Forget Sprained Ankles, Do Backyard Trampolines Pose A Financial Risk?

Many of us remember long ago summer afternoons spent playing on trampolines, running around until the street lights came on, catching fireflies in jars. Now we may be parents of children ourselves, and we want to give the same good memories to our own kids.

Safety Measures for Trampoline

My own sons—aged nine and six—have been nagging their father and me to get one ever since the parents of their friend did so at the beginning of June. We’ve talked about it, but, as every parent knows—caution and research should go hand in hand. Another neighbour child fell and broke her arm on the frame of one just last summer, and we certainly didn’t want to expose our children to a potentially harmful situation. But what are the risks?

“I Dare You” and Other Dangerous Activities

I was a little bit unsettled to discover just how dangerous trampolines actually are. Much of the risk is due to improper use, which is code language meaning kids don’t always wait their turn to use the toy. When disagreements flair up and pushing or overcrowding occurs, kids can fall and get hurt.

It also speaks to the performance of stunts—jumping from high places onto the trampoline. Performing acrobatic maneuvers without prior training. And falling from the trampoline to the ground—which can lead to severe injury. Parents should never allow kids to play on trampolines without supervision.

If you’re wondering whether I’m overstating the dangers of improper trampoline usage, here are a few current statistics that I found. Based on reports from the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) there are more than 246,000 trampoline-related injuries a year. Seventy five percent of these injuries occur to children under the age of 14, and include fractures of the legs and arms, spinal injuries, and vertebral damage. There are even reports of deaths that have occurred because children fell or were pushed during use of a trampoline.

Safety Measures You Can Take

Now that you’ve heard the unsettling news about trampolines, here’s the bright side. There are plenty of measures you can take to ensure safe, healthy activity for your kids and the neighbors.

The first and most important rule is: only one person jumping at a time. In fact, only one person on the trampoline at a time.

Other safety measures that will come in handy are:

• A padded bolster or cover for the springs and frame
• A netted enclosure to prevent falls from the trampoline or inappropriate stunts.
• A gated yard or posted warning against unsupervised use.
• Do not allow unsupervised use. Ever.
• Do not permit a child under six to use it. Ever.
• Place the trampoline in an open area
• Never place it on concrete. The ground cover should be soft in the event of a fall.
• No ladders. These offer small children ease of access without permission.

Attractive Nuisances, Insurance, and You

Most home-owner’s insurance policies don’t cover trampolines, because they invite unauthorized and unsupervised use. This can lead to lawsuits if a neighbour’s child falls and seriously injures him or herself. That’s why trampoline insurance is a separate affair, but one you should not ignore. There are three ways insurance companies deal with trampolines:

• No Exclusions. This means that your insurance policy will cover a trampoline without additional premiums.
• With Safety Precautions. Remember those safety measures I talked about earlier? Your carrier may agree to cover a trampoline if you’ve implemented several or all safety precautions.
• Trampoline Exclusion. You aren’t covered in the instance of an injury—whether the person was a guest or an intruder.

Basically, you should review your home-owner’s insurance policy before you purchase a trampoline. If you don’t, it can be costly, not only in terms of future policies and premiums, but also in the event of an accident.

While we want our boys to be safe, we also want our neighbour’s children to be safe, too. We look out for each other, here. Even if your policy offers trampoline coverage, make sure you take the time to install safety measures and educate your kids on proper trampoline etiquette.

What’s Up With Trampoline Tents?

Just do a Google search for images of trampoline tents and you’ll see tons of different shapes, styles and sizes. Whether your kids want to stargaze from a tent with a panoramic view, do some backyard camping or have a fun secret clubhouse or fort, you’re sure to find a perfect tent style for your trampoline.

