When it comes to working out we are used to cardio and strength training exercises. There are some exercises like trampoline exercises that are largely unexplored. This is increasingly gaining popularity. Trampoline exercises involve using a mini or large trampoline to do common exercises like jumps, squats, jogs, twists, and lunges. Trampoline exercises are a fun way to improve your cardiovascular endurance, build strength, boost mood and improve your balance and coordination. They are also a simple and fun way to exercise more and get into shape. We explore the trampoline workout benefits for health and why you should try trampolining. You will also find safety tips and a few trampoline workouts you can try out at home or your local gym.
Health Benefits Of Trampolines
Trampolining is a full-body workout that has several benefits for health. Research suggests that trampolining improves bone health by increasing bone density, area, and microarchitecture (2). Trampolining can be done by people of all ages from kids to seniors.
About 12.4 calories burned jumping on a trampoline per minute for men. Women, on the other hand, burn about 9.4 calories per minute exercising on a mini-trampoline (1). This means when done consistently along with other exercises and a healthy diet, trampolining can definitely help you lose weight.
You will need to purchase a trampoline or use the ones available at your gym. Shop online for a mini or large trampoline and prioritize quality.
Below are the trampoline workout benefits:
Improves Your Heart Health
Trampolining is a form of aerobic exercise (cardio). Cardio activities are those that increase your heart rate. Cardio strengthens your heart muscles making it easier for your heart to pump blood. This form of exercise also helps lower your triglyceride and cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease (6).
Improved Balance And Coordination
Exercising on the trampoline requires that you maintain some level of balance. It also requires that you coordinate your arm and leg movements. Doing trampoline workouts may help you to increase your balance over time. In a study done in an elderly cohort, trampolines helped enhance hip motion and balance (10).
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Unlike some forms of exercise, trampolining involves your whole body. Multiple muscles are activated when you jump up and down on a trampoline. Activation of your ab muscles, leg, and core muscles helps you build strength.
Trampoline workouts are also easy on the joints as they are low impact. The trampoline absorbs the shock as you land. This means you can build strength while minimizing the risk of workout injuries such as sprains and strains (13).
Increased Bone Density
One of the most profound effects of trampoline jumping on health is better bone health. One study found that trampolinists had a higher bone density at the spine and hip compared to their counterparts. The trampolinists also had greater bone strength at the radius and tibia compared to the control group (2).
Exercise is especially important as we grow older. This is because as we age, we naturally lose bone density, and bones become more fragile. Loss of bone density may eventually develop into osteoporosis. So, seniors need to engage in exercises such as trampoline workouts that improve bone density.
Boosts Mood And Relieves Stress
Exercise helps boost mood and relieve stress. When you exercise, a hormone known as endorphin is released. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers and also help boost mood. Exercise also helps reduce the levels of the body’s stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline (4).
Jumping up and down on a trampoline will help relax your muscles and ease tension. So, any time you are feeling depressed go out in the sun, take a short walk or just do a few minutes of trampoline jumps.
Increased flexibility helps you move easily and increases your range of motion. The trampoline makes a great stretching surface. Doing yoga and pilates using a trampoline can help you increase your flexibility. The secret is in doing these movements consistently.
As earlier mentioned, trampolining is a great cardio workout. And just like other forms of cardio, it can help you burn fat (3). You may also need to combine trampoline workouts with other aerobic exercises and strength training. It is important to remember that to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume to create an energy deficit (7).
You, therefore, need to reduce the number of calories you consume. Diet tips that may help you achieve this include eating fresh produce, avoiding fatty foods, limiting the intake of processed foods, and cutting back on alcohol (5).
Mini Trampoline Exercises You Can Try Out
Mini trampolines, also known as rebounders, are small trampolines that give a smaller bounce than the full-size ones. They can also give your workout a boost. One of the primary mini trampoline workout benefits is they help you lose weight. They also add an aspect of fun to your workout routine.
Here are 5 mini-trampoline workouts you can do at home:
Jumping jacks are a great full-body workout but also a high-impact activity. This means that by using a trampoline, you let the net absorb the impact instead of your body.
