New to the trampoline? In this ultimate beginner’s guide to trampolining, we take you through everything you need to know before your first bounce.
Trampolining is a great way for both adults and children to have fun and stay healthy at the same time. Jumping, twisting, and turning is a great way for kids to burn off excess energy and for adults to get into and stay in shape.
Trampolining is a great way for both adults and children to have fun and stay healthy at the same time.
What is Trampolining?
Trampolining is a recreational activity in which athletes bounce on a trampoline and perform acrobatics. It’s not just athletes that enjoy this activity though – trampolining can be enjoyed by anyone with balance, coordination, and energy!
Also known as trampoline gymnastics, trampolining literally means to ‘leap or bound on something springy.’ It is widely thought that the first trampoline was invented by American gymnast George Nissan in 1934 when he needed something to help him perfect his moves.
Nissan based his design on the safety nets which trapeze artists used when performing tricks at circuses. He made his first trampoline in his garage, which was so successful, he started producing them and trampolining was born.
The trampoline was widely used during the Second World War among the armed forces, not only for recreation but as a means for physical training. Trampolining was used to train pilots and crew to simulate the feelings and position the body experiences flight. Trampolining was also used to train astronauts to get used to the effects of no gravity.
Trampolining was introduced to schools as a form of exercise in the 1970s, however, due to several accidents and subsequent lawsuits, it is now only performed in specialist gyms under the strict supervision of certified gymnastics trainers.
Trampolining became an Olympic Sport in 2000 and since then it has been adopted by many nations to compete in the Olympics. Competitive trampolining consists of rotations or sequences made up of twists and landings. The contact with the trampoline may either be on the feet, seat, front, or back. In an Olympic-level competition, the sequence must begin and finish on the feet.
Trampolining became an Olympic Sport in 2000. Final of the girls’ trampoline gymnastics at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires on 14 October 2018 by Martin Rulsch / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
What are the Benefits of Trampolining?
You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to enjoy trampolining, which is a great form of exercise for building up cardiovascular endurance and improving coordination and strength. It’s a great way to get and stay fit in a fun way and is a non-weight-bearing form of exercise that reduces up to 80% of stress on the joints.
Some of the benefits of trampolining include boosting cardiovascular health, improving endurance, and relieving stress and tension. This form of exercise can also help to develop better balance, coordination, and motor skills, and may help improve bone density and strength.
Other benefits include:
Reduces Stress on Joints
Trampolining is a fantastic form of non-weight-bearing exercise that reduces up to 80% of stress on the joints. It is far better for the body than running and research by NASA has shown that a 10-minute session of trampolining is 68% more effective than 30 minutes of running and softer on the knee joints.
Improves Balance and Coordination
Trampolining improves balance and coordination and tones muscles. It works the whole body and helps to strengthen the core.
Increases Cardiovascular Fitness
This form of exercise increases the heart rate and increases cardiovascular fitness and heart health. As the heart rate increases, more oxygen is pumped around the body, muscles strengthen, and brain function increases. An increased heart rate also increases the metabolism, so trampolining is a great form of exercise for losing weight.
Trampolining improves circulation and helps the heart to pump oxygenated blood to all parts of the body, move nutrients around for cell repair, and remove cell waste quickly and efficiently. A healthy circulatory system reduces the risk of embolisms, blockages caused by blood clots that typically form in the veins in the legs and travel to the heart and the lungs, which can be deadly. Improved circulation can also reduce the risk of strokes and other circulatory problems.
Reduces Stress and Fights Depression
Like a “runner’s high,” trampolining provides a natural endorphin kick and makes you feel fantastic afterward. It is calming and meditative and lowers stress and depression naturally. Trampolining stretches the body and is a great stress-reliever.
Reducing stress is vitally important for maintaining a healthy heart and lowering the risk of strokes and heart attacks. The release of endorphins or ‘feel-good’ hormones can also fight depression, promote the growth of new brain cells and develop a stronger sense of confidence, power, and security.
Trampolining builds and strengthens muscles.
Improves Muscle Definition, Strength, and Tone
Trampolining not only builds lean muscle throughout the body but also tones and tightens, leaving the body looking lean and mean. Trampolining uses all the muscles in the body, so it builds and strengthens all the muscles in the body, including the core, which is at the center of swimming.
Trampolining builds and strengthens muscles without putting any strain on the musculoskeletal structure and helps to target muscle groups that wouldn’t normally be used in other exercises. It also helps flex and stretch the muscles, which is great for people of all ages to fend off the stiffening effects of aging.
Builds Bone Mass
Research has found that trampolining has a positive effect on bone density and strengthens the bones, making them heavier and denser. This is excellent for preventing osteoporosis and other degenerative bone diseases later in life.
Trampolining is an excellent exercise for increasing and maintaining flexibility as all the muscles in the body are stretched, pulled, and twisted. The repetitive stretching actions required when trampolining help keep the body flexible.
Trampolining is a brilliant calorie-burner, and it can burn the same amounts of calories as running.
Helps with Brain Functioning
Regular exercise, such as trampolining, improves cognitive functioning, memory, and thinking skills. Trampolining increases the heart rate, which increases the blood flow to the brain, and reduces inflammation and insulin resistance in the brain, which supports the growth of new brain cells.
Types of Trampolines
There are a variety of trampoline types on the market from large outdoor trampolines to small indoor rebounders. Let’s take a look at the various types of trampolines and their functions.
Round trampolines are the most common type of trampoline and ideal for home and outdoor use. They are available in different sizes, designs, and quality and are sized up to 18 feet in diameter. Smaller versions of the round trampoline (up to eight feet) are suitable for young children and a great way for them to burn off energy and exercise in the fresh air.