You’ve made a considerable investment on your family’s trampoline and although the kids love jumping, adding a tent is a good way to increase the usefulness of your trampoline. Your kids will spend more time outdoors and less time sitting in front of their video games. Who knows, maybe you’ll even have a chance to enjoy a little ‘me time’ relaxing with a good book in the trampoline tent!
Tents Style for Trampolines

Trampoline Tents VS Weather Cover

A trampoline tent is not meant to protect your trampoline against degradation from UV rays and weather conditions. For that kind of protection, you need a trampoline cover. A cover fits directly over the jump surface and is secured snugly around the so it’s easy to put on and take off.

A cover not only protects the pad against UV rays, but it also keeps dirt and debris from accumulating on the jump pad. It should be used between uses and can significantly increase the life of your trampoline.

A trampoline tent isn’t meant to prolong your trampoline life and may or may not be made with UV resistant materials. It also takes more time to set up and tear down.

Your Trampoline Manufacturer’s Tents

When you decide to get a tent, I suggest you start by checking with the manufacturer of your trampoline. If you purchase one that’s specifically designed for your trampoline model and size, there’s no question that it should fit properly.

Your trampoline brand will probably have a limited number of designs available. If they have the style you’re looking for, you’re good to go. However, if the manufacturer of your trampoline doesn’t make a tent that has the features you want, you’ll need to start looking for a third party manufacturer that makes the style you’re looking for.

Third Party Tents

There are several third party manufacturers producing trampoline tents that fit on a variety of brands. They often specify the brands and models their product is compatible with, but some only specify the size of trampoline the unit will fit.

Make sure you investigate the compatibility with your brand and model trampoline. Check with their online help center or make a call to their customer service department for help in selecting your tent.

Styles Of Trampoline Tents

With several different types of tents available, you need to determine what features your kids will enjoy most. Some models of tents have a variety of features that make them more versatile than others.

There are both free-standing tents that set up directly on the jump mat or tents that incorporate the uprights of your trampoline enclosure.

Clubhouse Tent

A clubhouse style tent may have net window openings for lots of light and views. It may also have roll-down covers for the openings to ‘close’ the windows for privacy.

These clubhouse trampolines are made in all sorts of colorful designs. Pink and purple colors especially for girls, a circus big top and a wild west theme for boys are just a few of the styles you’ll find available in many sizes.

Camping Tent

Another design is the camping style tent. It’s more like the tents used for roughing it. It’s lower in height, has few windows and gives protection against the elements. Perfect for camping out, a trampoline camping tent gives kids the fun of sleeping outdoors in all kinds of weather without the hard ground and crawly bugs.

Trampoline Roof

If you use a trampoline enclosure, you can attach a fabric roof to the enclosure uprights to create a covered tent-like environment. The roof provides shelter from the sun as well as from rain. This makes a perfect shady, bug-free place to hang out and relax or even sleep under the stars.

If you are considering buying a trampoline, you should check out the styles of tents available for the models you’re considering. Since you may very likely be adding a tent to your trampoline at some point, you might as well investigate what’s available. It may save you time and aggravation in the future.

 

What Do Doctors Say About Trampolines?

When I was first considering a trampoline for my family, I started by looking into what the doctors had to say about it. Particularly, the opinions of orthopedists were important to me, since it would be my children’s bones that were going to be primarily at risk when it came to jumping. They certainly had quite a bit to say as well.

Doctors about Trampolines

Not Very Happy

To say that most doctors I read were not very happy about the proliferation of backyard trampolines would be an understatement. They each had their own pet peeves, but ultimately they felt that trampolines were generally unsafe and couldn’t be trusted in most cases.

In fact, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) has said unequivocally that, “Domestic and international research indicates that trampolines should not be used in the home environment, routine physical education classes, or in outdoor playgrounds.” This obviously made me worry a bit about agreeing to get a trampoline before doing the research.

Then I continued to read and learned that in many cases, what doctors tended to be afraid of was less the use of trampolines in general, but rather they feared he misuse of trampolines. Even further in their statement is the comment, “Safety information is given by manufacturers, retailers, medical groups and government authorities, but many owners fail to heed this advice. While safety measures may help minimize severe injuries, the amount of effort required to properly prepare a location, the diligence required to maintain the trampoline mat, springs and frame, and the degree of time and expertise required to properly supervise trampoline use are frequently lacking.”

