Why so many of us are jumping on the trampolining bandwagon
By Melanie Munialo - 17th April 2017
Trampolining is one of the UKs fastest-rising forms of exercise. It has gone from something kids do on long forgotten trampolines in corners of back gardens to a credible form of exercise in its own right.
But just why are trampoline classes springing up (and down) the country?
For those of you that don’t know, in its most basic form, trampolining involves jumping on a flexible surface. If done correctly you experience a brief state of weightlessness at the top of the jump, and as much as 4Gs of gravitational force when you reach the bottom of the mat (at least that's what the professionals can achieve on a gymnastics trampoline).
According to the brainiacs at NASA's journal of Applied Physiology, rebounding exercises (like trampolining) are 68% more efficient than jogging at burning calories. And that’s not the only benefit:
Trampolining is a Low-Impact Cardiovascular Exercise. Unlike exercising on a hard surface the flexible surface of a trampoline moves with you when you jump, reducing the impact upon landing and the pressure on your weight-bearing joints. This makes it a great option for everyone, young and old alike, including those recovering from injury and those who have lead a sedentary lifestyle and are only just getting into exercise.
As well as being low impact other health benefits include:
- Improving your sense of balance and coordination
- Improving your Cardiovascular system
- Increasing oxygen capacity and circulation
- Strengthening Skeletal System And Increasing Bone Mass
- Increasing Lymphatic Flow in The Body (which helps get rid of toxins and waste)
- Firming and toning muscles
- Helping with fat loss
- Increasing energy and sense of vitality
So, what do you need to get started..
In theory you don’t need anything more than access to a trampoline, a smile and a little enthusiasm, but if you plan on doing it for any length of time and working up a sweat, ladies would be advised to wear a sports bra and gents would benefit from wearing a jock strap.
If you're not going down the gymnastics route, a typical class goes something like this:
Depending on the class and instructor, there may or may not be any music.
If there isn't, you soon tune into the rhythmic squeaking sound the trampolines make as you bounce.
If there is, then your instructor will aim to have you all bouncing to the beat, so a sense of natural rhythm is handy but not essential.
You'll probably warm up by practising how to control your bounce. Then the instructor will introduce increasingly complicated moves for everyone to copy - if you're lucky there will be rest breaks whilst you watch the instructor showing you the new moves, but not always. Finally there will probably be some cooling down moves to finish.
Aside from being a fun way of taking you back to the days of throwing yourself around as a kid, it is a deceptively effective form of exercise. If you enjoy it enough to make a habit of it, you can expect to feel (and see) the benefits in a relatively short space of time compared with other fitness classes.
If that doesn't make you smile maybe bouncing up and down to MTVs latest Hits album whilst being yelled at by an instructor will!!
For more information on gymnastics trampoline try these trampolining organisations.
To find trampolining classes in your area do a simple online search or contact your local health centre to see if they run classes.