2011— -- In the endless pursuit of fitness, we have tried running, lifting, spinning, swimming, rowing, throwing, biking, hiking and climbing -- but never bouncing.

Bouncing is the latest fitness craze, with an inexplicable herd of bouncers taking over streets, parks and gyms. Fitness expert Mario Godiva is the hip-meister of hop, all because of one special set of shoes called Kangoo Jumps.

Watch the full story on "Nightline" tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET

"They are running and rebounding sports shoes, so what they pretty much do is they reduce all the impact by up to 80 percent off your knees, your back, your spine," he said.

These shoes, which look like ski boots with special T-springs attached that flex out and recoil, were first devised for rehabilitation in Europe years ago, but are becoming popular in the United States -- 320,000 pairs sold. The T-spring can be adjusted to a person's weight.

"It's exercising smarter, protecting your knees," Godiva explained. "Rebounding gives you a feeling of euphoria, so it's also fun. We all know how everyone gets off the wagon because exercising is boring, but what this does is make you look forward to working out."

Godiva teaches several jump classes in New York City, where people bounce and gyrate to the same songs at the same time. A sort of jack-of-all-exercise trades, Godiva leads hip-hop dance, aerobics, running and boot-camp classes in these shoes, not to mention unbelievable bouncing stampedes through the streets of Manhattan in a massive "Pied Piper" effect.

While he's jumping along, Godiva said it's common for a crowd to gather and watch him work, even take photos.

"There is a big curious factor about these things because people haven't seen them," he said.

The shoes aren't cheap -- they can run almost $300 -- but can last for years, and, as Godiva attested, they are worth it for a good workout.

"You are essentially running, walking, dancing on air," he said. "Plus gravity is adding resistance, so you are actually burning 20 to 30 percent more calories because you are rebounding."

And of course, who wouldn't want to wear bouncy shoes? They are easy to use, even for the epically uncoordinated.

Watch ABC's John Berman test out the Kangoo Jump shoes HERE.

Click the next page to get Mario Godiva's tips for a healthy lifestyle.