I also found at least one statement by orthopedist Dr. Robert D. Galpin who said, “You can’t put kids in a glass bubble. They’re kids. But families go out and buy these things … and I have this pet peeve about more than one kid on a trampoline, just because of the nature of the trauma I’ve seen.” Galpin is right to worry about that, since not only can a bad bounce send two people flying into one another at high speed, but at its maximum stretch there is no difference between a trampoline mat and the ground, so one kid bouncing slightly behind another can fly up to ten feet in the air then land on a surface with no give, resulting in serious injury.

How to Reduce the Chance of Injuries

You can’t completely remove all injuries from trampolining, but you can significantly reduce the chances of it happening by observing and enforcing some basic rules.

1. No more than one person jumping at a time – This means that your kids will have to share and take turns, but having two or more people on the trampoline changes the shape of the mat, making it harder to compensate for bounces.

2. Having spotters actively watching the activity – Don’t let your kids play unsupervised. Make sure that you have people there actively watching them to make sure they’re not doing anything dangerous. This means no somersaults or bouncing off the enclosure net on purpose.

3. Make sure your child is at least six years of age – Children below the age of six should not be using trampolines. They are not responsible enough to understand the rules and their bodies are still developing in a way that the activity could cause damage. Even when your child is old enough, make sure they know the rules and can go over them with you regularly.

4. Make sure your safety equipment is sufficient and in good working order – There should not be metal parts on the frame or springs that are not covered by padding at least an inch thick. The safety enclosure net should be firmly attached to the frame or, preferably, the mat itself with no large holes that can be slipped through. All of the parts should be in good working order and not show signs of wear. If anything is broken it should be repaired or replaced immediately and before anybody else uses the trampoline.

Another thing you may want to check is whether your insurance covers trampoline injuries since many don’t as well as whether your home owner’s association allows them or requires you to sign a rider in order to own one.

After looking into everything, I decided that I was still comfortable getting my children a trampoline. I know that I will not be able to protect them perfectly, but I have enough confidence that they will follow the rules. While it is still possible that injuries can occur, following these tips from the AAOS can help reduce the chance enough that I am willing to make the effort to let them have one.

 

Trampoline Exercises You Can Do At Home In Under 10 Minutes

If you’re like most folks, squeezing in exercise on a regular basis is often a challenge. Both strength and cardio routines take time and get boring quickly.

However, a 10-minute trampoline exercise workout is a far more efficient use of your exercise time. 10 minutes of vigorous trampoline-assisted exercise is comparable to 30 minutes on a treadmill or the cardiovascular benefits of running one mile.

Consistent exercise on a trampoline can strengthen muscles surrounding your heart and improve your lung capacity. You can also burn more calories and lose weight, as well as improve your coordination and balance.

Trampoline Exercises

Exercising on a trampoline is also low-impact form of work out, so for those individuals who are recovering from knee surgery, have back problems or are getting on in years, it’s an ideal way to maximize your activity level with the least amount of physical stress.

Basic Walk

Just like every other exercise regimen, you need to warm up and cool down before and after your session. Take your basic starting stance and lift your heels in a walking motion without picking up your toes. As you would when power walking, swing your arms to maximize the exercise benefits.

As you grow in skill and fitness, you can increase your speed to really get the full benefits of a fast paced workout.

Jogging

If you’ve ever done any jogging, you know how much of a beating your knees, shins and ankles take pounding on a hard surface. Jogging in place on a trampoline gives you all the benefits without the painful effects.

Add twisting your upper body left and right while jumping to strengthen hip and abdominal muscles. For even more benefits, add wrist or ankle weights to maximize your workout.

Jumping Jacks

One of the first exercises you probably did in gym class, jumping jacks takes on a whole new meaning when you do them on a trampoline. Doing jumping jacks on the ground is certainly an aerobic exercise, but it can play havoc with your hips, feet and knees.

