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The Ultimate Guide to Trampoline Health and Fitness

Today’s modern world is filled with an increasing number of ways for us to get distracted. Between work, school and keeping things together at home, it can be hard to find the time to exercise. This is especially true when going to the gym can often feel like work. After all, who wants to spend their free time doing another chore?
Fortunately, there is a way you can stay fit, improve your well being, and have fun while doing it. Best of all, you can do it in the backyard.
Trampolining is a low impact, accessible exercise that is good for everyone. From a simple bounce to more advanced tucks and twists, a half hour session on the trampoline will burn calories, strengthen bones and muscles, and provide a rush that only bouncing through the air can bring.

Benefits of trampolining

It doesn’t matter your age, trampolining has something for everyone.
Fresh air and vitamin D exposure are two of the natural benefits that come from outdoor play. And did you know that encouraging your kids to play outside can actually decrease their chances of developing short sightedness?
Some other key health benefits include:

1. It’s a complete workout

Bouncing on a trampoline is a fun way to give your body (and mind) a complete workout. 10 minutes jumping can be equivalent to 30 minutes spent jogging. Forget high impact and stressful exercises, bouncing is the easy way to work up a sweat in your own backyard.

2. Less stress on joints

Bouncing removes up to 80% of the stress typically played on weight bearing joints. If you’re concerned about arthritic pain now or in the future, trampoline-based exercise can be a great way to reduce that risk.

3. Helps prevent disease

The lymphatic system is the body’s natural waste disposal system, helping to remove toxins, fats and dead cells from our body. It requires muscular and breathing contraction to activate effectively. Research also shows that these contractions can be intensified by gravitational forces when jumping and bouncing. In fact, bouncing on a trampoline can activate the lymphatic system 10 times faster than normal.

4. Helps develop motor skills balance and coordination

As you bounce through the air your brain is forced to act bilaterally, helping develop motor skills. Similarly, balance on a trampoline requires more coordination than on regular ground, creating stronger pathways throughout the body.

Image via one of Oz Trampolines’ happy customers

5. Creates a strong heart

Like other muscles in the body, the heart improves through regular exercise. A strong heart can help fight off heart disease, even in young children and improve overall health and stamina. Studies have shown that cardiovascular health is improved by regular, 30-minute trampoline workouts in adults.

6. Improves lung capacity

Bouncing and twirling on a trampoline is a good cardio workout, and has been proven to increase lung capacity when exercising. As you exercise, more oxygen is drawn into the body while carbon dioxide is expelled. Increased lung capacity can help prevent intake decline that happens through inactivity.

7. Strengthens young bones

Exercise helps increase bone density which can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Because trampolining is low impact, it’s a much safer way to strengthen growing bones that more high impact sports like running on hard surfaces.
Dr Belinda Beck, an Australian exercise physiologist, states,
“Walking doesn’t give the bones the stimulation they need to adapt and improve – bone cells need the ‘loading’ that comes with high impact exercise done quickly. Even running up and down stairs will load bone much better than just walking, but not as much as jumping”.

8. Improved energy for kids

Bouncing on a trampoline regularly can help fight off lethargy that happens from a sedentary lifestyle. Get the kids out of the house and on the trampoline. You’ll be surprised how much their energy levels improve and become more engaged in other aspects of their life.

9. Enhanced well being

Exercise fresh air and vitamin D are all essential for health and well being. It’s recommended that children get around 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day to help:

  • Sleep better and be less restless / fidgety
  • Create good habits into adulthood
  • Develop motor skills for better coordination.

By encouraging children to play outside in fun and creative activities they’re getting a much needed sense of contentment that you simply can’t get from staying inside.
Combined with a well balanced diet, trampolining can be a great way for kids to stay fit.

Why choose a trampoline for your outdoor activity?

With so many options to choose from when it comes to getting a bit excercise, what makes trampolining stand out?

  • Burning calories

Research suggests that a 90 kilogram person bouncing for half hour will burn around 167 calories. A 68 kilogram person exercise for the same amount of time on a trampoline will burn around 126 calories. That means you’re not only having fun, you’re burning of excess energy.

