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Product Review: Kangoo Jumps

by Meaghan posted April 28, 2010

 

THEY SUCK!!!

The ignorant media is giving the Kangoo Jumps rave reviews for their fun and safety, but I would have to disagree for the following reasons:

1. They’re stupid-looking.

2. They cost close to $300.

3. One of their supposed health benefits is a face lift. (Seriously??? A full face transplant would probably be a better deal!)

4. Any decreased risk of injury due to reduced impact forces on the joints is offset by a proportionate reduction in ankle mobility.

This is the big one. A major selling point of the Kangoo Jumps is that whatever it is they stuck on the bottom of what can only be described as an over-priced pair of ski boots reduces impact forces for more joint-friendly running. But to quote Jimmy Smith in this article, restrictive devices like these 

change the insertion point of muscles that act on the ankle. Any time this occurs, we limit the force production potential of the muscle, alter proper functioning patterns, and also cause more force distribution to be transferred to the nearest joints.

Now instead of the ankle, the joints required for mobility are the knee, and while technically not a main joint, the foot. These structures are forced to compensate and absorb higher levels of force than usual. As with anything else that has to compensate, these joints eventually wear down.

In other words, unless maybe you’re planning to take on Iron Man, you’re probably not doing your joints any favors by wearing these things.

If you want to reduce the impact forces of running…a) Run less; and b) Get your legs stronger by lifting heavy things.

I thought this was a no-brainer, but I guess not.

You could also work your way OUT of restrictive shoes, since this is actually backed by good research…(Just be sure you do it gradually.)

 

The verdict: Like I said, Kangoo Jumps suck. And if you buy them, you suck too. Save your money. Save your joints. Save your face.

Filed under: fitness commentary, fitness-related injuries

6 Responses to “Product Review: Kangoo Jumps”

  1. Marilyn says:

    Meaghan,

    Suck?! Glad not everyone is as narrow-minded. Hopefully people will judge for themselves. I think they are wonderful!

  2. I was also concerned about the ankle being held in place, and never understood roller blades for that very reason. But now that I’ve got an arthritic right knee, I’m desperate to try out whatever I can! Luckily enough, I’m in a major metropolitan area where a celebrity trainer gives classes and rents out Kangoo Jumps, so I’ll report back when I get the chance….

  3. Josh says:

    Thanks, Good review! I can’t see anything about these that don’t seem like a gimmick/”next big thing” that will phase out pretty soon. They focus more on “this makes excercise fun!” rather than actual effectiveness.

  4. Meaghan says:

    If making it fun gets people who otherwise wouldn’t exercise to be more active, they’re effective at something – just not necessarily better for joints given their restrictive nature. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Peter says:

    Hey Meaghan, you’re absolutely wrong in that the ankles are immobilized. I do high intensity interval training in my Kangoo Jumps, and I’ve lost 10 lbs in the past 11 days.

    You’re being very close minded, and you don’t know that there are communities of doctors, chiropractors, and people that use these because they do reduce stress on their joints.

    My 70 year old grandma can use them, and she has a pair. You have absolutely NO CLUE how much these help with ankle and knee problems. Because your core is engaged, your core actually becomes your body’s stabilizer.

    I’ve gotten each family member a pair, and they’re been healthier ever since. Why don’t you actually try a pair instead of giving bad reviews about things you know nothing about?

  6. Meaghan says:

    Thank you for the comment Peter, but I never said they couldn’t be effective at producing weight loss or even at reducing impact forces. If you read the post carefully, it only says the reduction in impact force purported to keep joints healthier is likely OFFSET by the reduction in ankle mobility – and any shoe (or brace for that matter) built like this DOES restrict the foot/ankle complex from moving through its full range of motion. And if you follow the joint-by-joint concept, this causes altered biomechanics up the chain and can therefore adversely affect the knee, hip and spine as well DESPITE the potential reduction in impact forces at these joints. The fact that you can do high-intensity interval training in them and lose 10 lbs. in 11 days – which, by the way, is not a safe rate of weight loss AT ALL – doesn’t change that. People with impact-related joint problems may benefit from them in the short-term; however, the long-term trade-off is that they’ll probably just experience different joint problems. And those without problems to begin with are likely to experience them. This is essentially the same argument involved in the barefoot running debate: There may be some evidence of initial reduction in forces but the long-term effects have yet to be determined. If your family members are healthier because they now use Kangoo Jumps due to the fun factor whereas before they didn’t do any exercise at all, great. At the end of the day, I’m happy they are exercising. But I would still caution them on all of the above.

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