Trampolines have been on the rise in the last few decades, and it's gotten to the point where you can't pass through a suburban neighborhood without seeing at least half a dozen of them. But why have they become so popular? Aren't trampolines just a fancy new way for children to break their arms and legs?
Far from it. Jumping on trampolines has become a popular recreational activity for adults as well as children, and has proved beneficial in a number of ways. In fact, new research has shown that jumping on a trampoline is one of the most healthy activities anyone can participate in. Right up there alongside swimming and bicycling, trampoline jumping now sits at the top of the list of most effective full-body exercises. And that is no surprise, considering all the health benefits you can gain from jumping on a trampoline.
As a form of cardio exercise, jumping on a trampoline has been proven to be far superior to running or cycling. When it comes to calories burned, trampolines outweigh most other means of exercising, as it is a high intensity activity which includes the entire body in several different ways.
The characteristic movements involved in jumping, along with the added G-forces of the trampoline provide a perfect strength workout for a lot of muscle groups. Most notable is perhaps the affect it has on the legs, strengthening practically all leg muscles, from the calves to the thighs. This is due to the force of impact from every landing, where the legs are subjected to a lot of strain during the moment of landing and taking off.
This serves to improve the overall strength in the legs in a way that is highly useful for everyday use. It also strengthens a lot of smaller balancing muscles which rarely receive any training from other activities.
Another great effect of trampolines is the strengthening of core and back muscles. Second to the legs, the midsection of the body receives a lot of force during landings, which helps to strengthen these often forgotten muscle groups. And since the core and back are what carries up most of our upper bodies, it's important to train these in order to avoid a series of complications such as backache and neck pains.
Improves balance and coordination
As you jump, your body has to work full-time adjusting your balance. This holds especially true during landing and takeoff, but on a trampoline your body has to keep you leveled while in the air as well. This serves to greatly improve your overall sense of balance, as well as strengthening the muscles that are responsible for controlling that balance.
The biggest training of balance, however, can be acquired by doing various tricks on the trampoline, such as flips. This not only trains balance, but a whole myriad of other skills as well, such as coordination and reflexes.
Getting to know your body
In addition to all this, jumping on a trampoline will also help you get to know your own body. Either by simply jumping up and down, or by doing a series of advanced acrobatic tricks, you will gain a better feel for your body, and a better knowledge of your abilities and limitations.
But perhaps the biggest benefit of the trampoline is the amount of fun it can provide. All the physical benefits aside, the trampoline is definitely one of the most entertaining forms of exercise out there.