  • Trampoline vs treadmill

Running is a popular and accessible way to stay fit, while running on a treadmill helps lessen the impact of uneven surfaces when going for a jog, but because you’re still running on a hard surface, it can put pressure on keep areas of your body.
Pressure and impact points can play a major part in overall body health when exercising. Less impact and better distributed G-force can lower the risk of injury, stress and strain when keeping fit.
A study by NASA found that G-force on participants using a treadmill was double that of the force on the back and the forehead.
The same research found that when bouncing on trampolines the G-force on the back, forehead and ankle were all much more similar. Because trampolining disperses pressure across the body, impact is lowered, reducing risk of injury.

Encouraging children to play outside

Encouraging children to play outside can be tricky, particularly if they’re already glued to the TV or iPad. Just about everyone loves the trampoline once they’re on it, but sometimes it takes a little finesse to get the young ones out of the house. Here’s a few tips for encouraging active behaviour in your child.

1. Make it fun

Depending on your child’s age, you can engage them creatively by capturing their imagination. Become an astronaut, a superhero, or turn the trampoline into part of a bigger backyard game. Perhaps 10 bounces is the only way to unlock the door to a secret treasure? Start small, and soon your children will be playing along and making their own games as well.

2. Bring the toys outside

If your child has some particularly favourite toys, consider bringing them outside as well. Some toys are suitable for play on the trampoline, and you can bring some music outside as well by using a bluetooth speaker set up near the trampoline. Recreate the positive aspects of indoor play outside while introducing them to healthier play habits.

3. Include the whole family

Instead of spending the weekends indoors, get the whole family outside. Have a picnic or a barbecue. Introduce some ball sports or other fun games as well, and show your children that being outdoors can be fun for everyone. If your backyard is small, you can always head to the local park and have fun there.

Image via one of Oz Trampolines’ happy customers

Trampoline games to promote children’s fitness

While getting kids on the trampoline should be ready, sometimes they need a little help. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these resources with trampoline games specifically designed for kids.

The Friendly Fitness Series

Over 3 separate books author Nathan Freind teaches children and parents the basics of fitness on trampolines. Joined by friends Jimmy, Sally and Harry this trilogy is a must have for any parent with growing children who want to learn fitness on the trampoline. Read more about the Friendly Fitness Series here.

Bouncing games with Jumping Jimmy

Learn all the best jumping games in this exciting book aimed at keeping your kids healthy and happy on the trampoline.

Get fit and strong with Sit Up Sally

Part 2 in this three part series teaches your children the basics of doing sit ups and other core strength exercises on the trampoline.

Try some more advanced exercises with Hopping Harry

In part 3 of Nathan Freind’s series we join Hopping Harry for more trampoline fun and advanced ways for your kids to bounce and stay fit.

Full of Bounce

Teach your kids about trampoline safety while they learn how to perform basic tricks on their trampoline. A 32 page illustrated book by Richard Haby and Nathan Freind, it’s the perfect accompaniment for the Friendly Fitness Series. Find out more here.

Keep it going with music

Kids love music to bounce to and you can keep the music going with a bluetooth speaker especially designed for use with outdoor trampolines. Need help sourcing the right music for your kids to bounce to? Check out our awesome playlists for kids of all ages.

Trampoline workouts for adults

As adults it’s easy to get caught up in the latest trend while ignoring the basics of a healthy, active life. Fortunately, trampolining is as good for adults as it is for kids. Here’s just a few exercises you can try to get fit and stay there with your own trampoline.

  • Get warmed up

Some simple jumping jacks are a great place to start. Alternate with running on the spot, bringing your knees high towards your chest. This will limber up your muscles and build coordination.

Image via one of Oz Trampolines’ happy customers

  • Plank into push up

Start at the centre of the trampoline in plank position. Hold for five seconds then transition into pushup position. Complete the push up and return to plank. Try to complete 10 cycles of this exercise.

  • Sit to stand power bounce

A favourite trampoline exercise that’s simple to learn but takes time to master. Sit down on the trampoline then try to bounce yourself up into a standing position and quickly as possible. You can add alternating lateral arm stretches at the end once you get good at it.