To do this exercise:
- Stand with your arms at your side and feet together.
- Lift your arms above your head as you jump with your feet apart.
- Jump back to the beginning position
- Repeat the movement for another 1 to 3 minutes.
Pelvic Floor Jumps
This exercise helps strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscles are a set of muscles that support the bladder and other pelvic organs as well as control bladder and bowel movements (11).
How to do it:
- Start by placing a small exercise ball in between your knees.
- Slowly jump up and down.
- Focus on engaging your pelvic floor muscles. Also, squeeze the ball in between your knees to engage your thighs.
- Repeat for 3 to 5 minutes.
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Jumping Oblique Twists
As the name suggests, this exercise targets the oblique muscles. They also target the abs, calves, and lower back to a lesser degree.
To do an oblique twist:
- Stand on the trampoline with your feet close together.
- Bring your arms to shoulder height and touch your hands in front of your body.
- Your upper body should remain forward-facing during the entire movement.
- Jump up 3 to 4 inches off the trampoline as you rotate your feet to the right.
- As soon as you land on the trampoline again, jump up again rotating both your feet to the left.
- Do a few reps on each side.
A progression for the single-leg hops you can try is to raise the alternating hand as you jump instead of having your hands on your hips.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Lift your left leg behind you so that you are standing on your right foot.
- Place your hands on your hips
- Jump up and down with your right leg for 2 minutes.
- Switch to the left leg then jump up and down for 2 minutes. Repeat
This is a simple exercise. It is thus suitable for people of all fitness levels and ages including seniors. Start by lifting your knees just a few inches off the trampoline surface and as you progress you can lift your knees as high as you want.
How to do it:
- Stand with your spine neutral. You can also choose to lean forward slightly.
- Lift your right foot and raise your knee while lifting your left arm.
- Switch to the left foot and repeat.
- Continue this movement for about 4 minutes.
Full-Size Trampoline Exercises
Even though big outdoor trampolines don’t offer the same kind of control as mini-trampolines, they are still great for trampoline exercises that benefit weight loss. Below are large trampoline exercises you can try out:
Just like conventional jump squats target the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. They are a great form of cardio.
To do squat jumps on a trampoline:
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your side.
- Jump up as you spread your feet wider than your hips.
- Land in a squat position on the trampoline.
- Flex your knees so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Extend your arms in front of you.
- Stand up and return to the start position.
- Do 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
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This is a compound exercise that primarily targets the quads and to a lesser degree the glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Try to land on the balls of your feet as softly as you can.
How to do it:
- Stand on the trampoline with your feet hip-width apart.
- Drop into a quarter squat position then jump into the air.
- Tuck your knees into your chest and swing your arms upward as you jump. Swinging your arms as you jump into the air gives you momentum.
- Land back in a standing position then repeat.
- Continue for 1 to 3 minutes.
This is a great cardio workout that burns calories fast.
To do it:
- From a standing position, jump up into the air with your arms over your head.
- Extend your legs in front of you and extend your arms forward so that your hands touch your feet.
- You can do 1 or 2 recovery jumps in between as you try to get the hang of it.
- Continue for 1 to 3 minutes.
Split Pike Jumps
This is just a variation of the basic pike jumps. With split pike jumps you extend one leg and arm at a time instead of both.
To do it:
- Start in a standing position then jump up kicking your right foot into the air as high as you can.
- Extend your arms in front of you to touch your toes.
- Keep the other leg straight and balanced.
- Return both legs to the surface to land.
- Switch to the other leg and repeat.
- Continue for 1 to 3 minutes while alternating legs.
As the name suggests, you drop on your knees instead of your feet. This activity can be done by the whole family. Another drop exercise you can try is the seated drop that involves you landing on your butt.
How to do it:
- Start in a standing position and jump up.
- Bend your knees so that you land on your knees.
- Jump back up into a standing position and repeat.
- If you find it difficult to drop from a jump, drop on your knees from a standing position then bounce to land on your feet.