By doing those jumping jacks on a trampoline, you reduce painful and possibly damaging high impact and increase the calories you burn while performing them. Just do those same old maneuvers while you bounce and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you break a sweat and feel your heart rate accelerating.

Mat Exercises

Push-ups, curls, leg raises, squat-thrusts, lunges and burpees are just a few of the standard exercises that you can do on a trampoline. These are all good when done on the exercise floor, but their efficacy is increased when done on a trampoline.

They’re the same old routines you practiced at a fitness center or remember from high school gym class. They’re just loads more fun and effective when you’re doing them while bouncing.

Pilates

Although there are lots of variations on Pilates presentations, there is a standard set of basic exercises that are traditionally performed. These are all typically done on a mat, but practicing them on a trampoline expends more calories and allows you to more quickly develop core strength, stamina and coordination.

The exercises include:
The Hundred
The Roll Up
The Roll Over
One Leg Circle
Rolling Like A Ball
Single And Double Leg Stretch
Spine Stretch
Double Leg Rocker

Yoga

Yoga is a very structured form of exercise that requires balance and controlled movements. Using the trampoline in lieu of a mat, one practices the flowing, stretching and undulating movements with the spring of the trampoline. Yoga enthusiasts can explore the traditional sequences in an entirely different approach with the expanded range of motion achieved on a springy surface.

Almost any exercise or variation can be adapted to do on your trampoline. It’s lots of fun and you’ll find yourself spending more time than you thought possible exercising. Whether you do your exercising on your own outdoor trampoline, go to a free jump arena or use a mini-trampoline or rebounder, incorporating your exercise with a trampoline may be just the thing you need to take your exercise commitment to the next level.

 

Three Trampoline Accessories You Don’t Want to Miss

We all know kids love trampolines, but it doesn’t just end with your initial purchase. Not only are there safety accessories you need to make jumping safe for everyone, there are all sorts of accessories to add fun and excitement to your trampoline.
You’ve made a substantial investment in your trampoline, so you might as well make it as useful as possible. Your kids can enjoy lots of additional activities when you add these accessories to your arsenal of trampoline add-ons.

Trampoline Accessories

Tents

We all know how much kids love tents. Give them a couple of chairs or a table and a sheet or two, and they’ll instantly create a fort, castle, cave or clubhouse.

A trampoline tent can be a great addition that the kids will use all summer long. This tent can make a great substitute for a tree house. Kids love having a secret place that’s all their own and a trampoline tent makes a perfect clubhouse.

When it’s rainy, too cool or when no one feels up to jumping, a tent can be a fun get-away. Reading, texting or listening to music can be comfortable in a tent that gives shade and privacy.

It’s also a great idea for a backyard campout. Sleep under the stars without lying on the lumpy lawn. You also won’t end up with creepy crawlers joining you in your sleeping bag.

Misters

If it gets really hot in your part of the country, a trampoline mister can really cool down overheated kids. It can reduce the temperature in the jump area by as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

It also keeps the jump mat cool. If you’ve ever landed on a black jump mat that’s been baking in the hot sun, you know it’s pretty uncomfortable.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that the jump mat can get very slippery when it’s wet. When the kids are jumping with the mister on, they need to be sure to wear water shoes or aqua socks. This isn’t a Slip n’ Slide!

Game Nets

Your trampoline takes up a significant amount of space in your yard. You might want to consider utilizing it as a component of other backyard games. Since only one person should be using the trampoline at a time, provide other activities while they wait their turn.

Badminton/Volleyball Net

With this add-on, your trampoline becomes one of the uprights for a volleyball net. The unit has mounts made specifically to clamp onto the trampoline frame while the other post is seated in the ground normally. Now you’ve got a game everyone can play.