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Image via one of Oz Trampolines’ happy customers

  • Jogging on the moon

This is a great exercise for kids and adults that engages the imagination. Imagine each jump is a giant step on the moon. Alternate feet as you ‘step’ back and forth across the moon, focusing on coordination and control.

  • Straight jump

Begin standing on your trampoline with arms in the air, then jump high in the air and land. Keep hands straight in the air at all times. Try to do 3 sets of 20 jumps, with a 30 second rest in between.
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Image via one of Oz Trampolines’ happy customers

  • Pike jump

Once you become confident with the straight jump you can also try the pike jump. Begin by standing the centre of the trampoline with your arms by your side. On the jump up bring your legs out straight in front of you, parallel to the ground, and reach forward with your arms towards your toes. Land on your feet. Start with 3 sets of 10 with a 20 second rest in between.

  • Straddle jump

Start standing in the center of the trampoline with arms by your side. On the jump extend your legs apart so there’s about 90 degrees between them (they should form a triangle). In the same upward motion reach forward and try to touch your toes. Land with legs straight to return to starting position. Start with 3 sets of 20. Break for 30 seconds between each set.

Image via one of Oz Trampolines’ happy customers

  • Half and full twist

A more advanced jumping exercise, the half and full twists are variations on the same exercise. Start by standing in the center of the trampoline, cross your arms over your chest. Jump in the air turning 180 degrees, after landing, do another half twist to bring your back to your starting point.
Use reference points to help orientate yourself. Do 5 full twists clockwise and then 5 anticlockwise. If you start feeling dizzy, stop. Rest for 30 seconds and try again. When you feel confident, try to do complete 360 degree turns.

  • Trampoline skipping

Take a skipping rope onto the trampoline with you, and attempt to coordinate the timing of your rope with the bounces. The higher you jump the easier it is – the shorter the jumps, the more skips you have to do and keeping the rhythm is a great cardio workout.

Image via one of Oz Trampolines’ happy customers

  • Trampoline squat

Standing on the trampoline, bounce into the air and then land in the squat position as though you were about to sit. Keep your arms out in front of your for balance. The trampoline squat is one of our favourite trampoline exercises for adults.

What trampoline is best for me?

There are a number of trampoline styles available – above-ground, in-ground, round, oval, rectangle etc.
Here are some elements to keep in mind when choosing which trampoline is right for your needs:

  1. Height

If your backyard has any features that may restrict the height available to you, such as a tree, fencing, neighbouring buildings etc., then it’s essential you allow plenty of safety distance between this feature and where your trampoline is located.
It’s recommended that if you do have such a feature in your backyard, an in-ground trampoline is likely the best option. However an in-ground trampoline is not recommended if your yard is prone to flooding.

  1. Size

The size you choose should not include only the mattress size of the trampoline, but also the ‘jumping space’ available. For example, an 8ft in-ground trampoline (round) has a jumping space of 3.2m2, and a mattress size of 202cm, whereas a 8x11ft in-ground trampoline (rectangular) has a jumping space of 5.55m2.
Consider how many children you have, the ages they are now, and if the trampoline will be used by both children and adults (we recommend it is!).
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Image via one of Oz Trampolines’ happy customers

  1. Shape

The shape of your trampoline will depend partly on your backyard and how it is laid out, but also on the size of the trampoline you want. If you want an in-ground trampoline, then the two largest options by size are only available in a rectangle. The Oz Trampolines above ground trampolines are available in round or oval shapes dependent on size.

  1. Protection

Mats to protect the bouncer from landing on the springs are essential for every trampoline, and are included with every trampoline purchase. Our patented vented pads are also designed to prevent pad slap noise and improve bounce quality.
Safety enclosures are provided with above ground trampolines to assist with providing a safe jumping experience for all bouncers. These are also available for in-ground trampolines, although are an optional accessory due to the level access to the ground.

Trampolining is for life

It doesn’t matter whether you’re 6 or 60, trampolining offers something for everyone. Discover the health benefits that come with an active and enjoyable lifestyle, right in your backyard.

Looking for more fun ways to use your trampoline? Read our guide to trampoline games, exercise and fun today.

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