- Repeat for 1 to 3 minutes
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It is imperative to remember that safety comes first. If you are not careful you might end up with injuries instead of benefiting from trampoline jumping. Below are a few pointers to help you exercise safely when using a trampoline.
Use A Sturdy Surface
You can set up your trampoline outside or indoors but the nature of the surface you set it up on matters. Find a level, sturdy surface to set up your trampoline to prevent it from slipping. Don’t step it up on loose gravel, inclines, wet or slippery surfaces.
Use A Stability Rebounder Bar And Safety Net
For extra safety, use a rebounder bar. You can hold on to it as you jump. You can also use it to add a challenge to your workouts. You can also use safety nets and safety rails for extra safety. The trampoline should also be able to comfortably hold your weight without threatening to break. So, go for a quality mini-trampoline to avoid running the risk of it breaking.
Proper form helps prevent injury (9). So ensure that you maintain proper posture. Make sure your head, neck and spine are in proper alignment. Good posture even when sitting or standing helps you prevent pain and injuries (8). Avoid moving your head forward, backward, or sideways.
As you jump, slightly flex your knees instead of locking them. Also, land softly with the balls of your feet. And never compromise good form for speed.
All rebounders come with an assembling manual. Read all the instructions before you assemble your trampoline instead of assuming it is a simple task. This way you are less likely to make a mistake while assembling the rebounder and avoid an accident.
Wear The Right Gear
Wearing the right gear ensures that you are comfortable during your workout. Wear cotton or any other breathable fabric. The clothes also shouldn’t be too tight such that they limit your movement or too loose that they are a distraction.
Next, find a comfortable pair of shoes that offer proper ankle and heel support (15). Your gym shoes or tennis shoes should work. You can also exercise on the trampoline workout barefoot or wear non-slip grip socks. But it is best to wear a comfortable pair of shoes as they provide ankle support.
Don’t Overexert Yourself
Just like with all other exercises, you need to start slow. After you get used to trampoline exercises, you can reduce the length of your rest intervals and increase the number of reps and sets you do per workout and the length of the entire workout.
Also, get enough rest to allow proper recovery of muscles. 7 hours of sleep should be sufficient. Eat complex carbs and lots of lean protein to maximize glycogen synthesis and muscle hypertrophy (14). And drink a lot of fluids – water, fruit juices, and electrolyte drink to maximize your performance (12).
We may all have done trampoline jumping for fun but it can be a workout too. Trampoline exercises are low impact, suitable for people of all ages, and are a lot of fun. Trampoline workouts help increase bone density, flexibility, coordination, and balance. They may also be a good addition to your weight loss workout routine. If you are yet to try trampoline workouts, you’d better give it some thought as they offer a range of benefits for your overall well-being.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- ACE-SPONSORED RESEARCH: Putting Mini-trampolines to the Test (2016, acefitness.org)
- Competitive trampolining influences trabecular bone structure, bone size, and bone strength – ScienceDirect (2016, sciencedirect.com)
- Does mini-trampoline training more effective than running on body weight, body fat, VO2 max and vertical jump in young men? (2016, researchgate.net)
- Endorphins and exercise (1984, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Essentials of Healthy Eating: A Guide (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Exercise and Cardiovascular Health (2003, ahajournals.org)
- Fat loss depends on energy deficit only, independently of the method for weight loss (2007, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Guide to Good Posture (n.d., medlineplus.gov)
- Importance of Proper Form When Strength Training (2014, nfpt.com)
- Mini-trampoline exercise related to mechanisms of dynamic stability improves the ability to regain balance in elderly (2011, sciencedirect.com)
- Pelvic floor: anatomy and function (2006, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Practical Hydration Solutions for Sports (2019, mdpi.com)
- The Effectiveness Of Sport Specific Trampoline Training On Dynamic Balance Among Amateur Wushu Athletes (2020, ejmcm.com)
- The Effect of Consuming Carbohydrate With and Without Protein on the Rate of Muscle Glycogen Re-synthesis During Short-Term Post-exercise Recovery: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (2021, springeropen.com)
- The role of shoes in the prevention of ankle sprains (1995, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)