Sure Shot Lower Enclosure Game Net

The lower enclosure for your trampoline keeps wayward pets and children from going under the trampoline. It also keeps leaves and debris from piling up underneath the unit.
This enclosure not only keeps the area safe and tidy, but it’s great for soccer practice or other kick-ball games your kids think up.
The springy netting is great for perfecting kick shots and features a bull’s eye target and handy storage pouches for jumpers’ shoes and outdoor toys.

By choosing safe and kid-friendly accessories for your trampoline, you’re getting more bang for your buck. Additional fun, outdoor activities keep kids on the move and contribute to a healthy, active lifestyle. We suggest you make the most of your trampoline investment with add-ons the entire family will enjoy.

 

What Are Trampoline Mats Made Of?

Trampoline mats have come a long way since their earliest versions. Both in terms of durability and bounce, they have been designed to handle both heavy use and the elements with ease, standing up to significant punishment and still retaining their properties. Of course, they were not always made of the materials that are common today, and new technologies keep coming out that will continue changing them as time goes on. Still, there is a fascinating history that gets us to modern trampoline mats.

Upper Bounce Trampoline Mat

The Original Trampolines

Perhaps the earliest form of “trampolining” was more of a team sport. Some of our earliest records are in the form of documents from the Inuit festival Nalukataq. This annual festival was designed to celebrate the end of the spring whaling season, with successful crews having parties and congratulating one another for a good hunt.

The most notable feature of this festival was the blanket toss, a tradition where people would grab the ends of a walrus skin, somebody else would climb on top, and they would be thrown in the air and caught again. People could go as high as ten or more feet up before coming back down again.

Some records show that a similar activity may have been engaged in in various places throughout Europe, but it appears to have been used as a punishment rather than an amusement, such as in at least one stage version of the story of Don Quixote.

The modern idea of the “trampoline” however was created in the 1930s by George Nissen and Larry Griswold. They envisioned a number of uses, including to train acrobats and tumblers. One less solitary sport they conceived of, Spaceball, had team rules for a complex two-on-two game that they hoped would one day become as popular as baseball or basketball.

In their case, the mats were made of military-grade canvass and stretched on a iron frame. The canvass was able to support the weight of quite a few adults and was resistant to tearing in the center, but over time the grommets that were placed on the edges started to comes loose and not only fall to pieces but also lose some of their springiness.

Modern Improvements

While some modern trampolines are still made of waterproof canvas, though a much sturdier version with re-enforcement around the areas where it is attached to the springs, most trampoline mats are made of a substance called TenCate Permatron.

TenCate Permatron is made by the Royal Ten Cate company in the Netherlands which has been making materials of various sorts for more than 300 years. Despite several decades on the market, no company has been able to improve on the TenCate Permatron formula.

The way these mats are made is by weaving long cabon fibers with a synthetic polypropylene. This thermoplastic polymer has a variety of uses from packaging to making thermal underwear because of its strength and versatility.

What’s particularly interesting about TenCate Permatron mats is that they don’t actually stretch even though they look and feel like they do. The springs are the things doing the stretching and, while the mat warps under the weight of the person jumping, the fibers themselves stay in the same shape. This prevents them from wearing out with extended use. The lack of stretching and incredibly tight box weave make this material very hard to break with regular use.

Another advantage of TenCate Permatron is that the fibers are thermally interlocked and UV treated so that they won’t break down in the sun and can stand up to a number of different types of weather conditions.

Where Are We Going?

Right now, TenCate Permatron is the gold standard for trampoline mats and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. However, with recent advances in materials technology, it’s possible that any day a more durable, more resistant, and more elastic mat will come on the market and replace the familiar feel that so many of us grew up with.

In the meantime, it’s good to know that our trampolines are made the best available material and able to keep us safely enjoying such an exciting activity.

The Trampoline Market In The US.

Trampolines have been around since the early 1930s, and they are more popular now than ever. With the addition of new safety measures, these pieces of sporting equipment have really taken off and provided hours of fun every year. Since the introduction of commercial trampolines in the 1950s, interest in them has only increased by leaps and bounds.

