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Keeping Healthy with Trampolines and Fitness

 

They may just look like good fun, but trampolines are also a great form of exercise.  Why not find out how you can benefit from a regular bounce!

 

The Health Benefits of a Trampoline

 

A ten minute session on a trampoline has been likened to running one mile, with similar levels of health benefit, but requiring less effort.

 

Aerobic Exercise

 

Aerobic exercise is any exercise where a sustained rhythmic action, using a large group of muscles, raises your heart rate and makes you breathe harder; this can be anything such as running, walking, rowing, swimming and so on.

 

The benefits of regular aerobic exercise include:

 

  • Weight control or loss
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  • Reduced blood pressure
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  • Lower resting heart rate
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  • Reduced risk of stroke or heart attack
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  • Increased energy levels
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  • Reduced stress and better mental health

 

Regular sessions on a trampoline can provide a fantastic aerobic workout that can really help improve your health, but don’t just take our word for it, NASA believe it to be “the most efficient and effective exercise yet devised by man”.

 

Muscle Toning

 

Trampolines help tone your muscles, especially working to build your core strength. 

 

Core strength comes from the muscles in and around your abdomen and back, with good core strength leading to better posture, helping prevent injury, increasing balance and much, much more.

 

Core strength is built during exercise where you have to hold your body in position to control your movement and maintain balance.  When bouncing on a trampoline, you will naturally control your movement when in the air, as well as maintaining your balance during the ‘rebound’ stage of the jump (i.e. when in contact with the trampoline).

 

In addition to core strength, additional muscle toning of the arms and legs can be achieved through simple exercise movements completed during the jump.  See below for more details of these.

 

General Health

 

Outside of the exercise benefits you experience when you jump on a trampoline, there is another, less well known benefit.

 

Jumping exercises are known to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is part of the human immune system and can helps protect us from viruses and bacteria.  In addition, a healthy lymphatic system works to reduce toxins in the body, helping prevent cancer.

 

Before You Start

 

Before commencing any new exercise routine, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of your GP.

 

It is not recommended that you begin a trampoline exercise routine if you are suffering from a pre-existing injury, especially if it is back related.

 

It is recommended to ‘try before you buy’, so if you have a friend with a suitable trampoline, ask if you can have a go.  Alternatively, you could see if there is a trampoline club in your local area where you could speak with qualified instructors, have a go and learn some trampoline exercises to make the most of your work out.

 

Finally, before you begin any exercise routine, you should always complete a full routine of stretches and complete a gentle warm up to help prevent injury.

 

Basic Trampoline Exercise Routine

 

The Bicycle

 

This move is designed to bring you to a complete stop, safely and quickly.  Hold your arms out in front of you as if you were riding a bicycle.  Slightly bend your knees and keep your feet shoulder-width apart.  When you land, absorb the impact through your legs.

 

Bounce

 

Keeping your feet shoulder width apart, with your arms by your sides, begin bouncing gently, slowly increasing your bounce until your feet leave the bed of the trampoline to a height you are comfortable with.

 

Side-to Side

 

Keeping your feet shoulder width apart and your arms by your side, imagine there is a small circle as wide as you are in the centre of the trampoline and jump sideways to one side of circle then back across to the other.

 

Don’t try jump sideways at too steep of an angle as this could lead you to slip and fall.

 

Back-to-Front

 

As above, but rather than jumping from one side of the imaginary circle to the other, instead first jump to the back of the circle, then forwards.

 

Again, don’t jump too far or at too steep an angle to avoid slipping.

 

180

 

As you jump turn 180 degrees clockwise to face the opposite direction, keeping your feet shoulder width apart. Rotate back anti-clockwise 180 degrees on the next bounce. 

 

Do not continue to rotate in the same direction as it could cause dizziness and may result in a fall.

 

Knee Raise

 

At the highest point of your bounce and without moving your head, raise one knee to form a right angle, lowering your knee before impacting with the mat.  Alternate between knees to exercise both sides of your body, but always ensure that you land on two feet.

 

As you increase in strength and fitness, you can try and raise you knee higher, however always keep your head still to avoid impact between your head and knee.

 

Knee Tuck

 

As the knee raise above, but this time raise both knees so you are in the tuck position, lowering to a straight position as you return to the trampoline bed.

 

Again, when you are first attempting this exercise, aim to create a right angle between your torso and thighs, increasing the height you raise your knees as your strength and ability improve.

 

Side Reach

 

As you bounce, reach one arm up high along with the same knee (in a similar way to the Knee Raise).  On the next bounce repeat on the opposite site. Always ensure that you land on two feet.

 

Jumping Jack

 

At the highest point of your bounce, spread your arms and legs to create a star or ‘X’ shape, bringing them back together as you come to land.

 

Ski Jump

 

As you bounce, swing your arms and legs out as if cross country skiing, returning to a normal position when landing.  On the next bounce repeat the opposite way around, simulating a skiing motion.

 

The Sit Down

 

As you descend from your bounce raise both legs to be at a right angle with your body, keeping them out straight in front of you.  The aim is to land on your back side and then as you bounce back up, lower your legs to land again on your feet.

 

Care needs to be taken when completing this exercise as good momentum is required as you enter this move, otherwise it is unlikely that you will make enough height as you are coming up from the sit down to bring your legs back down underneath you in a controlled manner.

 

Making a Routine

 

To aid your concentration when exercising and helping to ensure good form, it is advised that you isolate the exercises into ‘sets’ of repetitions, completing a groups of sets of exercises as part of a complete work out.

 

For example, using the straightforward bounce for 5 – 10 minutes would be a great warm up; you can then choose 5 exercises, repeating each exercise in a set of 10 repetitions.

 

As your fitness increases, you could begin adding exercises to your routine, or increasing the number of sets you complete.

 

As your confidence on the trampoline increases, you can begin free-styling by mixing combinations of moves together – however, until you can proficiently complete all of the moves in isolation, we do not advise that you attempt to put moves together.

 

Always try and vary your routine from one day to the next to avoid getting bored and to keep you motivated.

 

Ensure you spend 5 – 10 minutes of gentle bouncing at the end of a work out as a warm down, followed by a routine of stretches.

 

Trampoline Exercise Safety

 

  • Always consult your GP before you start any exercise routine.
     
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  • Always ensure that you stretch and warm up before starting any workout routine.
     
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  • Do not exercise if you are ill or injured.
     
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  • Ensure that you drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise to keep yourself fully hydrated.
     
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  • Wear appropriate clothing for active exercise – jeans can be very restrictive and not allow the freedom to move as required to exercise safely.
     
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  • Do not wear sports watches or heart monitors when training on a trampoline; they can get caught in the bed or springs and cause serious injury.
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