Round trampolines are considered to be one of the safest trampolines as the setup of the circular springs of the unit tends to push the jumper back into the center of the jumping mat, lowering the risk of injury.
Round trampolines are the most common type of trampoline and ideal for home and outdoor use.
Rectangular trampolines are designed for semi-professionals and professional gymnasts, and they are a good option if you have a large backyard or plenty of space. The bounce on a rectangular trampoline is different from that on a round trampoline as the springs don’t guide the jumper to the center – the jumper decides where to land. This type of trampoline also gives a much higher bounce, so they are best for experienced trampoliners.
Rectangular trampolines are designed for semi-professionals and professional gymnasts.
Square Trampolines combine the best of both round and rectangle trampolines as they are large and safe and tend to send the jumper back to the middle. They do have a very high bounce but tend to put the jumper back to the center of the mat, so are slightly safer than rectangle trampolines.
Springless trampolines are the safest of all trampolines as they don’t use any metal springs and reduce the risk of injuries. Designed by New Zealand engineer Dr. Keith Alexander, these types of trampolines use long composite rods instead of standard steel springs.
Springless trampolines are the safest of all trampolines.
Mini trampolines are ideal if you have limited space and can be used for workout sessions at home. These trampolines are also friendly on the budget and cost far less than the large models and can be stored easily. Mini trampolining is a great form of exercise that works the whole body and is gentle on the joints.
Mini trampolines are ideal if you have limited space.
Inflatable Trampolines are designed for young children to have fun or to be used on the water. They are fairly expensive but provide loads of fun for the little ones.
Bungee trampolines are most often found at fairs and markets where jumpers are strapped into bungee cords to gain the highest bounce possible most safely.
Bungee trampolines are most often found at fairs and markets.
Best Trampoline Workout Exercises
There are many different exercises you can do on a trampoline. These exercises provide an aerobic workout and help to tone muscles.
1. The Basic Bounce
Start slow and easy, especially if you have not been on a trampoline before. The basic bounce will help you warm up and burn calories while toning calves, glutes, and quads. Stand on the trampoline with your feet about six inches apart. Bend your arms and keep your elbows at your sides. With a slight bend in your knee, push off your feet to jump up and down about six inches off the trampoline. Keep jumping for about five minutes for a good warm-up.
2. Trampoline Prances
Stand with your feet about six inches apart and your knees slightly bent. Put your hands on your hips and prance – lifting each knee alternatively. Repeat this 60 times (30 lifts per leg). This is a great exercise for increasing the heart rate and stretching the hamstrings.
3. Trampoline Squats
Trampoline Squats are excellent for working the quad muscles and the core. Stand with your feet together. Jump up and spread your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Land in a squat position with your knees bent and thighs parallel to the ground. Your body will take the same form as if you are sitting on a chair. Your arms should be straight out in front of you. Bounce back into your starting position and repeat the squat 20 times.
4. Straight Jumps
Stand tall with your arms above your head and your feet flat on the trampoline. Jump up and hold your body straight leaving your arms above your head. Land in the same position. Do this for about 30 seconds.
5. Seat Drop
Stand tall with your arms at your side. Jump up and move your legs forward and bounce on your butt with your legs straight out in front of you. The palms should be facing down with your fingers pointed toward your toes. You should bounce back up into the starting position – standing tall with your arms at your sides. Repeat this for 30 seconds to a minute.
6. Tuck Jump
Stand tall with your hands at your sides. Jump up and pull your knees to your chest – grasp your hands around your knees or ankles. Land tall with your arms straight over your head. Repeat the tuck jump for 30 seconds.
7. Pike Jump
Stand tall with your arms at your sides. Jump up and raise your legs parallel to the ground while you reach your arms toward your feet and point your fingers toward your toes. Land in the same position you started. Do the pike jump for 30 seconds.
8. Swivel Hips
Stand tall with your arms at your sides. Jump in the air and move your legs out in front of you and bounce on your seat with your legs in front of you. After the bounce, do a half twist so you are facing the opposite direction. Do this for 30 seconds.
9. Straddle Jump
Stand tall with your arms at your sides. Jump up and extend your legs to the side at a 90-degree angle. Keep your legs out straight and reach your arms toward your feet; point your fingers at your toes. Land back in the starting position and repeat for 30 seconds.
10. Jumping Jacks
Do jumping jacks on the trampoline for 30 seconds to get your heart pumping. Jump up and extend your legs to either side. Raise your hands above your head and clasp your hands together at the top. Land back in the starting position.
11. Half-Twist and Full-Twist
Jump up and turn to face the opposite direction while you are in the air for a half twist. For a full twist, rotate 360 degrees while in the air. Do this exercise for 30 seconds.
There are many different exercises you can do on a trampoline.
How to Avoid Injury
Trampolining takes some getting used to if you haven’t done it for a while or are a beginner. It’s important to start slowly with the basic jumps and work up to the complicated exercises. Always use proper trampolining form by maintaining good posture and keep your spine, neck, and head in alignment. Keep the head still and always jump using slightly bent knees instead of locking them.
Always use a trampoline with a safety rail, safety net, or handlebar for added protection, and place the trampoline away from any objects or trees that may cause injury.
If you have any injuries or medical conditions, always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise that increases the heart rate. If you experience any difficulty breathing, feel dizzy or faint, or feel any pain while trampolining, stop exercising immediately.
Trampoline jumping is a fun way to boost your physical fitness that is gentle on the joints and great for your physical and mental health. These low-impact exercises can build strength and stamina, improve balance and coordination, heart health, and stability.