Little Tikes Trampoline

How Many Trampolines Are Sold

In the United States alone, there are dozens of trampoline and rebounder manufacturers. It is estimated by the National Institute of Health that approximately 500,000 trampolines are sold in the US annually. This accounts for roughly $720 million in the sale of actual trampolines, not to mention the amount of money that is made on indoor recreation parks focused on bouncing.

While not huge, trampolines are still very big business in this country and the market continues to grow with more and more companies entering every year at various levels.

Trampoline Makers

There are several companies currently making trampolines and rebounders on the modern market. They have all managed to gain reputations for themselves over time. Here are just a few of them:

1. Airzone – For many people, due to the price, these are the first kinds of backyard trampoline they own. There are several lines that the company produces, including one that uses elastic brands rather than springs to attach the mat, and they have been plagued by recalls several times in the past. At best, Airzone can be considered entry-level trampolines and probably shouldn’t be expected to last long-term.

2. JumpSport – This company has solidified itself in the market already, if for no other reason than that they were the first company to invent a trampoline safety net. They’ve been leaders in safety ever since, not to mention providing a high quality product for a reasonable price and either a 10-year or lifetime warranty on their frames. JumpSport is largely responsible for the last decade’s worth of increased sales.

3. Skywalker Trampolines – This company has the largest manufacturing facility of any other company that produces trampolines in the country. Their products tend to be inexpensive and are not reliable for the long haul, but their short-term offerings aren’t bad as are their indoor rebounders.

4. Springfree Trampolines – This company is particularly interesting because they have actually created a brand new spring-free bouncing system that uses fiberglass rods to create the trampoline effect. This also has the added bonus of separating the frame from the mat so that users won’t accidentally hit it while they’re bouncing.

Trampoline Sellers

There are countless outlets where you can buy trampolines from various brands, too many to name specifically. However, these are some of the types of retailer that you can go to get a new trampoline or rebounder.

1. Big Box Stores – You can usually find at least two or three different kinds of trampolines in the Toy or Sporting Goods departments of your local big box retailer. While these won’t necessarily be the best quality, they will often be inexpensive and provide you with an entry into the sport.

2. Sporting Goods Stores – Trampolines are considered important equipment for a number of sports like gymnastics. As such, you’ll usually find several different brands, shapes, and quality of trampoline at sporting goods stores. They will generally have a larger selection than big box retailers and staff trained to know more about the options.

3. Online Retailers – These days it’s possible to find almost any trampoline online someplace. Not only are these generally available on the manufacturer’s website, but large catch-all retailers like Amazon and Overstock can provide not only a wide selection but excellent deals. It’s not recommended to purchase used from a site like Ebay since there is no way to tell what the state of the item is in and it could be dangerous.

The Strength of the Market

As should be obvious, the trampoline market is secure and growing more so every year. As safety features become more standard and companies continue to innovate, it is likely to keep growing for the foreseeable future.

Are Trampolines Safe For Lower Back Problems?

There are a number of opinions from various sources as to how a trampoline affects the lower back. Some people believe it to be safe and even beneficial while others consider trampolining something that will only exacerbate pre-existing problems. The fact of the matter is, there are a number of different causes of back pain and working on a trampoline might help some and worsen others. First, it’s important to understand what might cause lower back pain.

Super Jumper Combo Trampoline

Low Back Pain Causes

There are several things that can cause low back problems. According to orthopedic doctors, about 80% of people will suffer from low back problems at some point in their life, and a significant portion of those will have “chronic” low back pain, meaning that it affects their lives for more than three months continuously.

Among the most common causes of low back pain is degenerative or herniated discs. Your spinal column is not solid: it is made of a number of small bones that are separated by spongy tissue called “discs” to allow them to bend without rubbing themselves apart. When one of these discs starts to degrade or becomes inflamed, it can result in significant low back problems.

Because of the nature of disc issues, an activity like trampolining might not be the best idea because it forces the back muscles to tighten in order to protect the spine which can cause further damage.

Spondylolisthesis, on the other hand, can be helped immensely by rebounding or working out on the trampoline. This particular condition is caused by the normal wear and tear on joints and ligaments over time becoming so bad that they can no longer hold the parts of your spine where they should be. This results in your vertebrae falling down and rubbing against one another, wearing them away, pinching nerves, and causing further damage.

Using a trampoline to work out can not only strengthen your core muscles so that they can better hold your spine in place, it can also keep those ligaments in better shape and prevent them from allowing your spine to collapse on itself.

Similarly, the bone building properties of trampoline exercises can help with osteoporosis that puts pressure on the bones in your spine and even causes them to fracture over time.

How Trampolining Can Help

The reason why these are often blamed for low back problems is that there are a number of ways that your back is engaged while working on a trampoline. As mentioned above, you instinctively start to tighten your core muscles while jumping in order to improve your balance and protect your spine from vibrations caused by impact with the ground.

Similarly, the pressure from that impact is distributed over the entire body in a relatively even way. That means that while running will put all of the weight and effects of gravity on the feet, ankles, and legs, trampolining will distribute some of that to the back, neck, shoulders, and head.

While that is certainly the case, it does promote a more balanced approach to working out and prevents injuries to parts of the body that would otherwise have the take the full force of any impacts with hard surfaces. Further, by distributing the energy evenly, it keeps too much impact from affecting any particular area of the body.

This can be incredibly helpful if you have a number of different issues that you have to deal with and can’t afford to allow any given area to take too much punishment. It can help build muscles up evenly and strengthen bones as well.

Is It Safe or Not?

This is not a question that is easy to answer. It can be safe and even beneficial given the right exercises and for certain conditions, and a terrible idea for others.

In most cases, it’s best to consult with a doctor before starting a regular trampolining routine if you have chronic back pain. Try to identify the problem and ask whether a rebounder or trampoline is likely to exacerbate it.

Trampolines and rebounders can make for great, fun, and incredibly effective exercise, but the first step should always be making sure that you’re safe.

Why People Over 50 Should Consider Trampolining

It is commonly understood that the older one gets, the less their body responds to work and the more effort they have to make in order to stay in shape. What you did as a kid is simply harder as an adult and becomes more difficult as you get older. That being said, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great ways to stay healthy and fight off a lot of the negative effects of aging by doing the right kind of exercise.

Trampolining and rebounding are some of the best types of workouts for many people in their 50s and above. Not only is it a lot of fun, but the physical benefits are far higher than more traditional forms of exercise like running and it’s easier on the body. The popularity of the activity is due to no less an authority than NASA. in fact.

ExacMe Trampoline

Rebounding For Astronauts

When a person is in zero gravity, they start to lose bone and muscle mass very quickly. In some cases, two weeks in a gravity-free environment can be enough to cause up to 15% of mass from those areas to go away.

NASA decided that they had to do something about this problem if long-term space flight was ever going to be a reality. As such, they started to do research into various exercise routines in order to find the most efficient way to maintain the health of astronauts, and what they found was amazing.

It turns out that because of the way the body moves while rebounding, it is actually up to 68% more effective and uses less oxygen and energy to get that benefit. There are a number of reasons for this covered below, but the main findings of these studies was that rebounding was much better for astronauts than most other forms of exercise, so it has become a major part of exercise in space.

How Rebounding Works

One of the major reasons why jumping on a trampoline or rebounder is so much more effective is where the force is put. When you are running, such as on a treadmill, the majority of your weight and the effects of gravity fall primarily on your feet and ankles every time you hit the ground. This can have serious negative effects on your feet, calves, ankles, and legs, especially as you grow older. Rebounding more evenly distributes the force of gravity across your whole body so that no one part takes too much punishment.

The reason why it is so effective is the progression of actions that are taken and what they encourage the body to do.

The first thing that happens is that you work the strength in your legs to take off and accelerate upward, which also has the benefit of improving lymphatic function. The lymphatic system runs up and down the body and transports immune cells to possible places of infection or disease, so increased Lymphocyte activity means better general health.

The next step is a split second zero gravity pause at the top of your jump. It doesn’t seem like much, but this can rest the body and allow you to work out for longer.

Next is a downward acceleration at an increased G-force. What this does is force you to work your core muscles — such as your abs, back, shoulders, and sides — in order to help maintain your balance in preparation for landing. In a related matter, it helps improve your balance in general.

Finally, when you actually hit the mat again, you are working all of the muscles in your body evenly, distributing the weight along your whole frame, building bone and muscle, and distributing oxygen more efficiently to promote higher energy.

Getting Started Right Away

It’s really easy to get started with this sort of exercise. You can get a decent trampoline or rebounder for less than $100 in many cases and you only need to do about 15 minutes a day to start seeing at least some results.

There is no reason not to get to trampolining right away. Whether it’s an outdoor rig or a small indoor rebounder, you can be sure that you’ll get a better, easier, and more enjoyable workout by trampolining.

How To Strengthen Core Muscles

Your core is the literal center of your body. Having strong core muscles does more than look good at the beach: it also can affect your balance, your energy levels, and how you interact with many daily tasks you have to do. Needless to say that good core health is drastically important.

But how do you maintain a strong core?

There are a number of exercises and techniques that can help you keep your core strong and are also fun to do. They will encourage you to work out and can make your back feel better, your stomach flatter, and your shoulders more defined. Here are just a few of them.

Exercise equipment

Regular Core Exercises

It’s very easy to find dozens of different exercises online that will help you build your core muscles, often as part of larger groups of core workouts. For example, there are several different types of crunches that can help people with various body types, physical limitations, or goals outside of just core work. Bicycle crunches also work the legs, to name just one, and are often more fun than regular ones.

There are also a wide range of core exercises that can be done from a seated position and don’t put stress on the back. The Knee Fold Tuck is one of these, as is the Climber. In the case of the former, you don’t even have to do any repeated movements, just hold yourself where you are for several seconds and then release.

Planks are also a core exercise group that is very popular because they can be done alone fairly easily. Like the Knee Fold Tuck, planks have no repeated movements and build your core by forcing your body to engage the core muscles and then release them.

One way to get a diverse array of core exercises is to find a class that incorporates them into a more complete workout.

Why Don’t You Try Yoga?

Yoga is an excellent approach to increased core strength because so many of the poses incorporate that into their design.

From Boat Pose to Bridge Pose to Full Wheel, many of the poses, even the modified versions, end up giving you a great core workout. In cases such as Pigeon Pose, you may not even notice that when you exit the pose your stomach muscles release and you have been engaging them the whole time.

Many people are afraid to take a yoga class, often because they think they “don’t have the body for it.” In most cases, yoga classes are very accepting of people of all body types, and will help you safely do the exercises, providing modified versions if necessary, and encouraging you to do your best. It’s one of the better core improving strategies you can employ.

Trampolines and Rebounders

For most people, their center of gravity is in their torso, so exercises that improve balance also end up working the core muscles. That’s why trampolines and indoor rebounders can be such great pieces of equipment for this very purpose.

Stretched membrane devices like trampolines force the body to learn how to adjust itself in often subtle ways in order to get better jumps and land safely. Since, as previously mentioned, the center of gravity that is so important to balance is in the torso, that means that some of those subtle adjustments happen in the core muscles to better move the center of gravity where it needs to be.

Try spending several hours on a rebounder and see exactly how tired your abs are.

Make Sure You’re Enjoying Yourself

The best method for improving your core is the one that you do consistently. Crunches may be great for you, but if you’re not actually doing them, they won’t help you improve at all. Instead, you need to do the thing that you enjoy, that you’re looking forward to, so that you’ll keep it up even when it’s difficult.

Make sure that the techniques that you’re using are ones that are fun for you and don’t be ashamed to stop doing something you don’t like. There are plenty of ways to strengthen your core, do the one that you enjoy the best.